One thing about working real hard is that a lot of things I’d love to post about never seem to make it to the top of the queue, and then the blog turns into “here are my slides, here is a video of my talk, here is a weird song by the band, here is another conference I attended,” etc.
A lot of the best stuff stays in draft form or as brain crack, or gets hinted at in tweets and not much more.
And then I miss even the important stuff, like where’s my book-ending “hey, I left AOL, or should I say AOL left me” post? Maybe I’ll still post it, or maybe this is going in my book, as I like to threaten people from time to time.
So I’m way past overdue mentioning to my surviving blog audience that I have taken a new job, director of product at CloudOn. I started this month and am neck deep in it already, hence the lack of extended “enjoying my severance” essays and photo journals.
Our product right now is a free app for iPad and Android tablets that enables you to edit and work with Microsoft Office files “in the cloud.” That’s the logline. There’s more to it (Dropbox and Google Drive and Box support! Acrobat Reader and image files! etc.), and there’s lots more to come, but that’s the gist of it today. Personal productivity across platforms, helping people get things done with the most convenient device available, seamless experiences across context.
This is the kind of user experience and product management work I love to do. Hard problems with vast theoretical underpinnings and thousands of difficult decisions required to actually ship something real, early and often.
I’m recruiting a UX team, currently looking for a visual design maven to anchor our in-house design practice, and ultimately building a more well rounded product and UX operation as we grow.
We hit 1,000,000 iPad downloads yesterday, I think, so there’s not a minute to lose!
One of the goals my Consumer Experience team shared at AOL was that of publishing, writing, and speaking in public about our accomplishments and lessons learned. Senior designer Gabi Moore ran the awesome Broken Experiences program at AOL and proposed a talk about what we learned from it called “Fixing UX One Pixel at a Time.” (It’s not about pixels, at least not most of the time.)
Gabi asked me to present with her and I was happy to do so, though I tried to limit my involvement to telling the pre-history of the team and the early “sneakernet” days of the Broken Experiences blog, and then I turned over the mic to Gabi to talk about her very effective leadership of the program, operationalizing the experience-reporting and fixing flow, developing a bookmarklet, and promoting the program internally with Ben Hudnut’s amazing video.
The talk was recorded and I’ll post when the podcast is available (and I may try to convince Gabi to synchronize the audio with the slides). Meanwhile, here is the presentation deck Gabi developed, with a little help from me.