Crunch that “A” and Tumble to Success

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. For your weekend enjoyment, here are some of those highlights. What are you reading this weekend?

yahoo-product-management

On Product Management…

http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/04/ex-yahoo-yahoo-needs-to-learn-from-tumblr-a-brilliantly-managed-product/
Tumble into successful product management.

 
 

On Starting Up…

http://www.seanpercival.com/blog/2013/06/03/how-to-survive-the-series-a-crunch-from-someone-who-didnt/
Crunch to a firmer “A”.

startup-funding
jawbon-up-modularinnovation

On Modular Innovation…

http://9to5mac.com/2013/04/30/jawbone-launches-new-up-platform-to-integrate-other-health-tracking-services-with-iphone-app/
Connect with the exercises of Modular Innovation.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/20-single-page-designs-to-inspire-you
Go single and pull it all front and center.

design-flat

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About these ads

The Product Group, All in One & More: Thanks for Coming!

theproductgroup_logo_200909_thumb7[3]
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A big thank you to everyone who made it to our second meet-up of The Product Group, as well as to our sponsor, Balsamiq Studios! We all had a blast discussing Product People-oriented topics and enjoying Wonderful food.

DSC05661 DSC05662 DSC05663

Over the 2 hours we discussed…

Product Management Career: resources people use, how everyone go to where they are, and much more

Yahoo: the strategy of ‘all in one place,’ and its larger implications for the Internet and companies like Google and Microsoft

… and more …

The Product Group meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategies, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering like this one and I am looking forward to seeing everyone, new and familiar, at our next meet-up …

Thursday, Decmber 3th @ 7PM
@ Wonderful @ 172 8th Avenue (bet. 18th and 19th St)
NYC

If you would like to attend our next meet-up, RSVP today or visit our group webpage at…

http://meetup.com/TheProductGroup

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. If you or an organization you represent would be interested in sponsoring an upcoming gathering of The Product Group please contact me.

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From Zazzing Your Product Design to Business Plan "YES!"

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_bplan-necessary

On Starting Up…

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/11/03/are-business-plans-still-necessary/
Are business plans still necessary? The Product Guy says, "YES!"

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.myinkblog.com/2009/11/02/6-ways-to-take-your-webdesign-from-good-to-great/
Great advice on giving your product that extra bit of zazz.

02_web-zazz
03_yahoo-cloud

On Modular Innovation…

http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/archives/2009/11/cloud_keynote.html
Yahoo speaking on accelerating Modular Innovation in the cloud.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Product Guy’s Weekend Reading (May 29, 2009)

Every week I read tens of thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_30minutes

On Starting Up…

http://www.quicksprout.com/2009/05/25/how-to-be-a-better-entrepreneur-in-the-next-30-minutes/
Better entrepreneurship in 30 minutes.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://sixrevisions.com/web-development/five-ways-to-speed-up-page-response-times/
On improving the Usability of the UX with YSlow.

02_yslow
03_googlewave

On Modular Innovation…

http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/05/google-wave-what-might-email-l.html
Is Google Wave the next major milestone in Modular Innovation?

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Product Guy’s Weekend Reading (May 1, 2009)

Every week I read tens of thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_vc-math

On Starting Up…

http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2009/04/the-venture-capital-math-problem.html
Excellent analysis of the Venture Capital’s math problem. (note: be sure to read the great comments)

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/04/27/good-online-experience-leads-to-more-donations-for-nonprofits
On the contribution of a good User Experience leading to greater donations at non-profit websites.

02_nonprofit-ux
03_yql

On Modular Innovation…

http://blog.programmableweb.com/2009/04/30/yahoos-yql-makes-the-internet-your-database/
Yahoo’s YQL Modular Innovation knitting together other Modular Innovations of the Web.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Product Guy’s Weekend Reading (April 17, 2009)

Every week I read tens of thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_stoic

On Starting Up…

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/13/stoicism-101-a-practical-guide-for-entrepreneurs/
A stoically, practical guide for Entrepreneurs.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://ajaxian.com/archives/quince
Learn from an extensive UX Pattern explorer.

02_quince
03_openness

On Modular Innovation…

http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/archives/2009/04/baychi_open.html
Description of the flavors of Openness within many products and platforms of Modular Innovation.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Product Guy’s Great in ’08

Christmas-Bell The Product Guy had a great 2008, sharing and exploring products, their experiences, and many innovative startups and the founders behind them, while getting to meet and speak with many of The Product Guy’s steadily growing readership.

