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UX Guidance for Executives

About Strathearn Design

Strathearn Design is run by Sam Horodezky, a 20-year veteran of the UX space. Sam has founded and grown 2 UX teams from scratch.  With more than 10 years of management experience, Sam has directly managed all stripes of designers and seen both successful and unsuccessful UX initiatives from up-close.

Build Your UX Team

Understand What Resources You Need for Success

Root Cause Analysis

An Impartial View of What's in Your Way

Design Leadership & Guidance

Have an Experienced Hand Manage Your Project


UX Scorecard

Wondering how your organization is doing in the UX department? Take this easy 10-point assessment.

Thought Leadership

Here is a sample of Sam's writings pertaining to UX Vision and Management

The 3 Development Pillars of the UX Designer

In the UX community, we spend a lot of time and energy discussing our design work and how to improve it. A huge amount of digital ink is spilled analyzing new patterns and products. We like to rant about the merits or lack thereof of parallax scrolling. We like to ooh and aah over the newest cool gadget, or salivate at some eye candy on Dribbble. But do we engage in a multi-threaded conversation on Twitter about professional development?

I propose that there are three Pillars of development for the UX-employee: technical skills, soft skills, and business skills. Early in one’s career, the dominant Pillar is technical, but as we mature, the second and third Pillars take on more importance. In some cases, the first Pillar might even take a back seat to the others as an individual contributor transitions to become a manager.


The Eternal Tension Between PM and UX: Who Really Owns Product Design

In an ideal world, Product Managers and UX Designers are two dancers in totally synchronicity with each other, their relationship full of synergy and harmony. In the real world this relationship can exist; but often it does not. When tensions arise between PM and UX, who has the final say? How do we diffuse these disagreements to the betterment of the Product?
In my experience, there are two major classes of disagreements. The first is very simple: the PM does not agree with the design being proposed by UX. The second is more nuanced: the PM agrees with the design, but it is very expensive (i.e. it will consume a lot of development resources). Let’s look at each in turn, but in reverse order.


Prominent Factors in Bad UX

In my time I have seen many, many UX projects. And while each one tends to have its unique flavor, there are some common challenges to all projects that I would like to describe here. Only teams that have been working on designing and implementing quality UX on a repeated basis tend to be able to avoid these pitfalls.  They are: Golden Path Thinking, Execution Failure, and Lack of Internal Memory.

Brainstorm to Success

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