Can tech be better? What can we do as PMs to be more critical and ask more questions.

A vacation away from Twitter and Silicon Valley usually serves as healthy step back and usually allows me to take a higher level look at how tech is perceived by outsiders. The unpleasant truth is that tech is no longer the shining light it once was (once being a scant few months ago) and people … Continue reading Can tech be better? What can we do as PMs to be more critical and ask more questions.

Intentional nostalgia: a guide

A few years ago, a coworker brought in a box of cookies his grandmother had sent him that were exactly like ones my grandmother used to bake. The moment I opened the bag, saw and smelled them, I was transported back into my grandmother’s kitchen, to when I was a child and she baked them … Continue reading Intentional nostalgia: a guide

What’s your favorite app?

It seems like an innocent question, right? One that you could answer after a second or two of thought? After all, you use your phone every hour, every day. Surely you know what your favorite app is, right? I gave that question some thought this week as a product management exercise. As exercises go, it … Continue reading What’s your favorite app?

Google Maps and new metadata: when are customized results too much?

Every time I go on a roadtrip I am surprised by new Google Maps features and this recent winter trip was no exception. Maps surprised me with several new features, three that I thought were intriguing. Out of those, two were helpful and timely. The third, well, I’m not sold. A warning that the destination … Continue reading Google Maps and new metadata: when are customized results too much?

The personalization scale: we don’t have to turn it up to 11

Many of the post-election op-ed pieces focused on analyzing and criticizing Facebook and its handling of its prize property: the newsfeed. I assume that as some point in ancient Facebook history, the goal of the newsfeed was to show users everything their friends shared, chronologically, somewhat like Twitter still does it today. That changed because … Continue reading The personalization scale: we don’t have to turn it up to 11

Jo-Ann’s mobile app – a wasted opportunity to reach out to new makers

Embarking on a Halloween sewing project for the first time, I decided to go big and sew from a real pattern. Having found my pattern online, I took a trip to Jo-Ann, my local craft store, to seal the deal. Naturally, I downloaded their app before heading to the store and it’s not all bad. … Continue reading Jo-Ann’s mobile app – a wasted opportunity to reach out to new makers

We’re using our phone camera in different ways and photo apps aren’t keeping up

I read an interesting post yesterday titled “Apple doesn’t understand photography.” It explains how Apple thinks the typical use case for their photo app is a holdover from the days of analog photography: “we go on a trip, take a bunch of photos then struggle with how to show our friends these photos when we … Continue reading We’re using our phone camera in different ways and photo apps aren’t keeping up

Are there any advantages to irritating users?

This morning I had the pleasure (pleasure?) of encountering a form of gate-keeping at some of the more popular user-generated-content sites. Usually the block comes in the form of a persistent layover that darkens content and requires either downloading the app, signing up for an account or both. In the cases I saw, at Airbnb, … Continue reading Are there any advantages to irritating users?

Overlays in apps – defining best practices

One of the pieces of feedback I have gotten on my app is that the onboarding is too long and, chances are, users will not complete it. The problem is that if users don’t invest the time to set up the app, they will not gain any value from it and will probably end up deleting … Continue reading Overlays in apps – defining best practices

Insights from a pro about building successful mobile apps

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Ms SC Moatti speak about her new book (which isn’t out yet, and I wasn’t lucky enough to snag a copy in the post-talk raffle) “Mobilized: An Insider's Guide to the Business and Future of Connected Technology.” In the talk, she chose to focus on … Continue reading Insights from a pro about building successful mobile apps