"Design is often the most immediate way of defining what products become in people's minds."
  • Business Ecosystem Defined

    Any successful business ecosystem – whether physical or digital, in any industry – is a function of four key elements: Strategic Roadmap, Customer Success, Experience Design, and Marketing.

    - 1 of 3 -
  • Why Do Great Ideas Fail?

    Great ideas don't fail – people do... when they forget to connect the dots between two or more elements in their business ecosystem.

    - 2 of 3 -
  • Why Bridge the Gap?

    The weakest link in any business ecosystem is the gap between its Marketing and Customer Success. All dead ventures had failed to bridge this gap well. This blog aims to build that bridge.

    - 3 of 3 -

Starbucks to Sell Burgers? A Retail Tenant-Patron and CX View

Written by Author SN. Posted in - Everything, Outreach, Product Management, Real estate, Research, Retail, UX Boom

GoogleScholar | Academia.edu

Starbucks CX Point-of-Sale Challenge: Intro

Brown Starbucks Truck with door open: Customer Experience - Usability of Starbucks Retail Point-of-Sale SystemsI am not a coffee drinker, but I generally like the Starbucks brand from the business development (and the tenant-patron) perspective. As we know, three things matter in real estate – location, location, and location. Starbucks has done exceptionally well from the legacy retail standpoint: it has all the right locations to lure you inside. But when it comes to its tenant and customer experience, there may be room for improvement. I was “there” to see Starbucks become an American landmark of the worldwide coffee culture. Even if you are not in love with Starbucks coffee, chances are that you go to a Starbucks store every now and then – to use the free internet, to buy a bottle of water, or just because your friends decided to meet there before going to a concert. What can go wrong at a Starbucks in terms of tenant experience and retail customer experience? Or for that matter, how could you improve Starbucks point-of-sale systems to improve its overall CX and its global customer success?

The problem at hand has to do with ordering frozen Starbucks items such as sandwiches, wraps and quiches – not the ones that sit in the public-facing cooler, but the ones shown on the display behind glass and require a barista or a point-of-sale clerk to get one from somewhere behind the counter. When your in-store interaction takes place early in the morning, all is peachy because everything is in stock. But shortly after 10am, this changes, at which point inventories dwindle and the main way to find out if what you want is in stock is to get the clerk to shout across the room to ask someone else or to leave the register, walk over to the refrigerator, open the door, let some warm air inside, dig through several shelves of items to see if your item is physically present and, finally, come back and complete the order. How does this affect Starbucks customer experience? And how does Starbucks need to change this model if it is serious about selling you a great lunch or dinner? And for that matter, is Starbucks really competing with Mickey D’s for your lunch or dinner burger dollars?

And finally, CX aside, can we financially justify making tweaks to Starbucks point-of-sale systems to improve inventory tracking? Let’s talk about these fun things. And for those of you who share my respect for the Starbucks brand, let’s hope that the company is already working on a reliable fix.

Business and Beyond: Toyota, Drums, and Customer Experience (a Product Development Lifecycle Whitepaper)

Written by Author SN. Posted in - Everything, Creativity, Outreach, Portfolio, Product Management, Real estate, Research, Retail, UX Boom

GoogleScholar | Academia.edu

Simple products break less

SimplicityIn working with engineers of all kinds, whenever my modest inputs are required to help ship better products, I like to say this: “Let’s make this feature work like a drum!” This expression is not my own – I “inherited” it from a good front-end developer friend, but it represents a principle in product design that I follow (more on that later). And believe it or not, it all started with cars and drums and LSD… as in Lean Software Development. Since we happen to be humans (even the geekiest of us), it often helps to remember why simplicity is the mother of genius – because simple things break less. This notion is at the core of great products and customer experiences.

Non-removable Apple Batteries. Why?

Written by Author SN. Posted in - Everything, Creativity, Outreach, Portfolio, Product Management, Real estate, Research, Retail, UX Boom

GoogleScholar | Academia.edu

Introduction: Permanent vs. Removable Batteries

Laptop batteriesIs usability of portable devices better when their batteries can be removed on the fly? Definitely. As a business developer who has spent countless months on the road in my career, I am yet to find a way to justify preferring a portable power bank over a simple, removable battery. Still, there are many schools of thought on this topic – both regarding Apple’s products specifically and regarding product strategy in general. There are five reasons device manufacturers do this, and there are three why they shouldn’t. This is not a numbers game, but I feel in this case 3>5. Let’s explore the pros and the cons of device usability in the context of fixed – or permanent – batteries in portable devices.

Wireframes vs Prototypes: What’s the Difference?

Written by Author SN. Posted in - Everything, Creativity, Outreach, Portfolio, Product Management, Research, UX Boom

GoogleScholar | Academia.edu

Introduction: Wireframing and Prototyping

wireframes-vs-prototypesWireframes and prototypes – as well as software used for wireframing and prototyping – make the process of creating an app, a website or any software or hardware product notably easier – by simplifying the product and allowing all involved in its development to focus on the product’s functions and user interactivity. Everyone in the production team – from stakeholders and information architects to project managers and quality assurance personnel – needs to understand how an application or website will work and what it is intended to do. For that purpose, wireframing and prototyping are not synonyms, technically speaking. Let’s look at their differences and similarities.

Business and Beyond: Adverse Effects of Wrong Aspect Ratios

Written by Author SN. Posted in - Everything, Creativity, Outreach, Portfolio, Product Management, Real estate, Research, Retail, UX Boom

GoogleScholar | Academia.edu

Overlooked in usability: aspect ratio conversion

Aspect Ratio Problems: they're more than meets the eyeIn my years of interacting with screens – computer displays, television sets and proprietary video hardware – of varying sizes and intended uses, I find one factor to have a much bigger role in retail customer experience and in general usability than the title of this post may suggest – aspect ratios. Over 20% of the world is using electronic displays or TV’s with wrong aspect ratio settings, and it turns out that this has deep physiological and psychological effects that affect the users, the patrons (in the landlord-retail context), the product manufacturers, and everyone in the marketing and IT sectors. Should anyone care about this problem? I have done some research to find a few interesting answers.

Selling Rocket Engines? Houses? Twinkies? Do better as a Product Manager!

Written by Author SN. Posted in - Everything, Creativity, Outreach, Portfolio, Product Management, Real estate, Research, Retail, UX Boom

GoogleScholar | Academia.edu

Why Product Management

Scope of Product Management disciplineAt a recent technology Meetup in San Francisco (which I attended with a friend exclusively for the free doughnuts, but of course), I learned that many aspiring product designers (people in software, in fashion, in real estate, and everyone in-between) would love to explore careers in Product Management but don’t know where to start. This is a natural trend of thought among progressive thinkers in many disciplines, including the IT specifically: those who have mastered a singe technical domain often want to broaden their career horizons by applying their talents and experience in a strategic context, which is in fact how many good product managers are born. In this discussion, I offer my personal insight into the science of Product Management, as well as an extensive list of resources for those who aspire to become product managers.