How to Be a Tech CEO – The 5 Stages Every CEO Goes Through

For a few days, I was on top of the world. Everything went well, and life was beautiful. Then the shitstorm kicked in and suddenly I felt everything collapse. All the things I’d built fell apart. This is the frightening roller-coaster ride of being a tech CEO. Only we know what it feels like when ups and downs are coming with high intensity, sometimes even multiple times a week.

tech CEO

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Top 5 UX Books that Are Absolutely Worth Your Time Reading

To be honest, reading books is a constant struggle for me. I can’t count how many I have left half-read in the past years. It is even harder when I try reading non-fiction literature. However, I’m aware of the fact that this is one of the best ways to get in-depth knowledge about my profession, so from time to time I force myself to read a book. In this post, I collected those UX books that somehow managed to grab my attention, and which I can truly advise reading.ux books

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UX Strategy Canvas: a Handy Tool to Review and Update Your UX Strategy

Every once in a while you should step out of the day-to-day treadmill of product development, take a deep breath, and look at the bigger picture. Today we introduce the UX Strategy Canvas which will help you do just that. You can get your team together, review your fresh user insights and your numbers, brainstorm on the next steps, and update your strategy. Depending on your product and market, you should do this every 2-4 months.

UX strategy

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Visual Hints That Drive User Behaviour

In this article I’d like to discuss a few examples about how you can use visual devices to help drive user behaviour. If we’re talking about visual design, you might think it only refers to how things look, but it’s goes much deeper than that. Visuality and good visual hints can add a lot to the understanding of how a digital product works and behaves. Over the course of these few paragraphs I’d like to emphasise the importance of good visual cues. ☝️

user behaviour

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How to avoid distractive design and create successful products?

We are living in the era of distractive design and technology. We have many annoying electronic devices competing for our constant attention. As Mark Weiser said: “The scarcest resource in the 21st Century will not be technology, it will be attention.”

So how to compete on the digital market for this very scarce resource? This is what Calm Technology can help you with.

Keep calm and avoid distractive design

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The Design of the Dark Side – the UX Dark Patterns

My clients often tell me that they want to build the Death Star of their product. Unwittingly, it always reminds me how easily rebels blew it up. Three times, to be accurate. A soundly designed user experience can really make your product a planet killer, but using the force to abuse emotions with a dark pattern easily blows up that strongly coveted ultimate weapon of yours.

Dark side of UX: Dark patterns

Putting science fiction aside for a second, UX designers’ aim is to enhance customer satisfaction and increase loyalty with their solid understanding of human psychology to build a real win-win situation for both users and businesses. And while deception has existed since the world was born, for a long time we believed designers’ sole purpose is – or at least should be – to make something good greater.

Taking advantage of human haste, inattention or desire, boosting frustration, the sense of lack or the fear of missing out is the dark side of UX and the definition of Dark Patterns.

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UX in Product Roadmaps: How to plan your design activities?

A good product roadmap is a very simple list of high-level goals you want to achieve in the next 3-6 months. This roadmap will guide your UX team (and everyone else) in the right direction. You also need to plan the next steps you take, which means planning the design sprints. Last, but not least, you have to define how designers and developers will work together. In this article I will share how to do all these things.

UX roadmap

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How will chatbots solve day-to-day problems in Africa?

In the Western world everyone is talking about (and via) messaging apps and chatbots. They are going big all around the globe and Africa is not an exception: 78% of Kenyan smartphone users said that they use their devices for chatting and social networking.

The question is given: why don’t we utilize the technological improvements to make these already existing solutions better, smarter and more efficient. We at UXstudio started thinking about how a chatbot could help with those day-to-day tasks.

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User Onboarding – How to create a delightful first experience?

Slack onboarding process

Within moments of meeting you, people decide all sorts of things about you, from intelligence to trustworthiness. Experts say it takes just three seconds for someone to determine whether they like you or not. When it comes to the digital world, decisions are made in a very similar way during user onboarding. Google has recently confirmed in their own research that users form opinions about a website in 50 milliseconds. Silicon Valley analyst Andrew Chen attests that 77 percent of users never use the app again 72 hours after the onboarding. So like it or not, if your app isn’t a knockout on the first impression, it’s probably going to be deleted or forgotten. But there is a way to enhance your app’s ‘first introduction’ and help your users discover your product’s benefits, functions, and usage – you just have to design a delightful onboarding experience. But how?

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The Best UX Research Tools

A few weeks ago I heard about a UX researcher who died because he got lost in the labyrinth of UX research tools. 🙂 Of course it’s not true, but you can easily get lost and puzzled when you start looking at all the infinite options that have become available lately. That’s why I decided to compile the most common UX research tools for you and hopefully, you will be able find the proper ones for your needs.

