Flag (noun.)

Definition: A prescribed circumstance in which data is delivered.

Also referenced as: Flags (noun)

Related to: Baseline, Data, Goal, Improvement, Indicator, Intent, Measure, Progress



The word flag was used 7 times across 4 pages


Chapter 5: Measure the Distance | Page 94

Flags are useful because they allow us to know when something important happens. We can attach a flag to most indicators.

These are all examples of flags:

  • Having a loved one call when they arrive at their destination safely
  • A dashboard light that reminds you to get gas in the next 50 miles
  • A weekly email that shares customer service feedback with a design team
  • An email alert when competitors are mentioned in the press
  • A monthly report of how many users drop off at each step of an online registration process

Flags allow us to use data more proactively.



Chapter 5: Measure the Distance | Page 97

Jim owns a retail store. His profits and traffic have been declining for the last few years. His employees are convinced that, to save the business, the company website needs to let people buy things online. But all Jim sees is more complications, more people to manage, and more expenses. He thinks, "If we sell on the website, we have to take photos, and pack and ship each order. Who will do that?"

With rent going up and profits going down, Jim isn't sure if changing the website will save his business. He doesn't know the distance he needs to travel to get to his goal. He wonders, "Will improving my website even help? Or will it just make things worse?"

To think through this decision, Jim:

If Jim's goal is to increase in-store traffic and reduce expenses, an online store probably doesn't make as much sense as other things he could do.



Chapter 5: Measure the Distance | Page 98

Think about what you're trying to accomplish.

  1. Revisit what you intend to do and why. Now break it down into specific goals.
  2. Make a dream list of what would be measureable in an ideal world. Even if the measurement is fuzzy or hard to find, it's useful to think about the best-case scenario.
  3. Remember to mine data from people.
  4. Measure the baseline of what you can. Once you have your dream list, narrow it down to an achievable set of measurements to gather a baseline reading of.
  5. Make a list of indicators to potentially measure.
  6. List some situations where you'd want to be notified if things change. Then, figure out how to make those flags for yourself.


Chapter 6: Play with Structure | Page 115

Joan is the social media coordinator for an airline that recently merged with another airline. Overnight, her team became responsible for twice as much work as before. She's also now responsible for managing twice as many people.

As the details of the merger iron out, duplicative channels have to be dealt with. For example, they now have two Twitter accounts and two help directories on two different websites. To tie everything together, Joan: