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Designing the right product


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A talk from GOTO Amsterdam, on 20th June 2014.

We've all been there. You release a new feature, product or service, only to find it isn't quite what your customers want or need. But by the time you release, it's too late to make significant changes.

Traditionally user experience design has involved upfront user research and design, to ensure we build products that meet customer needs. But this approach doesn't always work so well within an Agile development environment. Lean UX draws inspiration from the philosophy behind Lean manufacturing, where the emphasis is on reducing waste in the production process and only working on things that create value for your customers.

In this session Michele will demonstrate how taking a Lean UX approach can help you to design the right products for your customers. Michele will share some practical tips, tools and techniques for product teams. You'll learn how to:

Get the team out of the building to find out first-hand what your customers want and need
Use rapid prototyping techniques to validate assumptions with customers, without having to code a fully functioning application.

Work collaboratively with your team to get to the right design quickly

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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Designing the right product

  1. 1. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Designing the right product Michele Ide-Smith, @micheleidesmith Head of Design University of Cambridge
  2. 2. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms A cautionary tale of product development… Photo credit: Andy Field
  3. 3. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Back in 2002 • I worked on a mobile (WAP) search for second hand car sales • I designed user flows and wireframes • We created a fully coded prototype • We did lots of internal testing • Then we launched the app…
  4. 4. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms We may as well have built one of these… Photo credit: Steve Way
  5. 5. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms We made a lot of assumptions
  6. 6. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms We didn’t validate our assumptions
  7. 7. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms We didn’t learn anything about our client’s customers
  8. 8. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “Unfortunately, we again made the mistake of focusing on engineering first and customer development second…We released our first version to some moderate success and then proceeded to continue to churn out features without really understanding customer needs.” Devver Blog – Lessons Learned
  9. 9. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “When I ask founders how long it’s been since they’ve watched a real customer use their product, they usually look embarrassed and admit they haven’t tested anything in months.” Braden Kowitz, Google Ventures Photo credit: Braden Kowitz
  10. 10. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms It’s tempting to design a product with loads of really cool features.
  11. 11. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms But in reality your users will only use a handful of useful features
  12. 12. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms % Software features used 30 50 20 Used Never used Rarely used Source: Standish Chaos Manifesto 2013
  13. 13. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “ There is no doubt that focusing on the 20% of the features that give you 80% of the value will maximize the investment in software development and improve overall user satisfaction.” 
 Standish Chaos Manifesto
  14. 14. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms An evolution of thinking…
  15. 15. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Lean: deliver value to customers with minimal resources Photo credit: Toyota Material Handling
  16. 16. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms
  17. 17. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “There are no facts inside your building, so get outside”   Steve Blank & Bob Dorf
  18. 18. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “The question is not Can this product be built? Instead, the questions are Should this product be built?”   Eric Ries
  19. 19. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Principles of Lean Startup • Eliminate uncertainty • Work smarter, not harder • Develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) • Validated learning
  20. 20. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Ideas Build Code Measure Data Learn
  21. 21. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Validated learning
  22. 22. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Does your product solve a problem for your customers?
  23. 23. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “Requirements are assumptions.”   Jeff Gothelf
  24. 24. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Principles of Lean UX • Cross-functional teams • Continuous discovery • GOOB: user-centricity • Shared understanding • Making over analysis
  25. 25. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Think MakeCheck Reduce cycle time, not build time Design research! Competitor Analysis! Personas! Ideation Hypothesis! Sketching! Prototyping! Coding Usability testing! A/B testing! Analytics
  26. 26. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Some case studies…
  27. 27. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “We wanted to make sure we were getting customer feedback as we worked so that we were never working on anything that wasn’t valued by the customer.”   Nordstrom Innovation Lab: Sunglasses iPad App Photo credit: Prayitno
  28. 28. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms
  29. 29. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Hypothesis: Oracle Developers & DBAs need a better way to source control their database schemas. ! >70% interest – develop a tool a.s.a.p. Photo credit: Paigggeyy
  30. 30. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms 25 feedback sessions with users
  31. 31. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms People returned to see the feedback we had collected throughout the conference
  32. 32. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Feedback went directly into the HTML/CSS prototype, using Twitter Bootstrap
  33. 33. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Regular releases of functionality based on user feedback
