A product management blog by Ben Allen


Ben Allen Blog - one year on

published by Ben Allen

At the start of 2010 I setup this blog to start a discussion on topics I have a passion for and to learn more about blogging, writing and the web in general. I feel it's appropriate to look back on 2010 and ask "what have I learnt?".

It's a long …

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Managing email - Outlook tips for an empty inbox

published by Ben Allen

Email is as awesome as it is frustrating. Everyone knows email is an amazing tool until you get too much of it.

I offer 5 tips for managing email and recommend a couple of great tools to help Microsoft Outlook users. This is the process I use every day and …

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mint.com & the win-win special sauce

published by Ben Allen

mint.com has over 4 million users. This popular online tool, which helps you manage your money across banks, has gone from startup to Intuit owned in 3 years. Clearly they are doing something right! I think the mint.com user interface is one of the things Mint is doing …

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10 things you should know about web accessibility

published by Ben Allen

The diversity of information on the web is only matched by the diversity of people using it. For me, that's what makes the digital user experience profession so fascinating - trying to understand all users of the web and how they engage with it so that you can provide a top …

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Getting started & getting good

published by Ben Allen

Remember those books that are sold at Christmas? Those books that attempt to deliver life's wisest phrases while it's readers are firmly seated on the toilet? I remember one which we used to have at home and there was one nugget that has stuck with me. It went something along …

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Chicago restaurant guide

published by Ben Allen

Chicago is a great place for food and drink. It has something for everyone. I love experimenting with restaurants & bars and I've built up a mental list of "places I love". A friend recently suggested I write down my mental list so that people could explore my suggestions and give …

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3 random words - Partnership, Consistency & Curation

published by Ben Allen

Do you ever hear relatively random words over and over again and then think "Woh! Where did that come from? Why do people care about this all of a sudden?". Here are 3 words I have been hearing a lot recently in and around the user experience field and within …

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Jedi mind tricks & persuasive design save Facebook?

published by Ben Allen

Fans of Star Wars and the infamous Jedi Mind Trick understand the allure of persuasion. What would the world look like if everyone uttered the magical word "yes" whenever I made a request? If only! Ironing, laundry and cleaning my bedroom would be chores banished to memories of the "the …

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User experience & hairdressing - making good ideas happen

published by Ben Allen

Do you ever have a tough time describing user experience and what UX consultants try to do? I've been trying to spread the good word for over 5 years and it still trips me up some times. It's not a case of whether I understand, it's a case of getting …

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Making money on Mobile Internet Banking

published by Ben Allen

Netbanker is a site that I rely on. It provides great coverage for all things digital within the financial sector. A few weeks ago they posted an interesting article about how, in their opinion, USAA Makes Mobile Banking Better than Online Banking. A quote that stuck out within that article …

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Improving the reading experience using the Amazon Kinlde dictionary

published by Ben Allen

The customer experience you go through when reading a book has not changed for several hundreds of years. The physical paper based book has stood the test of time and the interface a reader has to navigate is simplicity itself. All good - right? Perhaps not - enter the e-book and the …

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3 tips to improve your information architecture samples or portfolio

published by Ben Allen

For all those budding IAs out there - listen up - I have a few tips for you. Perhaps it's just 1 tip but it's a biggie and it's one worth discussing - including some tactics. Let's cut to the chase here:

If you send in a portfolio along with your CV/resume …

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What's the point? Test, learn, grow

published by Ben Allen

Who is Ben Allen?

I'm British, I live in Chicago, IL and I love the Internet. I think the creativity it fosters and the opportunities it presents are incredible. My focus for the last 5 years or so has been the web, web usability and more generally the customer centred …

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Hello world!

published by Ben Allen

Currently putting together a little blog to talk about my experiences & hopefully share some wisdom. Should all be good to go for early January 2010. If you cannot wait until then:

Stay tuned folks. Cannot wait to get this up and running …

Keep reading Hello world!