A people-based approach to product management

Product management is an important part of the human-centred design process, as promoted by the UK Government Digital Service, amongst others. It can be focussed on the external market or on the internal technology. However, there’s currently a shifting focus towards an empathetic, people-based approach.

We’re often told to consider the following when it comes to creating products:

  • experience
  • engagement
  • emotion

However, we also need to have empathy with the people who will buy, use, and experience your products or services.

This is crucial to creating products people love.

Watch Jon Kolko, author of “Well-Designed,” talk about how an end to end process that uses empathy to create products that seem as though they have a personality, or even a soul and which providing deep, meaningful engagement to people that use those products or services.

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Why we need good news

There’s plenty of bad things happening in the world and it seems like we’re often lurching from one tragedy to the next, or trying to take in simultaneous horrors all over the world.

It can feel like journalism and news media revels in communicating the most depressing details of every tragedy. Whether this is driven by a need to fill airtime on 24-hour news channels with live coverage of unfolding events, a rush for ratings or awards, or to fulfil our psychological need for bad news, it’s no exaggeration to say that negative journalism is having an impact on society.

Negative journalism perpetuates stereotypes of individuals, groups and entire communities, whether its harming the job prospects of young people, demonising people on benefits or contributing to anti-immigrant political rhetoric. News journalism has been used by politicians to “bury bad news” among even worse news and by police to insinuate complicity in tragedies.

Bad news is also bad for our health. Studies show that exposure to a typical news story results in a drop in mood in most people – up to 38% in women and 20% in men.

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Arbejdsglæde / Happiness at work

What is Arbejdsglæde?

Arbejdsglæde is a Danish word meaning literally “work gladness/joy”. There are apparently similar words in the other Scandinavian languages, and also in Dutch (arbeidsvreugde) and German (Arbeitszufriedenheit). The closest equivalent in English is job satisfaction, though this doesn’t seem to have quite the same meaning as the Danish one.
(Source: Omniglot)

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Good reads: 10th July 2014

The way we think about charity is dead wrong

Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend, not for what they get done. In this bold talk, he says: Let’s change the way we think about changing the world.

The Tragedy of the Commons

The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality.

How to save the co-operative movement

With hedge funds taking over the Co-operative Bank and the crisis over governance in the Co-operative Group, the last 12 months have been an annus horribilis for the mutual model of business ownership.

Inspiring talks about happiness

Flow, the secret to happiness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work. Full biography on TED

The hidden power of smiling

Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behaviour.

The surprising science of happiness

Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.

photo credit: Rodrigo Sá Barreto via photopin cc

Good reads: January 2013

Founders: Learning should be your top 2013 New Year’s resolution

Entrepreneurs and startups are competing with some of the smartest people on a daily basis. Success or failure isn’t just about who you know, but what you know. Here are some great sources of online learning and knowledge.

Four Ways to Find Your Work Passion(s)

The road to finding your work passion can be long and circuitous. The key is matching your personality with your career. Here are four steps to try to zero in on who you are and discover how that relates to your passion for work.

6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person

Don’t read this if your career is going great, you’re thrilled with your life and you’re happy with your relationships. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this article is not for you. You’re doing a great job, we’re all proud of you.

Never Brainstorm with a “Blank Slate”

Starting with a blank slate can often hamper creativity. Sometimes the most creative ideas spring from constraints.

The Permanent Disruption of Social Media

Social media has chipped away at the foundation of traditional donor-engagement models. A new study highlights the realities of donor behaviour and how organisations can redesign their outreach strategies to be more effective.

How to become a company’s favourite charity

Becoming a company’s chosen charity can help charities to raise funds, promote payroll giving and increase its number of volunteers. This discussion cover topics such as identifying the right company for your charity, writing a good pitch, getting noticed if you work for a less popular cause and maintaining a long-lasting partnership.

The understated genius of Aaron Swartz

Before this weekend, I’d never heard of hacker, programmer, writer and activist Aaron Swartz, but his work changed the way I use the Internet.

At the age of 14 he co-wrote the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) standard, the news publishing protocol which allowed information to be shared and consumed across websites and newsreader software, fundamentally changing the way people access information. It powers so many websites I’ve worked on over the years.

By the age of 19, Aaron had revolutionised the news again. He become co-owner of Reddit – a social news website that has changed the way many people find the best online content, can make a website famous and has been known to crash web servers under the sheer volume of traffic it can send to a website. This has been called The Reddit Effect.

As well as having a brilliant, curious mind, Aaron Swartz believed that the Web should be a force for good and wanted to make information available to all. As technology policy reporter Timothy Lee pointed out in the Washington Post. “Internet freedom and public access to information were two recurring themes in his life and work.” He set up Open Library, with a goal of putting one page online for every book ever published

He developed the architecture for the Creative Commons licensing system, which allows me to attach his photo, taken at a Wiki meetup in Boston in 2009 and uploaded to Flickr by rageoss, so other people can freely use and share those photos.

Aaron was also an activist, campaigning for internet freedom. He founded Demand Progress, which was instrumental in campaigns to keep the internet open and free, and helped defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act last year.

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