Principles of Product Design
02

Story first

Find your North Star

Listen to Chapter

Story is a profoundly important device to unite design teams around a shared product vision. This powerful communication tool helps us retain information and empathize with others. As companies scale and teams sprint through product iterations, it’s easy to lose sight of how your product should fit into the lives of your customers. The best way to keep everyone pointed in the right direction is with a clear, compelling story—a story that will unite and guide teams towards success.

Product roadmaps guide team milestones, but they only show us what to build and when. They don’t show us why we’re building a product. Stories, however, are great at explaining why.

In Start with Why, author Simon Sinek proclaims, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Similarly, the best product teams don’t merely follow a process; they march toward a shared destination—a vision of the future presented as a story that answers, “Why are we building this?”

We’ve been using stories to answer big questions for thousands of years. Long before humans could write, we used stories to share our most important messages. Through story, Aborigines passed down their origin through thousands of generations, and ancient cave painters depicted the movements of the constellations and the magic of the spirit world. Story is a tried-and-true methodology for collective understanding.

We’ve been encoding information in stories for so long, our minds have evolved into story super-processors, easily plucking out important messages for long-term recall and helping us empathize with others. Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has found “people remember information when it’s weaved into narratives up to 22 times more than facts alone.” Findings from a study published in the journal Science suggest that literary fiction “uniquely engages the psychological processes needed to gain access to characters’ subjective experiences.” In other words, we can more keenly empathize with others when we learn about them through story.

Like thousands of stories told through the ages, product stories connect people and ideas. There are many ways to tell a product story, but they all start with a little planning.

Planning a product story

Product stories find their origins in research, not genius. Customer interviews will expose important moments of frustration, aspiration, and triumph—all of which are potential plot points in your story. Pixar uses a simple narrative structure to capture the essence of a story.

Pixar’s narrative shorthand makes it easy to flesh out a plot for a product story, and makes plain why your product is important to build. For example, let’s plug Airbnb’s product into this framework:

Once upon a time there was an artistic couple in Asheville, NC living in a charming home with a guest cottage out back. Every day they left each other and their lovely home to earn the money to help them pay their mortgage. One day they discovered a way to earn extra money by renting their guest cottage. Because of that, they were able to pay off their mortgage more quickly and save a bit extra for retirement. Because of that, they spent less time working and more time together. Until finally they were able to retire and live the life they’d dreamed of.

Unlike design comps and prototypes, product stories aren’t concerned with the UI of the product—just the people who will use it and in what context. A product story is very high level, answering a simple question: how will this product fit into the lives of others?

To answer this question, we can follow these principles

  • A good product story demonstrates how a cast of characters—your customers—behaves in specific settings.
  • An effective product story shows how your product creates value in your customers’ lives.
  • An achievable product story takes place in the near future—freeing your team from the technical constraints of today. Show people the future that can be created if everyone works together.
  • A product story is a visual explanation. It should be shared as a storyboard, a map, a comic, a series of illustrations, or a video.

Humans are visual thinkers. We often need to see something before we can comprehend it. Visuals will turn the abstract ideas of a product concept into a North Star that can guide teams to deliver on that vision.

One thing to keep in mind is that a product story shouldn’t be overly prescriptive about how to realize that future. Every team involved—designers, developers, marketers, ops—will have to use their own domain expertise and judgment to deliver on their end of the work. The product story should inspire and inform but never dictate.

Creating the product story

Product stories can take many forms: journey maps, storyboards, videos, even comics. Like any story, there’s an element of entertainment required to generate excitement among your teams and stakeholders.

Crafting user journey maps

In The User’s Journey, Donna Lichaw points out stories tend to follow a common structure. We’re introduced to the characters, their goals, and the setting for the story in the exposition. Conflict ensues, rising to a climactic event, then the characters find a resolution to their problems. Pixar’s narrative structure seen earlier follows a very similar story arc.

Following this story structure we can create a user journey map—an exploration of the myriad ways in which users interact with your product or service over time and across different channels.

A user journey map can be done in many ways, but simple sketches like those presented in The User’s Journey are particularly powerful as they’re fast and more fun than formal documents.

