In our first Design Conversation Series event of 2024, our CEO, Nick Allen, spoke with Christian Crumlish, a design industry veteran and the author of “Product Management for UX People: From Designing to Thriving in a Product World." Christian shared his perspective on the evolving relationship between UX and product management over time, and we were thrilled to have many questions from attendees curious about practical ways to implement some of the ideas he discussed. 

The event provided great advice and insights on how design and product teams can better work together. Some of the key topics include:

Key Topics 



What's Next

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to learn about upcoming discussions with other design leaders at: In the next few months, we’ll be joined by Krystal Higgins to discuss her book, “Better Onboarding,” as well as Tom Greever, who will join us to talk about his book, “Articulating Design Decisions.”

If you have ideas about an interesting topic or speaker you'd like to see, or if you’d like to talk to us about our perspective and experience with all things UX research and product design, please reach out at


In our latest installment of our Design Conversation Series, we spoke with Chris Avore, head of design at Northwestern Mutual, and co-author of "Liftoff! Practical Design Leadership to Elevate Your Team, Your Organization, and You." Chris discusses some of the ways that, like so many things, design leadership has evolved and adapted since the book was released in 2020.

Key Topics 

What's Next

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to learn about upcoming discussions with other design leaders at: If you have ideas about an interesting topic or speaker you'd like to see, please reach out at


Check out our recent discussion with Jon Yablonski, author of "Laws of UX" and Senior Product Designer at Mixpanel. We explored the fundamental concepts behind the Laws of UX framework and how understanding user behavior psychology can enhance the work of any UX/UI or product designer. Don't miss out on the valuable insights and takeaways from this discussion.

Key Topics 

What's Next

This event is the fifth session in a discussion series that explores the topic from the perspectives of design leaders, product strategists and product designers. If you have suggestions for topics, speakers, or questions please send them to

Admin consoles are typically used to let SaaS (software as a service) administrators configure and manage software for their organization – adding and removing users, assigning licenses, enabling features, managing billing, etc. The SaaS admin console experience is often a second-class citizen in terms of UX, as vendors spend most of their time working on improving the end-user experience. However, as more and more companies hope to expand their product offerings directly, with new features and services, or indirectly, through integrations, the role of the console and those using it becomes more important.

To get a better sense of what admins think about the consoles they use and how they roll out new features, we surveyed a handful of them.

Satisfied, but Plenty on the Wish List

Of our 12 respondents, the average number of apps they managed was 5, with offerings from Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon, and Okta being the most common. Overall, these admins reported neutral or above-average grades for the consoles they used most often. However, they pointed out a wide variety of issues, including:

“Having to look around to find certain functions of the admin console when they aren't properly documented.”

“Fixing mis-configurations and/or making sure patches and updates are installed correctly.”

“Often in these portals I find that key information and tasks are hidden away in areas that are often unclear or vague. This increases the time spent performing these tasks and also brings my confidence level in the applications down.”

So what could be improved? As with pain points, there was no consensus. The most common items on the wish list centered on:

One admin did mention “New features & how they apply to my organization” as the No. 1 most important improvement to their console experience, which should be music to the ears of product managers. And while others didn’t explicitly mention this, 8 of the 12 did report that they were critical in promoting new features and services. 

Finally, for vendors rolling out new services, admins made it clear that email and collaboration tools, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, were the leading ways to get the word out.

Final Thoughts

It’s important for those building SaaS apps to spend time improving many aspects of the admin experience. While most of the console will have to be used no matter how intuitive, the ability of these tools to effectively promote and roll out new services should be explored.

From conversations with admins outside of this survey, we’ve learned that they are hesitant to simply click a button to blast out new capability to their organization. Providing a solid value proposition that can be shared with business leaders and influential power users, as well as allowing admins to test out new services with smaller groups of users, will likely lead to a greater chance of driving new service adoption.

If you would like to chat with us about UX research or design for improving your admin console, contact us at