Predicting The Success Of Your Product

One area of business building and product development is predicting the success of the product, before launch. This is one area everyone tries to get as accurate as possible, in search of the one unifying metric to unite all and predict accurate success trends. Methodologies such as the lean startup approach aim to ensure as accurate a product success rating as possible, by approaching the project from a customer-centric point of view (if you build what they want, they will come). Now that we’ve discussed how to get customer feedback, lets discuss how we make use of this feedback in our approach to product planning. Continue reading

Communications Theory in Product Design

As you all know, I love listening to podcasts and being creative. Listening to the myriad of podcasts that I do, I find concepts from one podcast often apply to the field discussed in one of the others. While listening to a podcast on trading card game design, the topic of communications theory and game design came up. I followed up by reading the related article by the podcast host, which sparked off an interesting thought process for me, around how communications theory helps to plug holes within product design. Here’s how I feel this applies. Continue reading

Fostering creative thinking

At Woo, we recently picked up on the next steps of a StrengthsFinder assessment we conducted within our leadership team towards the end of 2013. This assessment aims to identify your top 5 strengths and assist you in harnessing them, while creating a better understanding of the strengths others possess and how best to relate to those you work with daily. The follow up steps of this assessment included a call with a leadership coach, where in we discuss our strengths, answer a few questions and better understand how to create the next steps in our strengths finding journey.

During my call with Horace (our coach), he mentioned the following, which stuck with me; “If you can explain to someone how you perform a particular task, that task is a learned behaviour. If you can’t explain the exact steps, that task is an inherent strength”. For me, this task was product architecture and analysis.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy listening to podcasts. I listen to a wide variety of different topics, and attempt to glean value from each, and apply that value in different contexts. One of those topics relates to creativity. Continue reading

Filtering the Options API in WordPress

The Options API in WordPress is one of the many APIs we all use every day when developing with WordPress. A quick use of get_option() is not uncommon. What if you could filter those options? You can.

Adding filters in WordPress is also a common practice. Combining this with the Options API can allow for, as an example, changing an option when in preview mode without committing to the change.

In the “Magazine” template in the Canvas theme by WooThemes, for example, WooTumblog “image” and “video” posts are aware when they are present in the magazine-style grid. This is an example of filtering the Options API.

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What a blog redesign means to me

Today’s question, folks, is; “What does a blog redesign mean to you?”. Lets dive right in, shall we?

For me, a blog redesign means quite a lot. It means the opportunity to hone my skills, experiment with new ideas and techniques and put a fresh coat of paint and a new engine behind my blog. Let me elaborate on the paint and engine for a moment.

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More tips for styling the WordPress tinyMCE editor

Blue WordPress logo, courtesy http://wordpress.org/about/logos/A few weeks ago, I blogged about styling the tinyMCE editor in WordPress to resemble your WordPress theme’s content area. On this post, I received a comment from LA, asking if it’s possible to style the tinyMCE editor for specific posts or post templates. Folks, it’s WordPress… anything’s possible!

With my mission at hand, I set to work. I’d been thinking about this for a while after writing the initial blog post and am please to say that I have found a solution. Please be sure you’ve read through the initial blog post, as the main points are covered over there.

There are a few steps we need to go through here. They’re pretty straight forward, so bear with me. 🙂

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Styling the tinyMCE editor in WordPress

WordPress logoWith WordPress’ easy to use nature and user interface, content management of websites is accessible to a vast range of users, from the Bill Gates’ of the world right through to users who discovered this “internet thing” just yesterday. Once the concepts of “what is a content management system?” and “Okay, so this is the ‘backend’ and the website is the ‘frontend'” have been grasped, the usual question arises: “So, why does the backend content look different to the frontend content?”. To this question, we are about to say one thing: “Question… be gone!” Continue reading

Enhancing the comments list in WordPress

With the introduction of the wp_list_comments() function, WordPress enabled users to easily list comments on the websites without having to manually run a series of loops and queries to get the comments into neat XHTML. This function outputs default code with a selection of options for how this code is structured. Today we’ll be customising how comments are displayed in our WordPress theme, and adding a few extra enhancements to our comments while we’re at it (one of them being the Twitter username we added before). Lets start with the callback, shall we? Continue reading

Storing a Twitter username with comments in WordPress

Follow me on TwitterWe’ve all seen this before when commenting on a blog post we’ve just read. The standard comment form on a WordPress-driven website asks for a user’s name, email address (not published), website address and their comment. What if we could get some other information from the user*, and later integrate that into their comment? Why not get their Twitter username and link back to their Twitter profile as well as to their website? This tutorial will explain how to do just that.

* While this tutorial uses a Twitter username as an example, virtually any additional information supplied by the user can be stored along with their comment (a rating, a selection of their social media profiles, etc). Continue reading