I heard this on a Podcast several years ago now but it has always stuck with me.
The Best example of User Experience in Real Life.
A brilliant architect was designing the new front outdoor landscape of a university. When it came time to plan the walkways through the grass the architect refused to and instead opted for grass to be put EVERYWHERE. Not knowing his brilliance, the administration let the mad scientist have his way. A year later the architect came back to find a perfectly worn path where people walked and now they knew precisely where to put the path.
Moral of the story: don’t assume you know what people like, user testing is ten thousand times more reliable than “past experience”.
Don’t assume you know, assume others do and your job is to find out from them by observing and testing.
I love that quote from Julien Smith. As kids we don’t care about feeling stupid, we don’t care how others will react, we just approach problems with a clean slate. To a child there are no repercussions, that’s why they use their imagination so much. Somewhere between having a child like sense of wonder, and being a grumpy adult, we lose our imagination. Or as Hugh McLeod would say,
“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
The real world eats away at us, older people are quick to call out ludicrous ideas, and unless they’ve heard about it before they don’t trust it.
School teaches us that being wrong is bad, you should listen to what you’re told, shut up, and sit still. That problem with that is, I’m 28, I STILL can’t sit still, I never do what I’m told and it’s still relatively impossible to shut me up.
So what happened to our world? Continue Reading
When you blame someone else for something, no matter what it is, you’re protecting yourself from being wrong or at fault.
When you say you’re sorry and take ownership of the situation, the common misconception is that it makes you look weak or powerless. When actually, saying you’re sorry humanizes you and makes you more likeable.
It’s easy to blame others, it’s hard to blame ourselves.
Understanding this is imperative to you making it in this world. It’s a scary place out there and you need to have thick skin if you want to make it. You have to own up to your mistakes. Take responsibility for when things go wrong, don’t point out where others messed up, shut up and fix it yourself. If you get the reputation as the person who takes responsibility, who gets things done, and isn’t afraid of being wrong, you’re grooming yourself to be a leader.
When you blame others for something, it gives you nothing to do about it. Once you blame yourself, you now have something to work on. In the book Bounce it talks about how world class athletes sometimes feel lost when they win, because they have nothing they need to work on. Continue Reading
I had an enlightening conversation with my sister the other day. She works for a company in Calgary. She really understands the industry (realizing this after many probing questions of course) she’s worked her way up to a point where she’s quite valuable in the company, and she still doesn’t know how smart she is.
She isn’t lazy, hates being board, and understands that a stressful, hectic, growing company is much better to be working for than a stale, easy to do job, at a company going no where. The way she thinks is simply refreshing. A great person to have on the team. She truly wants to see her company grow and has a pretty good handle on how to go about doing that.
The best part? She doesn’t have a University degree. Nor do I think she needs one, I think she’s brilliant.
School was never her thing, so she couldn’t pay attention in class and learn, just like many kids back in the day and even more so today. She probably would be diagnosed with a mild version of attention deficit hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But she’s so intelligent in how she thinks. She understands how actions affect other people, she’s self-aware, and really has the companies best interests in mind. Continue Reading
I found this video that Robin Sharma had Tweeted the other day. It really is worth your time to watch. It’s called How To Think Like A Superhero.
Robin Sharma wrote one of my favorite books The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and the best selling The Leader Who Had no Title.
In the video he talk about thinking like a superhero. His thesis is that super successful people, CEOs, celebrities etc. aren’t more special than you or me but that they have a far superior work ethic than the average person. He says at one point that these successful people he’s interviewed and worked with can accomplish in a day what most people do in a month.
The secret to success is that there is no secret to success, there’s no way around it, you have to work hard at it. But if you do work hard, and focus on a goal, you will accomplish it.
You should pick up some Shwarma and sit down and read some Robin Sharma.
(Photo credit: http://fullmetalcynic.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/when-real-life-becomes-a-superhero-action-movie/)
This week’s intriguing podcast is from one of the best story telling Podcasts in the World, it’s called “This American Life“. Hosted by Ira Glass, the This American Life Podcast is one of the highest rated podcasts on iTunes and one of my personal favorites. It doesn’t focus on business or marketing in general but more so great stories and even better story tellers. Every week there are different experts interviewed which makes for a very entertaining as well as educational podcast.
Podcast: Play in new window
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