Design Journal

Our Design Journal is a collection of informational editorials crafted by the minds of our team. We offer a back-stage pass to the product development world by exposing tough challenges, highlighting best practices, and offering strategic advice– all through the lens of our collective experience.

Best of CES Las Vegas 2019: 5 Consumer Electronics Trends

“Why, don’t you look fresh,” a grandmotherly robot in a rocking chair told me, while reminding me to hydrate throughout the day. The cute, unsettling robot was the beginning of our CES journey and a Google Disney-esque ride through the Google smart home. The doors opened, a story was told and we bought into it. No app downloads, little to no screen time, family bliss. It wasn’t about the tech, but the output of the tech and the promise of information ready at your fingertips. And this seamless access perfection, promising to improve our lives, represented the entire experience we were about to have at CES…

9 Trends to Watch for in 2019

Product design trends are on our minds as we close in on the end of 2018 and wrap up our 2019 planning and budgeting process.
So, what do we anticipate in the year ahead? What product design trends are influencing decisions and investment for our clients, our profession, and product development overall?
That’s a big question.

Product Manager Skills Required? Time for Systems Thinking.

The right product manager—with the right mindset—has a unique opportunity to be a shining, unifying light in a company of dedicated specialists. And making the most of that opportunity is what separates the true product visionaries from the paper pushers. Systems Thinking is the key.

Don’t Design in the Dark

Trick question: When you assemble a team for a product development project, who needs to be at the table? If you’ve worked in the product world for any length of time, you immediately recognize this as a charged and complicated question.

10 Must-Reads for Every Product Developer

Let’s be honest. As product developers, we’d rather be in our labs, plugging away at our latest project and actually, you know, creating. But even the most creative brains need to power-down and seek inspiration from other creative brains once in a while. It keeps us fresh…
And who doesn’t love seeing some amazing new design someone else has come up with? If only so that we can say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?”
But sadly, the time of a product developer, designer, or manager is precious and limited, often with little time to search out spots for fresh ideas. So we’ll help you out!
Here are the top 10 items on our team’s collective online reading list (plus 1 shocking bonus item).

3 Product Development Horror Stories

As a firm, M3 Design has put a stake in the ground for Stakeholder Centered Design. We’ve been in the trenches. We’ve seen products developed overly focused on the end user vs. tuned into all relevant stakeholders. We’ve watched as stakeholder-related missteps made projects blow up. Here are 3 real-life tales of woe with 9 lessons you can take away to avoid disaster.

User Centered Design Is Dead

User centered design is dead. Yes, I said it. And I meant it. It’s not that I’m anti-user, of course. User centered design is critical to the success of most—if not all—products. Which is why we at M3 obsess over user needs every day. But it’s not all we obsess over. Because the user is just 1 piece in a large and complicated puzzle.

#NoFilter Insights from CES 2018

CES is a whirlwind. With nearly 4000 exhibits spread throughout Las Vegas, it is humanly impossible to visit and dedicate time to each and every booth. Fortunately, we found the most interesting bits. M3 team members Heather Benoit and Christy Sepulveda break it down for you…

Large & Lean:
A 5-Lesson Refresher Course on Lean Methodology

Why is it that so many companies—particularly large, established companies—consistently struggle to innovate? It’s not for lack of trying. And it’s not for lack of understanding the value of breakthrough innovation and its frequent predecessor, lean methodology. Here’s a quick refresher on how you can apply lean methodology at your company.

7 Steps to Smarter R&D Strategy:
A Planning Guide

When should you incrementally improve your existing products? And when should you develop replacements?
I have an answer for you—a powerful technique that involves applying some smart design thinking. Get this R&D strategy right, and your path to success should become crystal clear.