Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators

Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team transformed my thinking on and off the job. The fictional tale of an all too real situation resonated with millions of professionals around the world and became an instant top seller. Years later the follow up, Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, continues to illuminate thinking.

This book is very different from the first, though. It’s no fictional narrative. This is a hands on “field guide” for spotting, managing, and curing all sorts of dysfunction in groups.

I’ve just started digging into this professional-pop classic but the first two chapters are already outstanding. Some people don’t realize that as a UXD a large portion of my job is facilitation. I have to transform forward thinking biz dev concepts into tangible interfaces. This requires help from some pretty amazing back-end and front-end engineers to make sure that I “get it right”. Facilitation is the glue that holds those designs together.

Peep it!


A Project Guide to UX Design

Where were you when I needed you, Russ and Carolyn?!!

Okay, my bad. I was busy at the time but I really should have found this book two years ago. I’ve literally found chapters for each project type I’ve found myself working on and some choice advice that would have saved me a few headaches along the way.

I’ll also admit that I have a soft spot for Russ Unger. The guy just makes a butt load of sense every time I hear him speak or read an article.

Mi Santero Insert Art


This is a bonus download I created for when someone purchases the Mi Santero Single from the store. I like to add extras to music purchases to thank people for supporting the work. I find that the more you deliver, the more the art is appreciated.

While most people think of Santaria in a very old world context, I wanted to convey the every day nature of the religion. For those of us who practice or simply have a connection to those who do the idea of Santaria being from a “far off land” is strange. For many of us it is simply the way of things. To me the image of the modern Santero whips us into the present.

The chicken feet are often associated with certain ceremonies and provide a nice visual texture. I also see them as symbols of the slaves, stacked atop one another waiting to be purchased and consumed.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

While I’m just adding this to the blog now, this has been on my must read list for a couple of years. The ideas in this book have quite literally changed my life for the better.

At the heart of UXD is empathy, the ability to put yourself in the users shoes. This typically results in the UXD becoming the “user advocate” in the organization. We’re usually the first people to say things like “how is this benefitting the customer” or “is this the best thing for our users”. The ability to say those things in a room often takes a butt load of courage. The ability to say those things with an openness to hear ANY answer also takes a certain vulnerability.

Putting myself out there is how I learn. Daring to ask questions, daring to go for it, daring to build, these things have formed me and continue to do so. Brené Brown has delivered the science that tells us that there is no growth, personally or professionally, without risk… without daring.

Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons

Finally got around to finishing this. I’ve had it as an iBook for years but I’m a Kindle kind of guy these days.

Good stuff for wrapping your head around over all the ideas of general product design. Not a lot of specific information for software, which is what I focus on. Not really a “UX” book so much as a product owner/manager guide. Definitely interesting and quite inspiring.

If I had to pick one tool… wipe board.

Wipe Board

You’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands! More than Photoshop, Sublime Text, or even Balsamiq (which I use A LOT) this wipe board is the most useful tool in the box. It never autocorrect embarrasses me, runs on it’s own power, and can be used anywhere.

I’ve also never really liked paper. I just don’t. Give me a full sized wipe board and a new set of multi-colored markers and I am home. Since I do a lot of work on wipe boards I’ve learned to use Apple’s My Photo Stream. Snap a pict of the board and it’s instantly on all your devices for review. Sometimes I even throw stuff into Pinterest from My Photo Stream. It’s faster than doing it from the Pinterest app while in a session. Try it. You may like it.