Quick tips to build your user journey map

  • Identify the main character’s goals and the problems they face.
  • Be specific where possible. Quotes from customers and specific findings from research will give your user journey map details that will bring it to life.
  • Point out the hurdles the user must overcome to get to the resolution they desire.
  • Include the devices and channels of communication involved in the user’s journey.
  • Speech bubbles let you expose the customer’s thoughts and words along the way.
  • Use a whiteboard or big paper on a wall to work as a team.
  • Your user journey map will reach more people if it’s informative and fun.

Storyboarding for product design

Storyboards—a collection of illustrated panels with short descriptions depicting key points in a story—are a tool often used by animation and film studios to work through narrative concepts. They were first developed at Walt Disney Studios during the production of Three Little Pigs in 1933.

However, storyboards have found their way into the product design process. According to Nate Blecharczyk, co-founder and CTO at Airbnb, the act of creating a storyboard was a “galvanizing event for the company.” Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, was inspired by how Disney Studios made a huge leap from short animations to their first full-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, using storyboarding to shape the narrative.

Airbnb’s quick initial success portended a large opportunity for growth, but Chesky struggled to see where they might best invest the company’s resources. Taking a cue from Disney, he worked with the design team to produce a storyboard showing the story of their 2 types of customers: guests and hosts.

As Brian Chesky explains, “When you have to storyboard something, the more realistic it is, the more decisions you have to make.” The act of drawing the frames of their storyboards forced the Airbnb team to consider the way their customers feel in each step of the process of renting or hosting.

Visualizing the experience puts you and your team there in the scene, building empathy with users as you strategize the design solutions. Airbnb’s storyboard helped everyone in their rapidly growing company rally around a common cause to design the products that will best serve their customers.

Though Airbnb’s storyboards are very high-fidelity, you don’t need to hire Pixar-quality illustrators to produce your company’s story.

Quick tips to build your product design storyboard

  • Post sticky notes in a grid on a conference room wall and sketch out each scene with Sharpies. Stick figures will suffice, but if you want to refine your drawing skills a bit check out See What I Mean, Kevin Cheng’s guide to drawing product stories. The act of thinking through the characters and the context of how your product will be used is the most important part of this process.
  • Create photo storyboards using your phone. Get a few people together to act out the product experience, and snap photos of each step. Having a cheap wireless printer on hand will make it easy to produce a high-fidelity storyboard in just a couple of hours. Drop your photos into Keynote or PowerPoint to create a quick presentation that can be shared in meetings or emails.
  • Online tools like Boards let you piece together a storyboard quickly and share with colleagues.

Video product stories

When the stakes are high and the timeline to completion is long, consider producing your product story as a video, which will help the people making a product connect with the customer experience.

Video transports us to new places and makes us feel like we’re part of the story. Video’s immersive qualities also make it good at forming long-term memories—yet another important advantage when mobilizing large teams toward a common cause.

Video is also easy to share. Once you upload your video to a service like Vimeo, your product vision will have a URL that can be dropped in an email or a Slack channel for all to view and reference.

One disadvantage to producing video product stories is the required time commitment: you’ll need to write a script, gather some people to serve as your actors, and maybe rent some basic video equipment.

While preparing for a major app redesign, the UX team I led at MailChimp produced a vision video to guide the company on what was to be a 4-month project. The research team noticed, after a number of customer visits, that people were doing work differently. Internet connections on phones and tablets let people work anywhere and all the time, ducking in and out of small tasks. This created a sense of found time quickly filled up with more to-dos. As people became overwhelmed with their work, they needed to hand things off to others. Seeing these behavioral patterns, we realized we needed to rethink how MailChimp handled collaboration across many devices.

The project required the collaboration of many teams. We wrote a short script and worked with our in-house videographer to produce a brief vision video in about 10 days.

Faced with a major redesign of their platform, MailChimp created this vision video to guide all teams.

The production was inexpensive and relatively fast, but the outcome was of high enough fidelity to guide designers, developers, marketers, and other stakeholders around the company as they worked to realize the vision set forth.

Quick tips to build your video

  • Determine if the scope of the project warrants a video. New products, long projects, and cross-channel experiences are well served by video product stories.
  • Plan ahead—video shoots can take a bit more time.
  • Avoid specifics like a detailed UI—focus on how the product needs to fit into the lives of your customers, not how the product looks.
  • Keep things simple. Enlist colleagues and friends to act out the parts. Use a DSLR camera to shoot and simple editing software like iMovie to produce your video.
  • Skip the dialogue to speed up video production. Use speech bubble overlays instead.

Product story offshoots

Stories are always better with well developed characters. User personas and job stories can help you transform findings about customers into clear portraits of the people you’re designing for and their behavioral motivations.

User personas

User Personas are archetypal representations of key customer segments. They give a name and a face to otherwise abstract customer data, inspiring empathy and informing design.

Personas can take many forms, from documents to posters, but they’re most effective when visible. The MailChimp UX team created a series of persona posters to guide their product. While pulling a shot from the espresso machine or lunching in the common space, the persona posters reminded everyone in the company of the people using their product.

Quick tips for creating user personas

  • Line up interviews with customers in each key segment.
  • Analyze the findings from your interviews to determine common traits and goals within each customer segment.
  • Create a profile representative of the largest common groupings.
  • Refresh often, as personas are merely a snapshot in time and not built to last.

Job stories

Job stories come from the Jobs to Be Done framework developed by Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of the influential book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Core to Christensen’s Jobs to Be Done theory is that we don’t buy products, we hire them to do a job. By discerning the job a product is hired to do, we can better understand the motivations of customers.

Job stories are based on customer interviews that employ a very specific technique that takes the customer back to the moment of purchase to expose the situations and motivations that lead to their decision.

Job stories and user personas are very different. Personas represent specific segments of customers that have a shared set of characteristics, skills, and perspectives. Job stories are only concerned with a customer’s motivations within a specific context.

A job story follows a simple structure:

Breaking down the job story

Each section of the job story reveals a specific piece of information:

  • Situation: When ___________
  • Motivation: I want to ___________
  • Expected outcome: so I can ___________.

For instance:

When I commute to and from work for hours each day in my car I want to do something productive and stimulating so I can feel like I’m not wasting time and actually make my commute productive.

A job story like this provides rich insight into the problem to be solved: this commuting time is ripe for the right product or service to make wasted time instead feel like a newfound opportunity.

Quick tips to create your job story

  • Interview customers following the Jobs To Be Done interview process
  • Identify the situation, motivations, and  desired outcomes related to the customer’s purchase
  • Create a job story for each customer interview
  • Compare job stories for each interview to find patterns

Fitting into the lives of others

The storytelling mechanism you choose is less important than the story you tell. The act of creating a product story before you begin the design process not only helps you mobilize your teams, it also forces you to clarify your intentions for your product. You’ll step out of the maker’s mindset and consider how your product will fit into the lives of others.

Peering through the microscope at the details and execution of a project is important, but only after we’ve gotten the perspective from the Earth to our North Star, getting a glimpse at the future we can create. Story First is a simple principle to help you and your whole company work together on big ideas.

Principles of Product Design
04

Show and tell

Create a culture of feedback

Listen to Chapter

by Aarron Walter

Feedback is the lifeblood of a healthy design team. It informs the design process, leads to better products, and helps designers grow. Despite its essential role in design, it’s too often absent in our work.

In most design programs, feedback is folded into virtually every aspect of learning. I was reminded of this fact a couple years ago when I was invited to the Stanford d.school to speak to Enrique Allen’s class about design. Before meeting with students, Enrique provided a quick tour, pointing out works in progress. His colleague Scott Doorley joined us to explain the thinking behind each workspace in the school.

In some ways the school was like many others I’d visited—the energy of overly caffeinated students laboring over projects was palpable. But there was something peculiar about it: every space was messy. Not unkempt, but messy with ideas in progress. There was a sense of urgency to the way work was posted on walls and scribbled upon. Work tables were strewn with exacto knives, rulers, tape and scraps of paper—instruments of creation. All the furniture—desks, couches, work tables, and whiteboards—was fitted with casters and either pushed into clusters for conversation or lined up against the walls to open up room to build. The space was very carefully designed to facilitate the chaos of creative thinking.

The energy was incredible, and I didn’t want to leave. It was an ecosystem of ideas, where projects sprouted and grew or died to make room for the next experiment.

The d.school’s design studio is so different from those in nearly every tech company, where the space is pristinely decorated and filled with desks for solitary work. The walls of most startups I’ve visited are reserved for clever posters or artsy murals, not the design concepts that will lead to the next product release. Those designs remain trapped in a legion of MacBooks, starved for critical discourse that could help them grow into something far greater.