And, as 2008 comes to a close, let’s take a brief look at the top 5 posts of 2008 (by popularity) on The Product Guy, starting with…

modular innovation#5 Modular Innovation 101

Modular Innovations lead to users’ information that is Portable, Shareable, Interoperable, Customizable, Redundant, Accessible and, basically, their own. Here The Product Guy explored the various flavors and concepts behind Modular Innovation.

Trends and other primordial indicators of the emergence of Modular Innovation can be found in many products that are out there, or in development, today on the Internet. This year demonstrated a clear evolution of existing online products, and an emergence of many others, implementing and embracing, to a ever increasing degree, Modular Innovation.

 

01_amazon#4 Overgrown Amazon

As part of the series exploring the quantification of product User Experience via Quick-UX, the Aesthetics of Amazon.com were explored.

Every single feature does NOT have to be crammed into the interface. A smart minimalist design will provide just enough of the core functionality up front, and allow for the gradual introduction of deeper features and extras as the user interacts with the product. Amazon.com is a great example of poor Aesthetics.

 

Configuration#3 Quick-UX. Quick Heuristics for User eXperience.

In 2008, I introduced the world to a process I use when quickly evaluating products. In subsequent posts in 2008 (and more to come in 2009) The Product Guy continued to provide examples and elaborate upon the underlying concepts and variables that make up Quick-UX.

The Product Guy’s introduction to performing quick, quantitative assessments of product/user experience.

 

pbwiki#2 Best Free Online Wiki Announced!

With so many wiki choices available, how do you choose? The Product Guy explored and ranked the free, hosted wikis available to both the individual and company.

And, just as PBwiki was about to achieve their own personal user base milestone, they too were recognized as the best, free online wiki.

 

00_yahoo_homepage#1 Yahoo News. #1 Online News Site.

Yahoo News represented the first news web product whose experience was studied in a 4 part series on the pros, cons, and suggested improvements (some of which have been implemented) of the top websites’ User Experiences.

Based on popularity, Yahoo News, at the end of 2007, was #1. And in 2008, this article delving into Yahoo’s News experience was the #1 most popular article at The Product Guy.

 

Happy New Year!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Product Guy’s Weekend Reading (October 31, 2008)

reading_w_TPG_thumb5_thumb2_thumb2_t[2] Every week I read tens of thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

On Starting Up…
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/five_ways_to_keep_your_momentum.php
Strategies for keeping the momentum after your startup makes a big announcement.

On Design & Product Experience…
http://www.usabilitypost.com/2008/10/28/should-arrows-be-placed-before-link-text-or-after/
Discussing the dilemma of "Should arrows be placed before link text or after?"

On Modular Innovation…
http://ajaxian.com/archives/yahoo-browserplus-released
Yahoo’s Browser Plus is beginning to extend the platform options of, and introduce new connection concepts to, Modular Innovation.

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Top Online News Experience is…

windows_on_monitor_thumb1_thumb1[9](part 5 of 5)….well… keep reading to find out.Over the past few weeks we have all looked at both the Enjoyable and Unsatisfying sides of the top 3 news websites. For those who use them, each individual has found within their favorite source the right mixture of both compelling experience and content that brings them back again and again.Before dubbing the victorious online news experience, I would be remiss to not point out some of the most pressing changes and improvements that all current and prospective news product users would be ecstatic to see…

Yahoo News’ To Do…00_yahoo_homepage

  • Stop concealing the customization options. Allow for easy and obvious customization of the order and inclusion/exclusion of the content on the page.
  • Everywhere, except on the homepage, there is a feature that allows for toggling between headlines only, include summaries, and include photos. However, just like the other customizations, it is very poorly placed — very easy to miss. Yahoo, to help people who are in a hurry, place this feature in an easier to find location and extend this handy feature to the homepage.
  • Eliminating the ‘old style’ feeling website, reducing the aggregator-information overload would go far in improving the overall user experience and enhance the Desirability and Usefulness factors for Yahoo News.

CNN Online’s To Do…00_cnn_homepage

  • CNN has a plenty of good ideas they are working with, but needs to clean up the rough edges of CNN.com
    • Accessibility is not mentioned enough in reviews of products’ user experience. In this area, CNN does a good job on the article pages, allowing their readers to resize the text with an easy click of the button. This type of functionality should be extended beyond the article pages to all aspects of the site.
    • Page layout and use of whitespace, when used well, can allow for the UX designer to convey a large amount of information within small confines. The page layouts and their usage need to be better utilized to reduce those regions of the page where there is excessive whitespace or labels that unflatteringly wrap to additional lines. Whitespaces (and awkward text layout) distract from the content of the page, often causing the eyes to look at regions of nothingness wondering what article was meant for there.
    • CNN.com would also benefit from more dynamically loading elements throughout the website. The fewer additional pages that need to load, the faster that the information can be accessed, the better the UX.
    • Better labeling of links that navigate away from CNN.com to external, non-CNN branded websites and search (that searches the web, as opposed to CNN.com, by default) would further help reduce unnecessary surprises within the CNN online experience.

