The entire world has been covered with dark ominous clouds recently, but I’m starting to see the best parts of humanity peek through like little rays of sunshine.

My hope is those rays continue to break through. We really need them to.

I’ve found my new solace in the era of CIVOD19. And it’s pretty simple…as most comforting things are; walking.

I first tried it with my over enthusiastic doggo. I thought, “I desperately need to get out of the house, we both need a little exercise, and it’ll be a great distraction!”

But that was a major mistake.

For…


Absolutely the only info you need

Howdy! This is me…sort of :)

Over the years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to be a part of some pretty amazing teams. They‘re not associated with the typical resume bending names based out of Silicon Valley, but I’m pretty damn proud of them and everything we’ve accomplished during my time with them; Best Buy, Pearson, Activision, John Deere, Handrail, Spark, and most recently Pear Deck.

These professional experiences have shaped me in many ways. So much so, I’ve had a few colleagues reach out wanting to know what I’ve learned over the years and get some insights to what has…


Conducting user research is the most rewarding form of uncovering and capturing actionable insights for your product and service, but crafting quality interview questions can be challenging. So, how can you make sure you’re asking the right questions and getting the valuable information you need to make sure your product is a success?

Here are a few tips to help:

Start with a goal

Before you start creating specific research questions to ask users, you should collaborate with your team to clearly define and understand two basic questions:

  • Why you are doing research?
  • How will your research be used?

Knowing the answers to these…


The way we understand Agile needs to evolve.

Remember that our higher order objective is to validate our ideas the fastest, cheapest way possible. Actually building and launching a product idea is generally the slowest, most expensive way to validate the idea. — Marty Cagan

Even though organizations are adopting more modern and efficient Agile software development methods (like SCRUM and Kanban), they are still having trouble delivering what customers actually want or need. Although we’ve experienced many benefits to the modern methods and practices, we’re also experiencing a long list of issues as well.

For example:

  • Customer or market…

For years, I cobbled together various tools in order to help me plan, capture, analyze and share user research. I always thought there had to be a better way…

I love to figure out how to make things work. Give me a word doc, MS Paint, a whiteboard and stand back…I’ll whip up a user centric design in no time! Although my fellow co-workers give me a hard time as I channel my inner “MacGyver”, I get the job done.

But, I will admit using the right tool for the job can make you much more efficient and effective. …


Disclaimer: I am a Product Manager and User Researcher, not an attorney. This article was written for UCD and UX awareness and therefore should not be taken as legal advice for your organization. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney.

I typically see a lot of “top UX trends” lists on the web during this time of year and they are all talking about basically the same things:

  • New and more intuitive UI design patterns
  • AR / VR making a big impact (again)
  • AI / Bots replacing good ‘ole fashion human interactions

These are great and fun to…


Do you want to de-risk implementing business ideas, drive better decision making, and give your company an advantage over the competition this year? If so, there’s one resolution you need to stick to this year. And I’ll help you do it…

Over the last few weeks we’ve all been thinking about this past year, reading all the “best of” and wondering how we can make next year even better for our businesses. If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of time contemplating how to improve overall growth and profitability. …


Atomic Pig to the rescue!

This is a story about a GV style design sprint. If you’ve never heard of that, you can learn more here or read the book.

We recently ran an internal Google Design Sprint in order to gather feedback on a mobile game concept. In five days, we created a basic narrative with mood boards and playtested four playable prototypes with our target users.

Here’s how we did it…

Are we really doing this?

Picture this…it’s 10am on Monday morning and Sean (CEO and founder of ConnectFive) comes to the leadership team and says:

“Let’s do a design sprint…on Atomic Pig!”

That’s all we needed to…


We’ve all heard startups are hard, but you don’t really comprehend how mind-numbingly stressful it can be until you experience it firsthand.

If you are like most startups, you’ll encounter the typical issues everyone talks about.

Common ones include:

Problem/Solution Fit and Product/Market Fit

These are the two biggest issues startups need to overcome in order to be successful.

From my perspective, these can be easy to solve:

Do way more interview based research than you think you need (like 100+ interviews), surround yourself with people that have the capability and/or money to help you solve this problem and then…


or thoughts on how to create something people love…

Success starts with identifying a problem and then testing to see if you have the right solution

When it comes to startups, we are living in very exciting times. Back in the day, (I believe it was a Wednesday) it was really hard to start and grow a successful business. Not that it’s necessarily easy today, but it was much more difficult than it is now.

Not long ago, you typically needed things like:

  • A formal education to acquire top notch business acumen
  • An experienced marketing and sales team to attract…

Mat Winegarden

Product Manager @PearDeck. Sometimes I have ideas...other times I am brilliantly late to the party

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