How to Build Meaningful Products

Ryan Singer of Basecamp

Basecamp's Ryan Singer on the difference between UI and UX, how to build meaningful solutions for problems and people, and what it means to "scratch the itch."

  • Here's what to listen for:
  • 0:40 What is user interface (UI) design?
  • 3:14 Is focusing on user experience (UX) a distraction?
  • 5:04 Who on the team is most responsible for UX?
  • 5:49 Where should a person with just an idea begin?
  • 6:59 How can a non-technical person judge design deliverables?
  • 10:44 Are there any intermediate deliverables before having someone code up the product itself?
  • 15:40 What questions can a first time founder ask themselves to get more clarity?
  • 20:02 How do you mitigate risk in designing a product?
  • 22:35 What do you do with user and stakeholder feedback?
  • 24:59 What do you do when you feel as though what you’re building should be solving a pain, but it’s not?
  • 27:48 Should I learn how to code?

"UX is just a fancy way of saying knowing what a good product is."

"To see if you're onto something you need to prototype it, stick it in the socket and see if light comes out."

"If you don't know how your user is going to react to something, you're not picking a good problem."

"You want to understand the problem so well you're going to do it better than anyone else."

"I think you need to know the problem first hand in order to build the solution for it."