MSNBC.com’s To Do…00_msnbc_homepage

  • In general MSNBC.com handles customization of the news experience very well. Customization would benefit from the following improvements…
    • The customization of the news can be found to be scattered all over and requires a great deal of scrolling up and down repeatedly. Allow for a centralized means by which all of the settings can be adjusted
    • Controlling the number of articles to view per section gets too prominent a placement on the page. This is a nifty feature that is easy to use, but surely there exists more useful information or functionality that can be presented in its place (with the control of the number of articles being relocated to the centralized settings control).
  • The Topic links, located in the rightmost region of each page sub-section, present an experience inconsistent with the similar topic selectors within the Explore box at the top of the homepage. When clicking within the Explore box, the article content is dynamically displayed – nice and quickly, no page loads. When clicking one of the Topic links, the user is navigated to a brand new webpage.
    • Enable the dynamic loading of the articles associated with each Topic within the subsection associated with that topic. It will greatly enhance the usability, utility and overall user experience of MSNBC.com
  • The dynamic aspects of the news experience can also be further enhanced, through the usage of dynamic mouse-overs for articles. When a mouse lingers over an article for more than a few seconds, a balloon containing some summary information about the article or other related actions can be displayed — empowering the user to take a peak, and deciding the best use of his/her time — deciding which articles call for more/less engagement.

Today…

The winner is MSNBC’s online news experience which made excellent use of layout, user control, and dynamic elements – all of which I found maximized the user experience, most especially the Desirability and Usefulness. Of course, everyone has their preferences, their own personal news site winner, and the role of user experience fits into everyone’s decision differently — individually valuing how much weight goes to UX, and how much weight goes to the content or reporters, is unique and personal to everyone.

But!

Does it all really matter? Today, these three news sites remain popular and strong. But, for yourself, or perhaps some or many of your friends, the primary source of news is niche blogs and news sites, frequently accumulated through one or a collection of RSS feeds. Share what parts of your favorite online news experience you enjoy that lead you to prefer one news website over another.

The question, the issue, that the top three, Yahoo, CNN, MSNBC has to solve is how to compete with all of these alternate (and often more expedient) news sources.

How do you see the news sites evolving to compete with the alternate, more flexible, more in control of the users, sources of news?

Will they be able to adapt? (or fade away)

More Information

Enjoy & Discuss & Share!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

MSNBC. An online experience.

windows_on_monitor_thumb1(part 4 of 5) Yahoo News, CNN, MSNBC. Each online news organization presents a different spin on the visual and interactive presentation of the news.Website: MSNBC Online
Briefly: MSNBC’s website was found to be the #3 online news website in December 2007. (read more)
00_msnbc_homepage

What’s Enjoyable?

  • The primary and category homepages (e.g. Travel, Health, etc.) have simple, clean, and consistent layouts.
    • They provide a minimalist feeling, making for easy skimming of the content.
    • Within the sub-category sections of the pages the link color, mouse-overs, and gradients provide good contrast for eye-easy reading and highlighting.
p01_msnbc_primary p01_msnbc_travel
  • Customization and its impact on the elements on the page(s) is both obvious and easy to use.
p02_msnbc_customization
  • The category tree allows for the peeling away of the layers of the news-“onion”, gradually displaying more articles within the categories of interest, dynamically and without the need to load (or navigate to) additional web pages.
p03_msnbc_category_tree

What’s Disappointing or Unsatisfying?

  • The colors in the page header and footer make those regions of the page very hard to read and, in turn, use.
c01_msnbc_header
c01_msnbc_footer
  • The advertising displayed can be overly intrusive. For example, the ads right in the middle of the text flow of the news articles are too much (and annoying). Don’t you (MSNBC) already have enough ads on the pages?
c02_msnbc_too_many_ads
  • Customizing the desired order of the sections on the page can be a slow and clumsy process. The placement and behavior (one move up or down at a time) are both contributing factors.
c03_msnbc_customize_layout_A c03_msnbc_customize_layout_B

    Until then, think about & share…

    I’ve now explored, in detail, the top 3 online news experiences, Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC. Stay tuned to find out which one (or two?) stand out as the best online user experience.

    Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss out on the conclusion of this series comparing and contrasting the top 3 online news sites (Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC) along with my declaration of online news experience champion.

    Tune in to see if you agree with me — or want to argue a different perspective.

    More Information

    Enjoy!

    Jeremy Horn
    The Product Guy