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Interview with @NormativeDesign | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees
Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 5.02.14 PM

Interview with @NormativeDesign

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with friend Amrita Chandra of Normative Design. You can read the full conversation on Normative’s blog with the post titled Normative Conversations: Michael Surtees of Dataminr.

Amrita: Dataminr is an incredibly complex tool – is there anything you can share about how you tackled the design process?

Michael: Let me try! We have 3 products but they are all trying to solve a fundamental problem of finding info. That info resides in a tweet which we typical refer to as an alert.

There’s tons of ways people find an alert, it could be a notification on a mobile device, an email, an instant message or inside a desktop application. Knowing that, I typically call the alert the atomic unit.

Our process involves trying to best understand how a user would define what is important to them and translate that into the product through settings, displays and iterations based on user testing. As new data becomes available and we interpret feedback, we iterate.

Typically we’ll work on one product for a period of time, move on to the next and once we have evolved the second product some of the new features will find their way into the old one as we start on the third.

At the end of the day the design process is based on use cases, feedback, testing and iteration.

Hopefully that sheds a bit of light.

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  • Amrita Chandra

    Thanks for posting this Michael. I always enjoy our conversations.