I write about design, technology, and people.
Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.
– if you're interested in older posts or looking for something specific.
People have asked me how to get a job at Google many times.
I’ve compiled frequently asked questions and provided brief
answers to them. The FAQ might grow and update over time.
Photo credits: dxmeetup.ch
UXers often talk about not having a seat at the table. In
addition to that, they are often under-leveled when compared
to their peers. So, how to get into all those critical
conversations early on and how to influence product development?
When I started at Google, I was a solo designer on my team,
had only sporadic support from user research, and a remote
manager. Over the years, some behaviors have proved successful
in building trust and influence with cross-functional stakeholders.
Kind people from Digital Experience meetup have invited
me to give a talk in Basel, and I thought collaboration and
influence might be interesting topics to a broad audience.
I had the pleasure of participating in a panel, organized in
collaboration with Google for Startups and Impact Hub
Zürich, about the growing role of UX in enterprise
software. We covered many topics from how UX teams are
organized in Google to how to deal with inherent complexity
and ambiguity of enterprise products. One question that I
particularly liked was:
A classic case for enterprise products is to replace an
ad-hoc solution based on spreadsheets. Is it worth fighting
against the spreadsheet metaphor?
The short answer is no. Spreadsheets in electronic form have
existed for about 40 to 50 years, and paper ones have been in
business for much longer. Spreadsheets are powerful and
versatile, and that should be acknowledged and embraced. The
real skill is deciding when you should build a specialized
system that can do specific tasks better than spreadsheets.
Those tasks usually require a need for enforcement of rules
and policies, instant sharing between systems, sophisticated
automation, a stable data source, or simply processing an
enormous amount of data. For a lot of other tasks,
spreadsheets are a cheap and good enough solution. Just ensure
there is an easy way of moving data between specialized
systems and spreadsheets—people will love you for that.
I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a
coward? What is the difference between being yellow and
being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel
the same. They both fear dying and getting hurt. The man who
is yellow refuses to face up to what he’s got to face. The
hero is more disciplined and he fights those feelings off
and he does what he has to do. But they both feel the same,
the hero and the coward. People who watch you judge you on
what you do, not how you feel.
— Cus D’amato, legendary boxing trainer
I told my wife today how a song about Heidi plays every Friday
at 17:00 in our Zürich office. It marks the end of a working
week and the start of our local TGIF. My wife went to YouTube
to search for it. She opened one of the first few results and
asked me if that’s the one. (Watch only the first minute.)
If you want to read more, check out the