  34. 34. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Continual validation of assumptions through surveys, interviews and testing
  35. 35. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Lean UX tools
  36. 36. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Think MakeCheck Reduce cycle time, not build time Design research! Competitor Analysis! Personas! Ideation Hypothesis! Sketching! Prototyping! Coding Usability testing! A/B testing! Analytics
  37. 37. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Create a one page plan - put it up where everyone can see it!
  38. 38. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Get the team on the same page • Why are we doing this? • Who are building this for? • How will we know if we have succeeded?
  39. 39. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms State your assumptions • Review user stories or requirements • Which ones do you know to be true? • Which assumptions pose the biggest risk?
  40. 40. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms
  41. 41. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms To validate, or invalidate, your assumptions you need to learn about your customers Photo credit: Tom Ryan
  42. 42. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Involve the whole team in user research
  43. 43. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Observe, listen and learn • Observation & contextual interviews – Experience activities in context first hand – Observe what people do, how they behave – Look for pain points and work arounds • Guerrilla usability tests – 5 minutes in a cafe • Product forums or beta lists • Customer helpdesk / call centre
  44. 44. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “To make excellent products that truly understand our users’ contexts, we must look further, and investigate context first-hand” Cennydd Bowles Photo credit:
  45. 45. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms How and where will people use your application? Photo credit: Phil Dragash
  46. 46. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Who are they with? Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik
  47. 47. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Beware of asking people what they do, or what they want
  48. 48. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things.”   Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist
  49. 49. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Avoid questions like… • Which of these features would be useful to you? • How would you like this to work? • What would you most like to see in the product? • How do you think we should design this?
  50. 50. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Ask questions like… • Tell me about the last time you did X • What went well? What didn’t go so well? – What happened? – Why was that? – What did you do? • I noticed you were doing X just then. – That’s interesting, tell me more about that…
  51. 51. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Get a shared understanding of customer needs and problems
  52. 52. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Analyse research insights collaboratively
  53. 53. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Create customer personas to help the team make sense of user behaviours
  54. 54. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Think MakeCheck Reduce cycle time, not build time Design research! Competitor Analysis! Personas! Ideation Hypothesis! Sketching! Prototyping! Coding Usability testing! A/B testing! Analytics
  55. 55. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Prototype, test and iterate
  56. 56. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Design Studio: the whole team sketch out lots of ideas, choose the best ones and refine them
  57. 57. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Lo-fi prototypes are quick and easy to change 
 before you commit to code
  58. 58. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Externalise ideas - put design work on the walls and whiteboards! Find a war room!
  59. 59. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Get ready to experiment!
  60. 60. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms,  @luxrco
  61. 61. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “if the call-to-action button is red then the number of people registering will go up”
  62. 62. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Make sure it’s easy to test!
  63. 63. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Think MakeCheck Reduce cycle time, not build time Design research! Competitor Analysis! Personas! Ideation Hypothesis! Sketching! Prototyping! Coding Usability testing! A/B testing! Analytics
  64. 64. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Validation • Usability testing – Face-to-face or remote – Get the whole team to attend and analyse • A/B (multi-variant / split) testing – Only useful if you have a large enough sample • Click tests • Analytics
  65. 65. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms My top tips
  66. 66. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms #1 Don’t get lazy, find customers and learn how they use your product
  67. 67. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms #2 Do get the team to own the user experience of the product
  68. 68. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms #3 Don’t compromise quality - MVP doesn’t mean half-baked
  69. 69. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Summary • Treat requirements as assumptions • Get out of the building and observe customers in context • Build a shared understanding in the team of customer problems • Rapid think > make > check cycles • Everyone in the team owns the user experience of the product!
  70. 70. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right thing”   Peter Drucker
  71. 71. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms Michele Ide-Smith   Head of Design   University of Cambridge   ! @micheleidesmith
  72. 72. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms
  73. 73. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms References Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, The Startup Owner’s Manual: ! Eric Ries, Lean Startup: ! Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, Lean UX Book / Hypothesis Template: ! Cennydd Bowles, Designing With Context: ! Nordstrum Innovation Lab: Sunglass iPad App Case Study
  74. 74. @micheleidesmith | #GOTOAms References Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Canvas: ! Ash Mayura, Lean Canvas: ! Atlassian, