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Beyond the UX Tipping Point

[I wrote this in November 2014 and posted it to Design/UX/UI. It takes about 0 minutes Less than a minute to read.]

http://www.uie.com/articles/beyond_ux_tipping_point/

This was shared by @boheme earlier this week, and I had to re-share it here. I’m spending a lot of time at the moment thinking about user journeys, their experience across our games and services, and this article struck a chord. Have we reached the tipping point? Well worth a read, folks.

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My favourite free Omnigraffle stencils

[I wrote this in September 2014 and posted it to Tools. It takes about 1 minute to read.]

I use Omnigraffle a lot. I love it, and have ended up building a number of stencils of my own to make common tasks easier. That said, who really has the time to create a kick-ass iOS 7 UI elements stencil, or other really detailed designs? For that reason, I’m sharing a list of my […]

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Women as background decoration

[I wrote this in August 2014 and posted it to Equality/Diversity. It takes about 0 minutes Less than a minute to read.]

The fantastic Feminist Frequency channel on YouTube recently shared the two videos embedded below. They talk about how games use women as background decoration- sexualised and abused non-playable characters. These aren’t just videos and ideas relevant to people working in the games industry or playing games, but for everyone; they bring to life themes relevant […]

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Bringing Agile to ‘the Business’

[I wrote this in August 2014 and posted it to Project Management. It takes about 6 minutes to read.]

Bringing agile ways of working to teams comprised entirely of people focused on business (ie. the non-tech folk) is a challenge. It’s notoriously hard to do, because the kind of work that’s undertaken isn’t easily shared, paired on, broken into sprint or sub-sprint length tasks. It’s not impossible, though. Here’s some of my experience (a work in progress).

Bringing agile ways of working to a team used to waterfall methodologies, reporting, and documentation will never happen overnight. Prepare to be very, very patient.

Understand the journey

Start by understanding what it is you want to achieve by bringing agile to your team. It’s not a magic pill that suddenly makes you more efficient, not by a long shot. Take a look at the things you aren’t doing well as a team, examine the reasons why that’s so, and then objectively evaluate whether or not practices from the world of agile delivery are even appropriate. They may not be, and certainly don’t assume that an ‘all or nothing’ approach will work.

What’s not so great? On joining a team there was a very clear structure (in terms of org chart) and clear reporting lines. Roles were well defined, but largely in silos. As a result collaboration wasn’t great, and nor was communication. Earphones were often in use throughout the day.

What’s the cause? Having a formal hierarchy and roles in silos makes it very difficult to collaborate. Visibility is poor, and so opportunities to contribute don’t exist.

What’s the agile journey? A full roll out of a formal agile methodology isn’t needed, but bits of one are useful.

Create visibility by employing some kind of information radiator (eg. JIRA). Create a space to interact by reviewing stories (eg. Backlog grooming). Create a collaborative environment by showcasing work and inviting discussion (eg. Monthly showcases).

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Netflix Culture

[I wrote this in August 2014 and posted it to Culture. It takes about 1 minute to read.]

One of the things on my mind a lot right now is ‘culture’. What kind of work environments do I thrive in? What’s important to me? What kind of values do people think are important to me, and do I live them? What values are important to those around me and the company I work for? Do I respect those values? Do I agree?

Lots of pondering, I’m sure you’ll see.

In my research I came across this great post on SlideShare, Culture from Reed Hastings. It’s all about culture and values at Netflix. It’s inspiring how simple they are, how much confidence is placed in people, and how these aren’t just buzzwords, but rather lived and meaningful values.

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