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Shiny Hammers — utility + usability + beauty

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Slides from my talks at Optimal Experience in Wellington, New Zealand, and the H2O Summit at LinkedIn HQ, October 2013.

Published in: Design
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Shiny Hammers — utility + usability + beauty

  1. 1. Shiny Hammers
  2. 2. This is a talk about altruism.
  3. 3. Also, vanity and laziness.
  4. 4. About alignment of interests.
  5. 5. About earning happy customers.
  6. 6. And keeping them.
  7. 7. By investing in design.
  8. 8. Design?
  9. 9. Design = creation of something that does work
  10. 10. …so people don’t have to.
  11. 11. Design = innovation
  12. 12. Design = leverage
  13. 13. name, logo, meme hardware, software, service recipe, guide, mantra
  14. 14. Design is a fundamental human pursuit.
  15. 15. fire the wheel agriculture architecture rule of law medicine society
  16. 16. Design is about scaling people.
  17. 17. Product Design
  18. 18. Product design = investment in customer acquisition and retention
  19. 19. Retention = happiness
  20. 20. Happiness?
  21. 21. Back to hammers…
  22. 22. Everyone has a shiny hammer.
  23. 23. The tool you reach for first, the tool you feel great using.
  24. 24. The tool that helps you scale.
  25. 25. Three Things to Consider
  26. 26. Good Cheap Fast
  27. 27. Utility Beauty Usability
  28. 28. Utility Beauty Usability
  29. 29. Utility = work
  30. 30. Utility = capability to do work (for a customer)
  31. 31. Utility Beauty Usability
  32. 32. Usability = cost
  33. 33. Usability = cost to access utility
  34. 34. Cost = time + $, fixed and variable
  35. 35. Fixed usability cost = evaluation, implementation, switching cost, learning curve
  36. 36. Variable usability cost = maintenance, usage, exception cost
  37. 37. Utility Beauty Usability
  38. 38. Beauty = concise description of value
  39. 39. Value = utility × usability
  40. 40. Beauty works to evoke positive emotion, e.g. confidence, trust.
  41. 41. Beauty maximizes the odds a potential customer will consider your product
  42. 42. …or an existing customer will evangelize it.
  43. 43. Accessible Utility
  44. 44. Everything designed has maximum theoretical utility.
  45. 45. Accessible utility = theoretical utility × usability = efficiency = value
  46. 46. Greater usability = lower cost
  47. 47. For equivalent utility, increased usability = greater value
  48. 48. For each customer, every product has maximum utilizable value.
  49. 49. (More sophisticated customers can access greater utility.)
  50. 50. Each potential customer has a budget (time + $) to invest in your product.
  51. 51. To acquire a customer, you must meet their accessibility threshold— their budget.
  52. 52. Obviously this is perceptual— witness success of certain products, e.g. vices.
  53. 53. Surplus Time
  54. 54. Great products give time back.
  55. 55. Time back = happier customers
  56. 56. Customers will invest surplus time back into your product.
  57. 57. A product that helps your customers scale, helps you scale.
  58. 58. Organic growth, user communities, evangelists.
  59. 59. Constraints
  60. 60. Why invest in design?
  61. 61. Investment in design invests in your customers and invests in growth.
  62. 62. Investing in design says “I like my customers” and “I want more.”
  63. 63. Altruism = “I can help you”
  64. 64. Vanity = “I can help you”
  65. 65. Laziness = “I have limited resources”
  66. 66. Designing a product to scale?
  67. 67. Where are you constrained?
  68. 68. sales support development operations customers
  69. 69. If you have zero customers, there is only one right answer.
  70. 70. Design investment changes as you build relationships with customers.
  71. 71. Design investment is a deliberate allocation of resources between utility, usability, and beauty.
  72. 72. Focus shifts as your target customers change.
  73. 73. New needs require new investment in utility.
  74. 74. Growing businesses
  75. 75. Enterprise
  76. 76. China
  77. 77. Invest in usability to reach customers with fewer resources or simpler needs.
  78. 78. Maximize share of existing markets.
  79. 79. Empower the layman.
  80. 80. Invest in beauty to address changing tastes or new customers with different tastes.
  81. 81. In a competitive environment, there is no normal.
  82. 82. Usability in Practice
  83. 83. Avoid falling into the product trap.
  84. 84. Not every usability problem should be solved with UX.
  85. 85. Sometimes it’s cheaper to throw people at the problem.
  86. 86. (Or cheaper people. It depends where you’re constrained.)
  87. 87. Customer Support
  88. 88. Customer support is a great way to increase usability at low cost to your customers.
  89. 89. It’s also a great feedback mechanism.
  90. 90. Obviously, this isn’t scalable— “web-scale,” anyway.
  91. 91. If you only have 10 customers, you don’t have a scaling problem.
  92. 92. You have a “I only have 10 customers” problem.
  93. 93. Documentation
  94. 94. How fast is your product evolving?
  95. 95. A high rate of change makes documentation obsolete quickly.
  96. 96. Document stable or mature parts of your product. Leave the rest to support.
  97. 97. Community
  98. 98. Do your customers talk to each other?
  99. 99. Do they have surplus time to spend on your product?
  100. 100. Seed a community— Twitter, Facebook, forums, mailing lists.
  101. 101. Reward altruistic customer behavior.
  102. 102. Interface Design
  103. 103. Does your product do something new, or something better?
  104. 104. M-PESA unlocked banking for millions in Kenya via mobile phones.
  105. 105. M-PESA delivered demonstrably less utility than a bank.
  106. 106. But with infinitely greater usability.
  107. 107. Minimum Viable *
  108. 108. Start here. Utility
  109. 109. Invest a little here. Beauty Usability
  110. 110. And here. Beauty Usability
  111. 111. Start with just enough utility to get your first customer.
  112. 112. Until you know who your customer really is or what your product really does, invest judiciously in usability and beauty.
  113. 113. Usually, that means for patient customer zero, usability = you
  114. 114. You probably know your first customer. Spend time with them. Teach. Listen.
  115. 115. At this point, beauty = also you
  116. 116. Since you know your customer, and presumably they trust you, they’ll try your product.
  117. 117. Try = minimal investment (time + $)
  118. 118. The burden is on you to prove why your customer should continue to invest in your product.
  119. 119. Your customer puts in time + $, and—hopefully—gets utility out.
  120. 120. And time back.
  121. 121. And greater happiness.
  122. 122. Randy Reddig @rr

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