Congratulate Your Users

Note: I wrote this just before leaving The Motley Fool. I had so much fun working on product there and I’m still incredibly proud of the work we did together. Something I’ve become excited about in the past year is increasing users’ self-esteem, especially in situations where they wouldn’t normally expect it. From retail to investing, it’s a small but high-impact way to increase user satisfaction and delight. Even things

Six Things I Learned Building the Harvey.Geocod.io Twitter Rescue Requests Map

Hurricane Harvey was the first time I’ve ever participated in the civilian response to a natural disaster, and I learned a lot in the process. My husband and I made a map that showed tweets of people wanting to be rescued (previously housed at harvey.geocod.io, but since taken down out of respect for victims’ privacy). By the time Harvey left the Texas coast, it had logged over 1,800 requests for

Conference Talk: Laracon 2017

“Launching & Scaling Your Side Project” at Laracon 2017.

Interview: Laravel News

In the penultimate Laracon Session, Jake and Michael are joined by husband and wife tag-team speakers Michele and Mathias Hansen to talk about launching and scaling a side project, along with your regular dose of Laravel framework and community news.

Nine Things I Learned From Giving (Surviving) My First Talk at a Tech Conference

This past week, I had the fortune of co-presenting a talk at Laracon in NYC on Launching and Scaling a Side Project. It was my first time speaking at a conference, and since I lived to tell the tale, I figured I’d share what I learned in the process. 1. Deckset is awesome, use it. I resisted. I normally make slides in Google Slides, but my co-presenter, my husband, insisted on

Six Product Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner

It is a rare and special book that helps you with how to think in addition to what to think. And the more I work in product, the more I realize the importance of honing cognitive skills in the form of frameworks and mental models as a way to structure the information and world around me to ultimately find opportunities. Each of these books has given me a unique perspective on the world and

Struggling with How to Fix a Product? Start Here.

The DC Metro system is an unenviable product to have to fix. For years, the system was reliably unreliable and could be a downright unpleasant experience even when it was supposedly functioning as normal: delays, outages, overcrowding during rush hour, and a lack of air conditioning on trains during DC’s blistering hot summers were all par for the course. The Metro’s problems are so bad that there’s a Twitter account

Customer Feedback, Fast and Slow

I recently ran a user feedback survey that exposed a flaw in my thinking — and resulted in a completely unexpected product change. The survey’s intended goal was to aid in developing a deeper understanding of the various use cases customers have for Geocodio and features that might help them more efficiently complete those activities. I also put in a general feedback field for open ended thoughts on the service,

Six Investing Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner

About two years ago, I switched industries from political consulting to financial services. I had a somewhat notable lack of experience in finance — I’d never even bought a stock before — and so I embarked on a quest to learn as much as possible about the stock market. The result has been about two years of non-stop reading, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. If I were doing it all

How to Find the Problem

If there’s anything product people love, it’s problems — solving problems, finding problems, uncovering problems. We just love problems. And there are lots of great frameworks for researching customer experiences to help uncover problems. Yet, no framework can ever tell you what the problem is. So when you’re staring at a sea of Post-Its and knee deep in a spreadsheet, how do you determine where the problem is and what you should focus