Cramming for the new job!

As I prepare for my new UX Director role with the big data analytics start-up Cloud Physics, there is a range of categories of knowledge I’ve been rapidly absorbing (i.e., cramming ;-) so I can hit the ground… umm, sprinting, as it is!

Below is is a brief summary of what I’ve been refreshing myself on over the past several days:

** Customer-oriented metrics: Being a data-driven start-up, I need to gain maximum understanding of key concepts around customer engagement, adoption, retention and satisfaction (Google’s HEART framework with GSM, in particular), including NPS and other useful metrics for driving not just design decisions but also supporting business goals. Keying up for A/B testing is a necessary part of this, irrespective of my own personal disliking ;-) 

** Business model canvas: Oosterwalder and team have created the ultimate tool for applying designerly approaches to shaping a business. The critical elements that comprise that business and how they interact with each other—that’s something to constantly keep in my mind as we evolve the business and product offerings this year.

** Visual production & UI prototyping tools: There is simply no way around this, I’ve got to roll-up my sleeves and dive heartily into design production, at least initially, before my team is formed. Gotta deliver immediate results to help establish credibility and value, right? And there is no shortage of tools, particularly non-Adobe tools that are free or inexpensive ;-) Being cost-efficient while “satisficing” is a virtue in a start-up context.

** Lean & Agile processes: These methodologies and philosophies have become a simple fact of life for any start-up today, so I’ve got to understand the pitfalls and opportunities inherent to them, as well as anticipate ways to creatively blend them with design-led processes. 

** Big Data concepts: Well, of course! After spending four years dabbling in cloud and virtualization tech, along with multi-touch mobile UX, it’s now time to shift gears, and dive into the concepts and terms that constitute “big data”, beyond buzzwords. How do velocity, variety, volume, and veracity (the Four Vs) impact the data’s expression and interaction within an interface? Hmm!

Finally, I am casually revisiting various favorite design books that have become my “Go to” resource stack, including Microinteractions, Envisioning Information, Designing Visual Interfaces, and so forth…to help with priming the mind for design leadership!

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