Image for post
Image for post

Product design is more than the discipline of designing products like apps and websites (e.g. Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb). I associate it with a particular mindset, skillset, and way of working. If you connect with these, you’ll love the discipline!

This isn’t a comprehensive product design guide, it’s just an overview. It’s intended as a starting point for people that are new to product design. I hope it inspires you to dig deeper.

Soft skills & attitudes

Technical skills are easier to pick up e.g. even if you’re an expert at a tool, there’ll always be a new design tool to learn.

Empathy

This is not unique to being a product designer, this is a core part of being a good designer. We need empathy for people we design for, people we work with, and stakeholders. …


Image for post
Image for post

EDIT: my view has evolved since I first wrote this article.

I was given the opportunity to present my thoughts at IxDA Sydney (8 Aug 2019). From the moment I wrote the blurb for my talk, my view started evolving. I learned more from talking with others, reflecting on what actions I’d taken in my own career and getting lots of feedback on different points of view. I wrote the original post for this topic prematurely. I’ve left the original article unedited below.

I would like to hear from you about your experience because my view will evolve again. …


You could spend until eternity validating an offering or feature. But there is a tipping point where this becomes detrimental. So what is the balance between building confidence vs getting something out there quickly? I was asked to run one of MOO’s Research Guild sessions on this topic while I was on the team and this is an extended summary. I know there’s loads of info out there on this topic, from people more qualified than me! Would love to hear your thoughts.

Examples of failures

  • No adoption / purchase
  • Adoption, but a very poor experience
  • Not performing to expected metrics (and also, were you using the metrics right to begin with?) …


After writing up about hypothesis backlogs, Ian Miller responded with an idea to do a follow-up. Here are some of my reflections.

People might not directly contribute, but this doesn’t mean engagement is low. It needs an owner.

I had intended this backlog to be something that anyone could contribute to. It turned out that I really needed to own it and add to it on others’ behalf. This wasn’t that people weren’t interested, lots of people wanted to understand what was in it, we prioritised it with Product and some wanted guidance on how to set up their own. But they didn’t create tickets in it.

It was different to what I intended but it was perfectly fine for me to act as the owner. I knew what was in the backlog so could aggregate information when something more relevant already existed. …


Image for post
Image for post
My last sunrise in London for a while.

I moved to London in March 2015. I hadn’t visited the UK or Europe prior. I remember the BBC branding at the end of their TV content when I was a kid. Other than that I don’t know where my wish to move here came from, perhaps it the ease of getting the working holiday visa.

I’ve lived in London for almost four years and made the exciting and sad decision to leave. In quite possibly the most anti-English way possible, I’m 1) writing an emotional post about my time here 2) directly acknowledging that this is an emotional post.

Moving to London was one of my best decisions. I‘d recommend it to others who want to and can. It happened for me at the right time. I wanted to move earlier, but I wasn’t as mature and I was using it as an escape. Later when I changed a few things and realised I still wanted to make the move, I knew it was right. …


Image for post
Image for post
Republic Square in Yerevan

Where are you from?
Well, I was born in Sydney 🇦🇺 and I live in London 🇬🇧.
My parents are Armenian
🇦🇲 (but were born in Iran 🇮🇷).

…is your family in Sydney?

My Mum lives there, but
my brother lives in Hong Kong
🇭🇰 (previously he lived in China 🇨🇳 / Korea 🇰🇷). Some of my relatives live in the US 🇺🇸.

Ooooooo…kaaaaayyy….

Quite last minute, I decided to book a trip to Yerevan, Armenia. I’m ashamed to say I’ve usually not spoken a lot about my Armenian background. Mostly because during my school years, sometimes there’d been a lack of knowledge or open-mindedness about it from others. Comments like “where the hell is that?”. I found it hard to push back on this. …


Based on my talk presented at Ladies That UX London, 19 June (event on design sprints).

Image for post
Image for post
via @LadiesthatUX_LN on Twitter. Thanks to Ladies that UX London for having me! I got to talk alongside two other lovely speakers, Carmen Brion and smitchio

Skip straight to the tips!

A brief recap: why we prototype

Once upon a time, companies spent millions building things that they had no idea if people even wanted. They’d spend years of time building something and not learning from people until it was released and then died.

The amazing book Sense & Respond by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden talks about how Amazon built their Fire Phone without customer feedback. They pushed a product based on assumptions, not based on validated needs and solutions. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Min An from Pexels

What’s the relationship between these?
1 sec, let me tell you fam

My arguments:

  • If ‘vegan’ is your only value proposition then you will not capture the non-vegan market because there are negative connotations e.g. being sub-par substitutes. If a person doesn’t already prioritise animal welfare / environmental impact above all other selection criteria, they won’t pick a vegan product over something they see as more tasty, cheaper, etc.
  • As the supply of vegan products grows, ‘vegan’ as the only value proposition will not be enough for vegans either. …


I wanted to write this because there are apps, sites and services out there that make recycling, reuse and donating much easier. I have a lot left to learn and improve on myself. Please share your tips with me as well. 🌲🌲🌲

  • Give away food that you won’t eat using Olio. Olio is an app for giving away things (and for taking things off people’s hands, if you wish). It started off as a food sharing app and evolved. I’ve given away a box of cereal, a pack of Quorn, calendars, candle holders and nail varnish. …


Our ExD (Experience Design) team at MOO went along together.

Image for post
Image for post

Note: Some of these notes are quite short and I didn’t write notes for every talk I went to. A lot of notes I took were contextual to my own work, so the length of notes below is no reflection of the quality of any talk. For example, I was completely mesmerised with Jeff Gothelf’s talk but didn’t take many notes. He looked at the whole ecosystem of a product, it was wonderful. It had numbers, research, culture and was rich with insight.

All the Things You Need When You Want Great Design by Jane Austin

Jane is the Director of Design and User Experience at MOO, she lives the content from her talk everyday. Obviously I’m biased about this one! …

About

Melanie Hambarsoomian

Head of Design & Research at smava. Based in Berlin. Previously in Sydney & London.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store