Open source presentationThis is not about UX designThis is about conceptualizing products and systematically testing whether or not it’s worth developing themI fully expect that there are people out there in the audience who have some awesome experience with this – feel absolutely free to interrupt.
Let’s begin with a reflexive exercisewho’s in this audience right now?Alright, let’s see how my assumptions panned out
Here’s the reality when it comes to designing applications people are fanatical about:it’s not easy – in fact it’s really, really hardIt requires a ton of trial and errorAnd there will be a lot of surprises along the way
You kick off the process with an idea, so let’s get one from the audience here.[get an idea from the audience]Ok, now that we’re set with an idea, let’s go about the business of figuring out who in the hell is going to actually use this thing
So what’s the first question you ask when it comes to building an audience? Any guesses?I’m suspecting that you guys probably went straight to “who” – “who” is going to use our application. And that’s only natural, but the right place to start is with “Why?”“Why?” would someone want to use our application. The reason we ask this question first is because it defines our initial value proposition – without a value proposition, aka “a reason for using your application,” we shouldn’t be having this conversation.So what’s the next question?
For some of you, this might be a better way of looking at the Onion process – as a funnel. The further you go down the funnel the closer you get to your target audience.
Now throughout those last couple of exercises, we made a bunch of assumptions and probably didn’t even realize it. The next thing we have to do is to go back and hunt them down.
How to Design Applications People Love
How to Design Applications People Love<br />How to think like an end-user<br />And figure out who your end-users are<br />
Outlining Our Assumptions<br />Assumptions are bad.<br />What assumptions did we make about:<br />Why people will use our app?<br />What people will use our app?<br />How people will use our app?<br />When / where people will use our app?<br />Who will actually use our app?<br />
Testing Our Assumptions<br />How do we test our assumptions?<br />By actually talking to people<br />
Talking to Potential Users<br />Get user input before we build anything<br />Use our time with users to test our assumptions<br />
Finding Potential Users to Interview<br />Friends and family<br />Co-workers<br />Online communities<br />Should be specific to your audience<br />LinkedIn InMail / Introductions<br />
What Do We Ask Potential Users?<br />Ask about everything in our assumption map<br />Introduce our product idea<br />Mock-ups are a plus<br />Get their gut-feedback<br />Ask about similar products and services<br />What do they like?<br />What don't they like?<br />
User Feedback IRL<br />The users we interview are not always right<br />And they may not always be the best representatives<br />Take everything with a grain of salt<br />
When Our Assumptions Are Mostly Wrong...<br />Start over with the onion process<br />Do a post-mortem<br />What assumptions lead you astray?<br />What did you learn?<br />What will you do different next time?<br />
When Our Assumptions Are in the Ballpark<br />Time for an MVP<br />Use RAD methodologies if you can get away with it<br />
Prototypes, MVPs, and Alpha Testing<br />Prototype vs. MVP?<br />Implement core features only<br />Alpha testing<br />Find a small, talkative group<br />Test usefulness of experience<br />Qualitative analysis<br />We want to know if a real product is viable<br />
What Happens Next?<br />If our application idea has survived thus far:<br />People like our idea / application<br />Find the experience to be useful<br />Our assumptions have been reasonably tested<br />It might be time to start:<br />Business planning<br />Formal UX design<br />Beta testing<br />
Maintain Relationships with Potential Users Throughout the Cycle<br />Feedback a consistent group over the lifecycle of your app = super valuable<br />It'll be that much easier to launch<br />
Don't Drink the Kool-Aid<br />Always be skeptical of both praise and criticism of your applications<br />But always listen<br />
Prepare for Surprises<br />Honda Element<br />Targeted towards younger consumers<br />Sold in massive numbers to...<br />
Prepare for Surprises<br />Your grandparents!<br />Average age of Element owner: 45 years old<br />Still a success<br />
Maintain the 30,000 Foot View<br />Does your app make your users happy?<br />And do they think it's worth more than what they invested into it?<br />If you can't answer "yes," to both of these questions, then nothing else matters<br />
Thanks for Listening!<br />Aaron Stannard<br />Twitter: @Aaronontheweb<br />Blog: http://www.aaronstannard.com/<br />My works in progress: http://stannardlabs.com/<br />