Healthy feedback

Something’s lost when we transition into the professional design world. Work no longer happens out in the open. Creative chaos is traded in for tidy presentations of fully formed ideas. Things stop being messy.

The d.school’s messy studio is an indicator of a healthy feedback process. Students are making things, showing what they’ve made, and getting feedback that helps them see their work differently. Then the process repeats, often quickly.

Healthy design teams have feedback built into their processes, so ideas can evolve and designers can grow. Work is shared with colleagues consistently and intentionally in design reviews, daily standups, and casual conversations.

Building feedback into our design practice helps in so many ways:

  • It helps us avoid spending too much time on a design that may have significant flaws.
  • It gives us multiple perspectives on a single problem, helping the designer get closer to an effective solution faster.
  • Presenting work for feedback keeps the team synced on project progress, and holds everyone accountable to milestones and deadlines.
  • As designers get in the habit of presenting their work and giving feedback to others, they learn to think more clearly about their design decisions and become comfortable articulating their ideas.
  • Regular feedback processes will give junior designers the opportunity to learn from senior designers, helping your entire team level up.

There are many ways to create a culture of feedback in your team, but be patient—change won’t happen overnight.

Related: E-course: Making a product designer

Creating a culture of feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is a skill that needs to be cultivated. Dropping a few design reviews on the team calendar creates the opportunity for your team to exchange feedback, but it doesn’t ensure that anyone will actually know how to participate.

It can be a little scary to give feedback—we don’t want to create conflict by coming across as negative. And receiving feedback is even more intimidating. No one wants their work to be criticized! With practice, your team will learn that these fears are misplaced. Design feedback, when properly delivered, is constructive, supportive, and helps designers grow.

As they talk about design, your team will develop the language they need to deliver constructive feedback, and their perspectives on the qualities of good design will mature. You’ll hear fewer vague observations and more constructive feedback that can improve the design. For instance, rather than hearing, “I like the type you’ve chosen,” you’ll begin to notice statements like, “The type selection feels trendy, which contradicts the project’s goal of inspiring trust in the content.” The former isn’t helpful, while the latter is instructive.

Tweaking the language used in critiques can help ensure designers don’t take criticism personally. Say “the design doesn’t meet the goals of the project,” not “you didn’t meet the goals of the project.” Always talk about the work, not the person who made it.

Good feedback develops with rapport. For that reason, you may want to temper overly critical feedback early on so people feel safe presenting their work. Designers need to hear where they’re headed in the wrong direction, but deliver the message with encouragement. Work your way into more direct criticism once rapport and trust are established.

Setting the stage

Feedback happens more naturally when you create the right environment. Does your design practice make affordances for creative chaos like the Stanford d.school does, or is it built for solitary work?

By simply changing your space, you can set the stage for feedback and collaboration in your team. For distributed and remote teams, this is doubly important. Establishing dedicated times and places for sharing works in progress keeps everyone connected.

In person

The walls of your design studio are a sacred space. This is where your team’s ideas can be shared, debated, retooled, and celebrated. Make it clear to your team that the studio walls are not a gallery—this is work space!

If you don’t already have one, invest in a large format printer and get the whole team connected. Print design work daily and post to your studio walls for scheduled design reviews and casual conversations.

If your walls aren’t ideal for posting work, you can buy 8-foot by 4-foot sheets of foam core and lean them against your walls. Get some nice Washi tape to post your designs in style (and easily peel off later). Leave markers and sticky notes nearby so your team and anyone in the company can easily jot down feedback and post it.

The design team at Greater Good Studio has gone so far as to create project bays, a modular space to post work for critical discussion. Each new project they begin gets its own bay—a physical manifestation of their progress.

The fidelity of the work you post can influence the feedback you get. Pixel perfect comps may lead others to believe the work is finished, which will inhibit feedback. Work that’s lower fidelity or with notes scribbled on it will make it clear to all that you’re still working through ideas.

Remote

Remotes teams can also set the stage for feedback using tools like Slack, Trello, Google Hangouts, and of course, InVision. The entire design team at InVision is distributed and uses their own product to conduct design reviews. LiveShare, a design collaboration feature in InVision, lets the team present and get real-time feedback. Early ideas are explored with Freehand and Boards, later becoming Prototypes that are again shared with the team for feedback.

With so many affordable tools at hand, remote teams can easily build feedback into their design process too.

