Overheard in Product: Agile, Bad Design, and Glittergate


Welcome to Overheard in Product—a series where we round up all of the tantalizing conversations from product folks that you may have missed on the web last week.

🦆 Get your dUX in a row

First things first, Sarah Doody asked her community what spurred them into choosing UX as a career.

This is a screenshot of a LinkedIn status from Sarah Doody who is a user experience designer, product strategist and design educator. She asks why did you get into UX. This is a social media post about UX careers.

From the sound of the answers, UX designers were most inspired by psychology (almost everyone mentioned it!), a natural curiosity, and a desire to improve people’s day-to-day experiences .

🧐 Don’t be engiNEAR-sighted

Next up, Allen Holub discussed whether Agile is a mindset or a method. Spoiler: It’s both.

This is a tweet from Allen Holub that talks about being Agile vs doing Agile and talks about an agile mindset. This is a tweet about product.

The thread that followed was mainly centered around what comes first—the being or the doing—and folks were split on how to implement.

🌽 Like kern on the cob 

Jonas Downey reminded us with a retweet from Mike Rundle that form follows function—even in digital design.

This is a tweet by Jonas Downey retweeting from Mike Rundle. This is a tweet that says that ugly design isn't bad design and ui that is clear big prescriptive and obvious can be useful and good design

We had some internal debate about if these designs were actually ugly or if they are simply not cutting edge. Some folks asked: Isn’t being clear, big, and prescriptive a beautiful thing in and of itself?

⚙️ Product managing expectations

Nikita Singareddy is urging young folks to think about tech jobs beyond product management.

This is a tweet from nikita singareddy about how the tech industry has a problem because everyone wants to be a product manager. This is a tweet about product managers.

Other folks in the conversation cited the glamorization of the PM role and overall misconceptions what it really entails as the biggest contributors to the phenomenon.

✨ Bonus: All that glitters is ... WHAT? WHAT IS IT?!

Ok, this isn’t product-related, but it’s a mind bender for sure.

This article from the New York Times describes glitter as:

“A manipulation of humans’ inherent desire for fresh water. An intangible light effect made physical. Mostly plastic, and often from New Jersey. Disposable by design but, it turns out, not literally disposable. A way to make long winter nights slightly brighter, despite the offshore presence of Germans. An object in which the inside of a potato chip bag meets the aurora borealis.”

The psychology of humanity’s obsession with glitter sure is intriguing.

But that’s not what has folks talking. What’s really capturing people’s imaginations  is that no one knows who the biggest buyer of glitter actually is.

Seriously. Even the author is stumped.

That’s led to some wild speculations.

This is a tweet about the great glitter mystery of late 2018. This is a tweet about the NY Times article about where glitter comes from

Our personal favorites are toothpaste manufacturers or the defense department—but feel free to tweet at us (@Appcues) with any and all of your glitter-spiracy theories.

Oh, and if you want to expand on any of the product topics—get in touch. We’d love to chat!

Margaret Kelsey leads Brand and Content at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

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