Nathan Kontny

Nathan Kontny

CTO at Rockstar Coders Joined almost 6 years ago via an invitation from Allan G.

  • 33 stories
  • 15 comments
  • 17 upvotes
  • Posted to Argue with your customers, in reply to Jim Silverman , Sep 11, 2018

    My jaw dropped from surprise. From years of "the customer is always right" and "just say yes.". It isn't customary to hear someone say to one of your customers "It doesn't sound like you should even be paying us". My reaction wasn't from someone being abrasive to my customer. It's shock from someone sowing doubt in my customers mind why they even bother paying me.

    I look at this discussion here. You're arguing with me. I haven't felt it abrasive at all.

    It's not something I'm advocating.

    1 point
  • Posted to Argue with your customers, in reply to Jim Silverman , Sep 11, 2018

    Thanks for reading the post Jim! I think "agitate" and "aggressive" might be strong words through that don't describe what I'm actually encouraging. I'm pretty sure our customers don't get that feeling from us. There are ways to challenge people's thinking without making them feel like we're "aggressive" and we just want to fight. I realize though in the wrong hands that nuance might be tough. And given the media/political climate we live in today: I can see why "argue" = "aggressive"vs "argue" = "debate". But you are definitely right. I don't argue that anyone should be intentionally aggressive or agitate their users :)

    1 point
  • Posted to Increasing our conversion rate 500% — Part 2, in reply to James Young , Aug 07, 2018

    Hey James, thanks for the reply! Well, it's not exactly easy. I've been doing design optimization for years. You should see the stuff we tried at Highrise that never got to see an article because it didn't move the needle.

    As for proof, there's not much else I can give you because I'm not going to share at this time my Google Analytics screenshots. That might be a great idea though. I'm just not ready to give our competitors everything about our business. But one bit of proof hopefully is my track record of sharing the wins and the losses over my career. For example, I've shared the wins of marketing I've had with Highrise like this 35% bump

    https://m.signalvnoise.com/marketing-design-how-we-got-a-35-bump-in-our-conversion-rate-at-highrise-96abe6d91818

    And the things I screwed up:

    https://m.signalvnoise.com/choking-under-pressure-what-we-can-learn-from-those-who-have-and-how-to-avoid-it-9234916dd1fb

    And funny enough I have an article coming soon about screwing up our conversion rate just recently with another experiment.

    As for the common design methods, they sure are! But of course, no one seems to do them. I also have a series of landing page design videos on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoU-PFauVXDYyzRz2bUMHj2JbuR8M6cWn) and it's funny how often I repeat myself. Just because it's "common" for you and me, doesn't mean all the folks looking to learn how to design their businesses better know this. I think that's a big problem for a lot of us. We think everyone knows all this stuff we know, so it's not worth teaching or blogging. "Everything goods already been said" Right? Sure seems that way to me too sometimes. But I still go out there showing my own examples, and it proves to reach a pretty large audience who hasn't seen this stuff before about social proof or testing or designing forms.

    Hope you stay tuned for more. And thanks again for reading through it all!

    0 points
  • Posted to Increasing our conversion rate 500% — Part 2, in reply to Jay Kerr , Aug 07, 2018

    Thanks Jay!

    0 points
  • Posted to Marketing design - How we got a 35% bump in our conversion rate , in reply to Marcel van Werkhoven , May 05, 2017

    Thanks! Yeah pumped about it. The interviews took some deep time and attention, but the changes to the copy were easy after that. The next redesign is taking a bunch more effort. But nice to see easy changes = 35% improvement.

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: Best books on UX and product design, Dec 14, 2015

    Something Really New: Three Simple Steps to Creating Truly Innovative Products

    This is one that hasn't been rehashed over and over. Premise is simple: find tasks people have, create recipe lists of people doing those tasks, remove steps for folks. Really great way of organizing your thought in here on making products people are going to find super helpful. Has been a key thing in my own work.

    1 point
  • Posted to Work in Progress — video series about product design by Jason Fried and Nate Kontny., Oct 22, 2015

    Hello! Thanks for posting this Gadzhi! I'm happy to help anyone I can with any questions or whatever is on your mind! If there's any questions too that you want Jason or I to tackle on the show, please shout. Would love to fit them into our discussions.

    1 point
  • Posted to Web Agency CRM, in reply to Paul Best , Jul 07, 2015

    Thanks Paul! Highrise is getting a lot of love too since we've spun off from Basecamp. Please feel free to reach out (nate@highrisehq.com). How can I help? Not just on CRM stuff, but would love to be of service to anyone here in the community.

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: Where do you go for web design inspiration?, Apr 13, 2015

    Where do you go for web design inspiration? Dribbble, etc?

    Anywhere but other web sites.


    The best places to find inspiration is to look outside of the domain I'm designing for.

    Some of the coolest stuff I find other companies making are so far outside of their domain. For example, Wrigley's Gum studies paint (e.g. how do companies create such white paint) in order to find ideas on making better teeth whitening gum. And paint companies are studying nature (e.g. how do lily pads stay so dry) to understand how to create stain resistant paint.

    Draft, which has done very well for me, was designed by taking a lot of inspiration from the Kindle Paperwhite. I paid a lot of attention to how Amazon provides menus, buttons, functions on top of reading, while still keeping reading the main focus and without distracting folks with lots of chrome. For colors that I used for the color palette, I spent a lot of time combing through art books and even taking photos of things at the Art Museum in Chicago, namely my favorites from Van Gogh.

    And now with Highrise I spend a lot of time looking at anything but CRM/address book software. Instead I spend a lot of time looking at paper notebooks. How do those old Daytimers work or Franklin Covey planners. How does my parents rolodex of index cards work for them so well still today?

    Of course I'm still looking at Dribbble and all the other web sites I come across to stay fresh. But the true bursts of inspiration I got creating things like web software for writing, was looking at anything but other writing programs and web software.

    0 points
  • Posted to Show DN: Create a No-Nonsense Resume, Apr 11, 2015

    I dig it! Looks great. Very scannable. One thing that came to mind if you need any more brainstorming on where this could go -- Looking at this was something I wrote awhile ago:

    http://ninjasandrobots.com/writing-a-cover-letter

    I think most people creating resumes don't fail so much at the resume part as they fail at the cover letter part. They fail at communicating something that isn't obvious. They state "I'm made with real eggs" and they are a breakfast sandwich. Of course you're made with real eggs; you are an egg sandwich. Use the space to tell me something interesting and surprising about yourself.

    People also fail at testimonials. The biggest reason I hire people is when someone else says something nice about them. But most people stick a "references on request" at the bottom of resumes. That's terrible! Testimonials should be at the top of your resume or cover letter.

    I'm only mentioning that because that's where I think people need the most help, and could your solution help with that?

    Maybe your resume could have a beautiful pull quote or two at the top for testimonials. Or a place at the top to call out what should be in a cover letter (e.g. a better Objective area). A short paragraph of your story, and how you're different. The anecdote that tells me how different you are than everyone else. The paragraph about how you surprised everyone in your last job, know one thought you could pull off XYZ, but you did, and you got a promotion for it. That kind of thing. Because really, most people hiring don't want to read the resume.

    1 point
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