Bringing everyone into the process

Once your space is set up and designs are being posted, pay attention to how people behave. In person, are more people stopping by, curious about your work? Are spontaneous conversations happening in front of design work? Do you see designers staring at the wall, head tilted, pondering what’s been posted? Online, are people commenting on work shared on Slack or InVision? Is your Trello board exploding with links to new ideas?

These are all positive signs that your culture is shifting for the better. You’re bringing everyone into the design process!

Formalizing the feedback process

Designing out in the open is just the first step. Your team will also need to get feedback on their designs, sync with teammates to make sure progress is being made, and learn from mistakes. This is a tall order and calls for different types of feedback processes.

Let’s take a look at a few ways to get your team the right feedback at the right time.

Design reviews

When they should happen: Early, midway, and at the end of a project

Who should be there: The designer plus no more than 7 people

How it helps: Designers get the feedback they need to refine their work

Design reviews are critiques that let designers get detailed feedback that’s framed by the project goals. Design reviews can happen at a number of different points in a project. It’s often helpful to do it early on so the designer can get fresh perspectives before investing too much time in an idea that may be misguided. The midway point and towards the end of a project are also natural times to get additional input.

Never use a design review as a big reveal of project. If you wait until you have everything polished, you’ll be too invested to accept the feedback you’re given.

Design reviews are a great opportunity to bring in experts from other teams. Colleagues from customer support, engineering, QA, legal, marketing, or even an executive may have a new perspective to help you see the problem differently. But try not to overload the guest list in these reviews—too many people and you’ll have a hard time guiding the conversation.

Design reviews are not a free-for-all. They should be run with these rules in mind:

Use a facilitator

The designer is not the best person to facilitate a conversation about her work. She’ll have biases that could influence the feedback, and she needs to be free to listen to the conversation unencumbered. The facilitator will write down all of the feedback and share it with the design team after the review.

A facilitator will set the ground rules for the conversation:

  • State the time limit for the design review
  • Introduce the designer and remind everyone that feedback should not turn into committee design. “Susan is the designer of the work we’re reviewing today. We’ll be helping her get fresh perspectives on her work, but let’s offer feedback—not design suggestions. She will use our feedback to inform her decisions.”
  • Let people know how they should give feedback. “Feedback should be specific and candid. Let’s point out what’s working well and what needs refinement. Remember, we’re critiquing the work, not the designer.”

Don’t rush into the review. The facilitator should give everyone time to review the work and for their observations to take shape in silence before the conversation begins.

Frame the problem

The facilitator should give the designer an opportunity to frame the problem at the beginning of the review, including any user and business goals. For example, “Users want to save money more effectively, and we want to keep customers engaged by teaching them to manage their money better.”

Identify the constraints of the project: ”Due to legal constraints, we have to disclose this information before the user can enroll in this new program.” If reviewers aren’t aware of the constraints and goals of the project, their feedback is unlikely to be helpful.

Say what you need

The designer should state what she needs from the design review: ”I’m trying to determine if this photo upload workflow is intuitive.” This will help keep the feedback focused, and prevent the group from wandering into unproductive conversations.

Don’t pitch, just listen

The designer should not pitch her idea or over-explain her designs. If she does, she robs everyone of the fresh eyes they bring to the design review. Once the designer has framed the problem and stated her needs, she should simply listen to the feedback.

Design standups

When they should happen: Daily, if possible

Who should be there: Everyone on the design team

How it helps: Your team gets the chance to sync up on projects

Design standups are short, daily check-ins that help your team stay abreast of the work being done. As the name suggests, everyone remains standing in these meetings so no one can get comfortable enough to launch into a soliloquy.

In a standup, each team member answers 3 questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are there any impediments in your way?

While most teams choose to conduct standups in the morning, you may want to consider doing them after lunch—the morning is when our minds are clearest and ready to focus on creative work.

Don’t let standups turn into impromptu design critiques. If someone needs immediate design feedback, ask that they hold the request until after the meeting. A standup should be short and focused on project progress.

Retrospectives

When they should happen: After a project is launched or a sprint is completed

Who should be there: Everyone who worked on the project

How it helps: Your team will internalize lessons from each project

Every project is a learning opportunity, but if you don’t pause to take stock, valuable lessons will slip by. When you’ve launched a project or completed a sprint, reflect on what went well, what was confusing, and what didn’t go so well.

Matth Spiel, Director of Design at Treehouse, conducts retrospective meetings regularly. He sends a pre-retrospective survey to the team before the meeting to capture each person’s perspective individually. This helps to eliminate the bandwagon effect, which happens when the views of the group conform to those of a few vocal people.

Matt asks his team to rate their performance both as a group and as individuals on a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is the highest. Ratings tend to cluster in a similar spot, but occasionally there are outliers. Team members who’ve given starkly different ratings are asked to share their views in the meeting to promote transparency and honesty.

Discussion in Treehouse’s retrospective meetings is centered around 3 questions common to most Agile retrospectives:

  • What worked well for us?
  • What didn’t work well for us?
  • What can we do to improve our process?

These questions are sometimes referred to as Start, Stop, Keep—what should we start doing, stop doing, and keep doing?

Honest conversation about each of these questions becomes easier with the cultivation of trust and plenty of practice running retrospective meetings.

Postmortems

When they should happen: After a project has gone poorly

Who should be there: Everyone who worked on the project and an impartial facilitator

How it helps: Your team will learn from their mistakes and find a way forward

Not all projects go well. Some go horribly wrong, requiring all teams involved in the project to come together to consider and learn from the mistakes they made.

Though projects rarely go awry at Etsy, they’ve established a strong process to guide them through those that do. Their process follows many of the recommendations set forth in the Agile methodology.

Here’s how a typical postmortem is run:

  • Before the meeting: Send an email asking the team to identify key points in the project timeline. This will be used to construct a master timeline of events, which will be discussed in the meeting. By focusing on events, you’ll avoid negative finger pointing, which can derail the process.
  • Moderator: Choose a moderator. This person, who wasn’t on the project and can be impartial, should be guiding the conversation from the whiteboard, taking notes for all to see.
  • Ground rules: The moderator should first point out that this is not a blame session. It’s a conversation about the shortcomings of the team’s process, not the people involved. It’s an opportunity to learn!
  • Facts: People recall events differently. The moderator can help the team agree upon what actually happened so lessons can be extracted. Establishing a timeline of events can help pinpoint where things went wrong.
  • Lessons and actions: As key lessons are identified, they should be written on the whiteboard for all to see. The actions required to mitigate the problems stemming from the failed project also need to be identified, assigned an owner, and provided a clear deadline.
  • After the meeting: The lessons learned from the postmortem should be emailed to the entire team, along with the action items that are to be completed.

Postmortems can seem rough, but they’re far superior to repeating the same mistakes. They’re a powerful opportunity for your team to learn and improve your processes.

Putting show and tell into practice

I’ve mentored a number of talented designers seeking guidance on their career path. All tell me the same thing: “I just want to work somewhere where I can grow and learn.” As they visit various companies, interviewing for their next design post, they can sense right away if the environment will give them the growth opportunity they crave. How? They recognize the signs of a company with a culture of feedback.

They see work on the walls. They see the messy signs of creative progress. Design critique is fluid and not limited to formal meetings. These are the signs of a healthy design team, fueled by feedback and always improving.

Building a culture of feedback takes time, but these simple steps will help you enact change:

  • Rethink your design studio: Create areas for work to be posted to foster spontaneous design discussion. It’s okay to be messy. Scribble on comps, add notes, post different versions of the same concept.
  • Stay in sync: Schedule short, daily standup meetings for your team to sync up on projects. It may be best to schedule them at the end of the day, so you don’t block the mornings when minds are most creative and ready to design.
  • Make time for feedback: Schedule design reviews for every project. They should be frequent enough for designers to get the feedback they need to avoid going too far down the wrong path.
  • Learn and grow: Schedule retrospectives after every project to capture lessons learned. When things go wrong, a postmortem meeting will help you learn from your mistakes without pointing fingers.

Hiring, coaching, and retaining great designers is made much easier when design and feedback are out in the open. Help your team show their work and tell you all about it.

About the Authors

Aarron Walter
VP Design Education, InVision

As the VP of Design Education at InVision, Aarron Walter draws upon 15 years of experience running product teams and teaching design to help companies enact design best practices. Aarron founded the UX practice at MailChimp and helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. His design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups and venture capitalist firms.

He is the author of the best selling book Designing for Emotion from A Book Apart. You’ll find @aarron on Twitter sharing thoughts on design. Learn more at http://aarronwalter.com.