Product management

How NPR used multivariate testing to learn which design element produced more conversions

NPR recently ran controlled experiments live on its site, testing whether a small design tweak would prompt more users to “take action” on a Support NPR button. Tyler Fisher and Livia Labate write about how this worked: in one case they constructed two versions of the page, one of which was the “control” and placed […]

UK publisher built upon Vox’s open source meme generator to help make social packaging more efficient

Developers at The Times & The Sunday Times sought to reduce unnecessary or time-intensive tasks in its editorial workflow. After a suggestion to look at Vox’s open source card generator for social sharing, Meme, the team spent time with the newsroom determining how it might expand upon the tool to create social sharing imagery that […]

Filter your product feedback to determine its value

With any new product or update, users will share opinions, some of which are helpful and some which are not, writes John Collins. In categorizing the latter, Collins suggests ignoring these types of feedback: aspirational statements, in which a user says something sounds good but other factors come into play and conflict with the aspiration; […]

Understand what characteristics make something ‘innovative’

Emphasizing the user experience of a product is crucial when launching something new. Design teams that account for how people adopt innovation stand a much greater chance of having users accept and actually use their products, writes Victor Yocco. In this second essay on building new products with the process of user adoption in mind, Yocco […]

Real-life workflow lessons for product development

 Paul Adams, formerly at Facebook and Google, writes that much product management advice is too theoretical — about what teams should do, not what they’re actually doing. Now at Intercom, Adams writes on “the nitty gritty involved in getting valuable product out the door as fast as possible.” At Intercom, this means breaking down the […]

From the founder of $1-billion-startup Slack: How to launch products and increase users

Slack is an internal work-communication platform used by more than 30,000 teams, valued at $1 billion, and yet it hasn’t run any big marketing campaign. In this interview, founder Stewart Butterfield discusses how the tool that just got its start in 2012 managed its growth: by rolling-out slowly, educating each group of customers about their […]

BBC launches Taster, an initiative for testing new storytelling and receiving audience feedback

As news organizations seek to better foster innovation and better identify new storytelling forms for their audience, the BBC is taking its experimentation public. The new “BBC Taster” will house experimental efforts such as “interactive, short-form or social content, online features and services, and other ideas from left-field,” opening up that innovation process to the […]

Product-building insights the NPR visuals team learned from creating a TV experience for radio

For election night 2014, NPR wanted to put together a digital experience that appealed to its audience, fit its ethos, and took advantage of work already being done, such as the studio “big board” tracking results and the on-air talent of its hosts. The visuals team decided upon “throwing a party,” creating a relatively passive […]

How product teams can test assumptions quickly rather than betting big

“Most of the breakout hit mobile apps of the past few years have come out of startups, and that’s in large part because startups, because of their nimbleness and lack of bureaucracy, are generally better suited to taking risks on new products and then getting them out the door quickly,” writes Peter Rojas, who is […]

How PAPER Magazine’s web engineers scaled their back-end for Kim Kardashian

To prevent Kim Kardashian’s revealing photoshoot from really breaking PAPER Magazine’s internet, web engineers had to prepare the neither big nor small publication to withstand huge, viral traffic. This is a SFW (safe for work) look at how the organization readied itself for what it expected would be “at least 100 million page views,” with […]