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.

Mock-ups: Speeding up Development with Crude Prototypes

All too often, I see companies wait to vet a new concept or product idea with end users until they have a production-looking prototype. If you’re doing this, I have a question: why?Maybe it is because you are trying to impress your boss.Or maybe you’ve trained your customers to only evaluate production-looking prototypes.Whatever the reason, stop.You’re risking valuable time and money. Plus, you’re hindering your ability to get brutally honest feedback on your concept or product idea when you need it most. Enter the Mockup

Design Impact: The Future of Design & Business

Not all the organizations we interact with see Design as the plus it is. No matter how much we try to explain it, decision makers question the true impact Design has on the future of their business.
The reason? It is extremely difficult to provide concrete, measurable results for Design in and of itself. So historically, we have been unable to “show them the money” that results from an investment in Design.
The people that “get it” almost always start with a leap of faith. And in many organizations, it’s really hard to get the right people to take that leap. That which is measurable most always rules, and the impact of Design is not easily measurable.
Thanks to McKinsey & Co., we now have actual, measurable proof…

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.