UX research tools

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Does a modular design approach future-proof your concept?

When you’re designing a digital product for a long project, two questions probably come to mind when planning it: “How long will it last?” and “Is it scalable?”

The super fast advance of technology has (of course) a huge impact on the answer. What is conventional and up to date today, tomorrow is obsolete. You don’t see an app, website or even an operating system to have exactly the same UI or even user experience for more than a year or two.
However, there are interface patterns that remain untouched (… well, slightly).

So lets see how you can make sure that new features can be added to a project without redesigning everything. How do you keep any new updates from ruining the whole navigation system and user experience?

modular design

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The Single Biggest Reason Most Products Fail

I suddenly woke up sweating in my bed. It was a sunny, but cold winter morning. The light peacefully illuminated my room through the window. Everything was calm and white outside. But I was breathing fast and my head was full of thoughts.

Why does it take two weeks for that feature? Do the devs work at all? We should add a better search. And chat option to the landing page. We don’t have the right target group. Will anybody use this at all? Will they ever admit that the core concept was wrong? Is it a product failure or a marketing issue? Our open rate sucks. What if we did a chatbot instead?

Okey. Slow down and take a deep breath. It’s time for that morning coffee.

There is definitely something wrong in the tech world nowadays. A new JS package manager comes out every single month. If you want to be hip you have to change your whole technology stack twice a year. Marketing got crazy. Do inbound. Do account based. Do Twitter. Do Snapchat. Do Instagram. Do live video. Do chatbots.

While we are flooded with trends and visions, we tend to forget the single most important thing in any product’s life: the people we build it for.

Product failure: the single biggest reason most products fail.

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Tech trends we can’t wait to see in 2017 as a design team

Living in the present, I often forget how fast the world is changing around us. While we spent our time playing Pokémon Go and kept dreaming about self-driving cars, plenty of other solutions started to unfold around us to change our lives for good. Taking the first steps into the new year, I collected all the tech trends that keep us steamed up and can’t wait to see how they effect our work as designers.

tech trends in 2017

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A Robot’s Guide to Dealing with Humans

It all started 3,5 years ago when I became an entrepreneur. In half a year I had a team of 3, and we have doubled in size every year since then. And soon I realized, it’s all about people. Teammates, clients and the end users we design the products for.

I pushed it hard, we really did make great designs, but I started getting weird feedback from different sources. “You are a nice guy, but I would have handled that differently” or “Next time please be more ….”

I always thought I’m a social person, but from these kinds of feedback, I started to think I might in fact be an insensitive robot instead.

So what can a robot do when a noisy and messy world sends strange signals all the time? Well, I started to learn like a machine. And I started with the hardest challenge, firing someone.


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Your Startup Design Kit from Bootstrapping to a Successful Product

Startups are not primarily about making money or creating stuff. Startups exist in order to learn how to build a sustainable business. Sustainability is the key for successful growth. How do we reach that? By applying build-measure-learn cycles and accelerating feedback loops. This learning can be validated scientifically, by running experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision.

startup design

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The Best UX Design Tools Recommended by UX studio

Many designers still use Photoshop for literally everything. However, the market is full of increasingly better tools that focus on particular solutions. So I decided to compile a list of the most common tools that a UX designer should know about. In this list, you can find prototyping, UI and collaboration tools. Many of them will be familiar to you, but I hope you will find some interesting ones for specific tasks. My recommendation is to choose the appropriate tools for the task and don’t restrict yourself to one product. This list might also prove useful for comparing them with each other. So here comes our list of UX design tools.

ux design tools

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Harness the Power of Magic Moments in Your Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping needs to be more than just an eyecandy in your product design process. These journeys are ideal when you have to think about complex issues. The output, the infographics are always something to gloat with in front of your colleagues and clients. But sometimes – just sometimes – it’s a little bit overwhelming and not actionable enough. Let’s take a tiny example: I have 8×8 brackets in my journey. What should I do? I can’t take all of these into consideration! Touchpoints are a great place to start but you can also boost these taking newer research into consideration.


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The 3 most important fields in ecommerce UX

ecommerce ux

Are you the one who has or deals with ecommerce sites somehow? Then I have news for you: You have to be a pro in UX. User experience is the key to your sites’ growth. There are plenty of case studies about this topic which focus on the best practices. In this article, I would like to give you another viewpoint with the 3 most important parts of the ecommerce UX. Those 3 fields are: customer service, checkout flow, and trust building.

Let’s see… Read More »