Get User-Centric To Win: Design-Thinking & Design-Culture with Joshua Gross

"Having a Culture of Design means putting design first and user first, which means every decision benefits the company from a monetary standpoint and keeps the user in mind and focuses on the person the product is being sold to."

A bold claim? No.

But is it the norm? No.

Joshua Gross has been working at the intersection of art and computers since he was nine years old. In that time, he's seen the biggest mistake companies make, and they make it over and over -- building things without focusing on their users.

"Just trying to make something look cool" without taking into account the user's goals and contexts is a recipe for a less-functional product that gets lower use, lower word of mouth, lower traction, and makes less money.

This is what Joshua is here to help you solve.

"Any time you start a new product or think of introducing a new feature, you have to think about this from a design perspective. Ask, "How does this help the user achieve their goal?" If you want the user to do something new, ask, "How do we help them get there?"

Go back to the assumptions. What contexts? How are they solving it now? Ask what isn't working now, or what could be better.

Avoid arguing based on assumptions between a group of people. People like to think they have an understanding of the user without actually confirming the assumptions. People tend to use their own personal experiences too heavily, and not talk to actual people who would use the product. That leads to wrong assumptions and lots of debates.

Instead of that, just go talk to the user and have the information you get inform your decisions."

Joshua's approach is to apply a five-step design method: 

"(1) define the problem, and (2) define the end user who will be using the product, (3) strive to understand their needs, (4) strive to understand the function of what you're creating is, and then (5) look to make them work harmoniously."

This means understanding the end user of your product, their goals, needs, the contexts they'll use the product, their experience level, and everything else before building willy-nilly. Then, every feature you build must be ruthlessly evaluated on whether it helps the end user achieve their goals.

Perhaps controversially, Joshua advocates not giving too much weight to input from people who haven't interacted with the user.

"Too many people contributing with different inputs and perspectives, you can lose sight of the goals. People will be debating things and you go off into left field, and you make the wrong dish because everyone wants to contribute.

At different stages, people contribute different things.

In the kitchen, everyone has a different role. You have the guy making the soup, you have the guy making the dessert, you have the guy putting the garnish, you have the waiter bringing it to the table. You don't have the waiter making the soup -- the waiter isn't even asked for his opinion on the soup."

This can be quite controversial, but it's indeed how companies with top design (like Apple) work. Joshua advocates strongly for the end user, thinking like the end user, thinking for the end user, and constantly testing your assumptions in front of real users. What one internal person thinks without talking to a user is far less relevant than what actual users do, say, need, and want.

If you don't have a culture of design at your company or with your projects, connecting with Joshua can be a huge boon for you. He's regularly paid $1000 per day (and his rates have been increasing as demand increases) for consulting work for funded companies.

Through GGW, Joshua is offering a 10-person intimate discussion on (1) the fundamentals of great design and being user-centric, (2) mapping this to great production at your own company or project, and (3) an open discussion where you can address your issues and get immediate feedback with other talented people onboard.

The class will run between 60 and 90 minutes. Joshua is in Eastern Standard Time and will survey everyone who signs up on availability, to make sure that you can make it.

This deal will be incredibly valuable for...

-- Founders of startups
-- Project managers
-- Angel investors, venture capitalists, and other people who need to understand portfolio companies
-- Individual inventors, programmers, builders
-- Anyone freelancing or contracting for companies where they're doing product work
-- Anyone in UX/UI and product development

Shortly after ordering, you'll be put in touch with Joshua and surveyed on your availability, so that everyone can make the class. You'll be able to connect with other leaders, builders, and creatives on the discussion component, and learn from someone exceptional at what he does.

Joshua's normal consulting rates are $1000/day for design, design culture, UI/UX, and he regularly works with top-class startups to improve in these areas. Get a leg up on your competition while connecting and learning from someone amazing. Due to the charitable nature of GiveGetWin, Joshua is offering 10 spots for $35. Get focused on your users, make your product ever-so-much better, and win in the marketplace.

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