The Rise of the On-Demand Personal Assistant: A Look Into Perssist

Added 1/29/15 11:30 AM

By Sean Echevarria, Business Partnerships Lead

With venture funding at its highest peak since 2000, it's not surprising to be running into entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds. Most notably, I’ve come across so many ex-Wall Street business people that took everything they learned in finance and applied it to their own ideas. To be honest most of their ideas don’t pan out to much (nothing against Wall Street, startups in general are risky), but once in a while I’ll find someone that’s on to something. Or in this case, they’ll find us.


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Topics: Disruption & Innovation Startups & Business Management

Will People Pay for an Innovative Solution If It's Cheap?

Added 1/28/15 1:00 PM

By Christo Claassens, Senior User Experience Designer

I favor a world that is simple. As an experience designer, I’m drawn to simple solutions. And in my experience working with organizations, the simple solution is often right in front of your eyes, but actually seeing it is time and again not that simple.

While practicing my craft, I have encountered many reasons that obscure the simple solution:

Budget - There’s no money

Schedules - There’s no time

Resources - Who will find time, and how will it be done?

Yet, what if all of these things don’t matter? What if the solution is cheap, quick to build, and doesn’t need plenty of resources? Surely then it’s a no-brainer to move forward.

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Topics: Experience Design Research & Discovery Product & Service Design

Avoiding the Curveball: Improving the ‘When’ of User Research

Added 1/20/15 11:00 AM

By Matt Karp, Senior Design Researcher

Often project kickoff calls follow the same series of steps: Discuss the issue. Get to know the main players. Start to come up with a plan of attack. Once in a while, however, those calls may throw you a curveball or two (you may have already read our response to a stakeholder’s expressed goal to conduct improper research to send a message to their superiors). Maybe it’s a logistical limitation or some unusual testing criteria, but despite all the excitement of kicking off a new project, often we may find ourselves (as so many UX professionals do) thrown into a design cycle too late to allow for truly meaningful change.

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Topics: Design Thinking Experience Design Research & Discovery

8 Quick Tips for Design Researchers and Moderators

Added 1/12/15 9:30 AM

By Julie Thiery, Senior Design Researcher


Sometimes the basics of moderating a user experience or design thinking research session get buried beneath the project details or moderator script. Before every research session I conduct, I flip to the inside cover of my field notebook or open the email I sent to myself that morning to remind myself to be mindful of these basic, but crucial, moderator tips to follow as I begin each session:

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Topics: Research & Discovery Tools & Downloads

The Trick to Being A Great Design Researcher and Moderator

Added 1/9/15 1:00 PM

By Julie Thiery, Senior Design Researcher


"It's all about empathy!" -- That's my response when people ask me how to be a great moderator of user experience and design research sessions. The trick is to lead with empathy, even before you ask your first question. It's the pre-interview preparation that's really important; what steps you take as the moderator to prepare yourself to walk in another's shoes.

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Topics: Research & Discovery Tools & Downloads

What's in Motivate Design's Holiday Gift Box this Year?

Added 1/5/15 8:30 AM

By Rae Marie Guimond, Marketing Manager

You won't find a wine stopper or paperweight in our gift box.

Here's a glimpse at our holiday gift! Every year our team has so much fun deciding on a gift, designing the packaging, and writing our year-end letter. Our inspiration this year was thinking about all the possible ways we're going to "knock your socks off" with What If and design thinking in 2015. So, what could be better than a gift of socks from LittleMissMatched?

See the Full 2014 Motivate Design Holiday Letter 

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Topics: News & Events

One Taxi App to Hail Them All: Can Chicago Unseat Uber?

Added 12/19/14 4:10 PM

By Rae Marie Guimond, Marketing Manager

In October, Hailo, a London-based ride-for-hire dispatch service with a smartphone app that customers could use to schedule a taxi or black car pick up, ceased operations in the U.S. and Canada, citing struggles in competing with market leader Uber and exorbitant marketing costs. Instead, Hailo will focus on cities in Europe and Asia, leaving customers in places like New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto with one less transportation hailing alternative to Uber.

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Topics: Design Thinking Disruption & Innovation What If Technique

The Power of Storytelling

Added 12/5/14 9:30 AM

By Sean Echevarria, Business Partnerships Lead

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down, and I'd like to a minute just sit right there. I'll tell you how... Well you know the rest. And man did the Fresh Prince know how to tell a story. This blog post is part of The Power Series. As you can probably tell, I'm going to focus the next few minutes on the power of storytelling. 


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Topics: Design Thinking Startups & Business Management

Put an Icon on It

Added 12/1/14 5:15 PM

By Anne Borremans, Senior Visual Designer

As a visual designer, I'm often tempted to add iconography to the designs I'm working on. After all, they're an effective way to add visual interest and clarity to the message at hand, right? They explain actions and tasks, communicate instantly (and in a universal language!)--they make comprehension simple, right?! Well, that's what a lot of people think. But it's not really that cut and dry. It depends. Sometimes icons are a fantastic idea. And sometimes they're a terrible one. 

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Topics: Design Thinking Visual Design

The Power of Asking

Added 11/24/14 4:52 PM

By Sean Echevarria, Business Partnerships Lead

A few years ago when I started to get into entrepreneurship and the startup community, I had decided that TechCrunch Disrupt was a must-see event that I had to cross off my bucket list. Fast forward to this past May, and I was there in person watching Fred Wilson give some insightful advice to the entire crowd. I couldn’t believe it. I was a few feet away from some of my most admired role models, and I was there for FREE.

When I tell people this story, their eyes widen in astonishment! FREE?! How did you get those tickets (tickets are typically around $2500)? I simply tell them that I just asked for it.

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Topics: Startups & Business Management

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