Single family house with two car garage and a driveway
Single family house with two car garage and a driveway

If there is just one piece of advice I would give to millennials about real estate, it would be this: stop overthinking it.

Buying or selling a home has nothing to do with birth year. As millennials, you have essentially been branded and bucketed your entire lives, and everything involving life has been prepended or appended with the word “millennials.” Most of it, contradictory!

  • Why do millennials get all the promotions?
  • Why do millennials get passed over for promotions?
  • Millennials are the new wine-tasting generation
  • Millennials have more money than previous generations
  • Millennials have less money than previous generations
  • Why…

laptop on computer table with large monitor
laptop on computer table with large monitor

What is internal product management like, and is it for you?

There isn’t a whole lot of information or stories from internal product managers on the internet, so I figured I’d add at least one. From my perspective, internal product management is like an awkward shaped space between business analysis, project management, help desk/support, and “person whose job is to fix all of the problems.” Most aspiring PMs will read that and scrunch up their noses. It’s not the glamorous stuff they imagine. But for some people, it really may be the perfect fit.

First, why does the org have an internal PM role?

Internal tools that are integral to…


Web content audit template

Use this easy web content audit template to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities with your website content.

Woman using a Macbook laptop sitting on a white sofa.
Woman using a Macbook laptop sitting on a white sofa.

I recently completed a website audit project for a nonprofit organization through CatchAFire.org. As part of the website audit, I audited every key page’s content, looking for areas of opportunity.

To make the process go more quickly and smoothly, I came up with a system for evaluating the content based on four key indicators. These indicators make up the most important factors of good content, from my perspective, and together they create the acronym, R.E.A.L.

  1. Relevance
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Action
  4. Links

In my audit, each of these areas is rated High, Moderate, Low or None. …


User testing

As a researcher running unmoderated user tests, you will eventually make mistakes. Here’s what to look out for.

Two people looking at a laptop screen together.
Two people looking at a laptop screen together.

In a short period of time, I conducted around 50 unmoderated user tests and watched well over 100 hours of video. Most videos were around 10 minutes long, and most tests had 10 videos. Some much longer, some much shorter. I watched the videos at work, and sometimes I was intrigued enough to even watch them at home. User testing is endlessly fascinating to me.

That said, I didn’t do everything right. Some tests went terribly and I had to repeat them at least once. Others went very well. …


Collaboration

The subtle but important difference between input and feedback that can make or break collaboration

Three women talking at a table.
Three women talking at a table.
Do you ever feel like people just want your feedback, but not your input? You’re not alone.

I’ve been meaning to write something on this topic for some time, because I so often hear people referring to their collaborative process, only to find out that it’s really not collaborative at all. This comes up often at work, in people management, in teams, and working cross-functionally. It’s important to get it right.

I believe that people want to collaborate. Collaboration is satisfying and balances workload. It feels great when a team actually functions as a team — when all voices are heard, all ideas and insights are valued, and all contributions are matched.

On a sports team, collaboration…


Custom 404 pages

The good, the bad, and the not impressive: let’s examine the custom 404 pages of popular websites.

To customize or not to customize your 404 page? I hope by now you know the answer is that, yes, under essentially all circumstances you should customize your 404 page. 404 errors occur when someone attempts to visit a URL on your website that doesn’t exist. It’s not fun to see a 404 error, but it will happen.

The best of the web anticipates that it’s going to happen and takes advantage of it by creating optimal user experiences out of bad ones.

I took a random stroll around the Internet to find examples of 404 pages that were either…


When your emotional bond with your idea is too strong, you won’t be in a position to improve it.

man standing in front of a whiteboard looking at flow diagrams
man standing in front of a whiteboard looking at flow diagrams
When you’re too close to something, you can’t see its flaws and any pushback can send you into defense mode.

The cross-functional marketing team of designers, analysts, developers, writers and photographers had become emotionally drained. Coming up with creative solutions to real problems was too hard at this point. It was too difficult to come to consensus, agreement, or even acknowledgement of the problems.

At the helm: a leader who was tired of not being heard. Feeling disrespected and robbed of what she felt was her earned position — the position of calling the shots.

Time and time again, she felt challenged and a sense of pushback that no longer made sense to her. Why should she have to explain…


In this quick tutorial, I will show you how to create simple, effective low fidelity wireframes using free tools.

A wireframe of Bootstrap Framework’s “Documentation” page layout
A wireframe of Bootstrap Framework’s “Documentation” page layout
A wireframe of the Bootstrap Documentation page layout

Why wireframe?

Simply put, wireframes provide a structure and layout for content and assets.

You can wireframe just about any kind of presentation, from posters and Powerpoint presentations to web pages and apps. Anything that can be shown can be wireframed — it’s not limited to digital products.

People use wireframes for many reasons, among them:

  • To assess options and feasibility for content layout
  • To communicate design vision and rationale
  • To get consensus or agreement

In this tutorial, I will cover creating a wireframe for a web page.

Prepping for wireframing — What do you need to get started?

Generally, you will need to have some idea of the purpose of the page…


User stories have long lifespans and can be used for everything from user research, to wire framing, development, testing & QA, and product roadmaps.

two people standing in front of a whiteboard and discussing wire frames and flow charts
two people standing in front of a whiteboard and discussing wire frames and flow charts

“As a site administrator, I want to assign tags to entries in the directory so that they can be grouped for display and searched by keyword/tag.”

If that kind of statement seems familiar to you, you’ve probably written or encountered a user story or two. The key components of a user story are

  • As a <user>
  • I want to <do something>
  • So that <desired result>

When you put it together, you’ve got a single sentence detailing a key way that someone will interact with a product or feature.

Why bother?

The first time I heard about and was asked to…


autumn sage rosemary plant in bloom
autumn sage rosemary plant in bloom
Guess what? It’s spring, which is the time for new things.

If you’re not enjoying much of the stay-at-home life, you’re not alone.

I and many others I’ve connected with recently are in the same boat. I hate this. And there’s no part of me that is smiling because “I’m safe.” I’m just… annoyed.

The first step is acceptance, right? At least, that is what I’ve heard. Accept the truth so that you can begin the healing process (or whatever kind of process you need to begin).

For many of us — possibly even you — there’s a physical and psychological anxiety that has cozied up next to us on the…

Tia Peterson

Product and UX design AND Realtor® with eXp Realty. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

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