Get your balance back: Dealing with Email Overload

Advice on surviving the constant onslaught of email and meetings will reappear fairly often here – getting distracted by your inbox causes loads of problems. Among them:

-Switching costs
-Growing insanity
-More switching costs between bouts of insanity
-Less time for your personal life
-greater stress
-lower productivity

Here’s a great, short blog post from the HBR about coping with email overload.

Oh, one exception to spending more time in your inbox is if you’re reading Product[x] posts – that’s time well spent.

Design Tip: New Meaning for Readability

Did you know there’s a way to measure the readability of your docs? There’s a measure called the Flesch Readability Test which measures both the ease of reading your material as well as estimates the grade level required to understand your material.

Find ways to employ it in customer communications (i.e. emails), UI notices, and even in your own writings!

Want to use it? Unfortunately, Docs itself no longer supports it. But you can either throw it into Microsoft Word or use an online reader which is compatible.

In the News: Meet Nymi

Nymi, a wristband from the company Bionym (retails for $79) measures your distinctive electrocardiogram signal.

This signal could then communicate wirelessly with payment terminals, cars, and other devices without you having to do anything, unlike other biometric technologies (e.g. fingerprinting or retinal scans).

Why is this cool?
If you saw Larry’s OKR video earlier this month, you know solving authentication is one of our big bets for this year.

What do you think of the future of biometric tools?

Perspectives: Ode to a Non-Technical Product Manager

 Are you focused on execution rather than requirements development? Here are some great tips on being a great PM even if you can’t code that well
This is a great (and short) article with good advice for non-technical PMs, but also universal advice for all of us.

Some highlights:
-Supplement technical skills with technical curiosity
-Develop a superpower (data cruncher, expectations mgmt, etc.)
-Focus on making everyone on your team better

Any tips to add?

Design with the Blind in Mind

“Uncertainty is a sign of humility, and humility is just the ability or the willingness to learn.”

Now this is a quote from Charlie Sheen. And yet it’s still relevant.

This is a good time to remind ourselves that with vision comes responsibility – a responsibility to recognize that we don’t always have the vision we need to solve problems for folks who live outside of our tech-savvy circles.

With the company focus on accessibility, we should view our responsibility to folks with disabilities as not only deeply applicable to our mission to make the world’s information “universally accessible”, but as something also pretty damn close to a source of inspiration for us all.

With that in mind, check out this great TED talk by Chris Downey, a blind former architect, who urges the audience to “design with the blind in mind”.

Welcome to Product[X]!

Welcome to the Product[x] blog!

Thanks for visiting! We’d like to start out by introducing this effort, what you’ll be able to find here, what you won’t  be able to find, and a little more about what we’re trying to accomplish.

The Product[x] blog is a daily blog to discuss the ‘craft’ of being a PM, with a focus on providing top-notch content from Googlers (both expert and non-expert) as well as some of our favorite outside resources (both serious and not-so-serious).

Why call it ‘Product[x]’?
No matter what you’re working on or how long you’ve been a PM, we expect that you’ll find something useful here. If you don’t, we want to hear from you. If you do, well, we still want to hear from you.