Why We *Previously* Shut Aurelius Down (Updated June 2019)

This is an updated post about our strategy for moving from Aurelius v1 to Aurelius v2 

[Aurelius v2 launched February 2018 and is going strong :)]

The original post below outlines our strategy and reasons for having shut down Aurelius a few years ago. 

The short story is that we learned a ton from customers (obviously from doing user research with them) and learned that we should change our product and entire company focus to helping UX, design, research and product teams add, tag, organize, search and share all their user research and insights.

Aurelius v1 was more of a product strategy platform that also had the ability to take research notes, create key insights and add them to product/design decisions as part of a broader product. Through many conversations with active and prospective customers we learned that their primary problem to solve was having a central repository for all their user research notes, feedback and insights. Being that we had much of that capability in version 1, we decided to build a brand new app and integrate the two.

With that, we launched Aurelius “Insights” as a beta product while still running v1 as a product. What happened then was surprising to even us. Very quickly our paying customers began using “Insights” in beta even more than they were our paid for product. Further, we had hundreds and hundreds of people signing up for beta and early access to Aurelius v2. It was clear to us that we should double down and focus entirely on building an awesome user research and insights platform. So, we decided to sunset the original Aurelius v1 version.

Our product you see at the time of this writing is the direct result of user research and three iterations of our company and product. We’re learning more and getting even better every day. 

Check out v2 now live of Aurelius, the user research and insights platform for design and product teams.

[Update July 2018] We launched Aurelius v2 live in February of this year – go check it out now

Before you get too worried, hear me out.

To be more specific, very soon we will not be accepting any new customers for several months.

We aren’t going out of business and we aren’t closing the company. Rather, we are building the next evolution of our platform. Aurelius v.2 will be the smartest user research and insights platform for design and product teams.

Aurelius v.2 is an online platform that helps design and product teams collect, tag, group, organize and search all of their user research findings and customer insights in one place. So you can make awesome products, features and designs.

This is exciting news!

read more… “Why We *Previously* Shut Aurelius Down (Updated June 2019)”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 8 with Audrey Crane on UX Design, Research & Napkins

Episode 8 highlights:
  • Audrey’s concept of “give me a napkin”
  • Knowing how and when to step backwards from a prescribed solution to find the problem to solve
  • Working with your team and stakeholders so you can make a meaningful contribution as a designer
  • How we can find, and solve, the right problems as designers
  • UX designers and product managers working together successfully
  • Who owns the advocacy for and voice of the customer?

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 8 with Audrey Crane on UX Design, Research & Napkins”

I Found a Remarkable Way to Kill Politics in my Design and Product Strategy

Can I get a show of hands from how many people have ever had an awesome idea shot down due to politics or flimsy opinions?

Yep, I’ll bet you’ve been in client or stakeholder meetings finding yourself hit with a bunch of questions and critique about the decisions or recommendations you’ve made. Heck, you might even have a great story to tell and well thought out reasons for why you did what you did. Yet, there you sit, watching all that great work get flushed down the drain right before your very eyes by the highest paid, or the loudest (or both!) person in the room. Often, the discussion turns to things about the product or service that fly in the face of customer needs or even our own company objectives. Watching well crafted ideas get argued away in a single meeting is like squabbling over what to have for dinner while the house burns down around you.

Here’s the good news: killing politics and emotions in your design or product strategy doesn’t have to be an impossible task. By setting clear, well defined goals for your strategy, you can easily sell great ideas, decisions and recommendations without banging your head against the wall.

Download the free 4 point product strategy goal checklist, and we’ll walk through how to use it right here in this post. When we’re done, you’ll be on your way to building a brilliant design and product strategy that solves the right problems for your company and its customers.

read more… “I Found a Remarkable Way to Kill Politics in my Design and Product Strategy”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 7 with Jeff Gothelf on Product & Design Strategy

Episode 7 highlights:

  • Jeff’s definition of product strategy
  • Bringing clarity to the process of building a product strategy
  • The difference between brand and product strategy, and how they work together
  • The single biggest factor that holds most companies back from having a great product strategy
  • Building a product roadmap and strategy that actually works
  • How to empower your teams to solve problems instead of only building features
  • Who owns the product strategy? Product managers or UX Designers?

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 7 with Jeff Gothelf on Product & Design Strategy”

4 Point Product Strategy Goal Checklist

​Free Resource: 

4-Point Product Strategy Goal Checklist


Here’s our free guide to help you set brilliant product and design strategy goals. This 4 point checklist will help you get everyone on the same page to make your best design decisions and product recommendations.


Get the Checklist Now

Are Product Roadmaps a Waste of Time?

Have you ever found yourself having worked very long and very hard on a product roadmap presentation for your senior management only to find that it didn’t have the impact you’d hoped?

How could this be? We had every resource, milestone, deadline and feature detailed to the letter. Yet, that meeting didn’t go the way we wanted, and we sure as hell don’t feel any more confident in the direction our product is going.

A product roadmap was supposed to fix our strategic problems and get all the stakeholders aligned. After the meeting, we go and make new updates to the roadmap and get ready for the next meeting. Several months go by and we realize, we’ve spent nearly all our time updating the roadmap or plan, but haven’t actually made any progress. Worse yet, someone eventually asks “did we talk with customers about this?” and that’s when it hits you… we may have a flawless plan to go and solve the wrong problems.

Product roadmaps give you “what” but not the “why”

I’d bet good money that if you have spent any significant time building product roadmaps, you eventually came to a point where you realized “this isn’t working”. You’re trying your best to get people on board with the design and product recommendations you’re making, but the roadmap just isn’t doing the trick. You make edit after edit and still, the senior management and design/development teams feel no more confident that we’re doing the right things. That’s because a product roadmap is a plan not a strategy.

read more… “Are Product Roadmaps a Waste of Time?”

How to Build an Awesome Product & Design Strategy

How do you know you’re building the right products and features? Is there anything more frustrating than planning design and development efforts with no real understanding of our customers or how we’re helping our business?

read more… “How to Build an Awesome Product & Design Strategy”

Aurelius Podcast: Episode 4 with Josh Brewer on UX Design & Product Strategy

Episode 4 highlights:

  • How we know we’re building the right products and features
  • Using the “jobs to be done” framework in design and product management
  • How Twitter used UX design critiques to determine they were solving the right problems
  • Presenting design decisions to your team vs. presenting to stakeholders
  • “Having a seat at the table” and what that looks like as a UX designer
  • Helping your company value UX design at the highest executive level
  • Measuring the success of UX design and product management

read more… “Aurelius Podcast: Episode 4 with Josh Brewer on UX Design & Product Strategy”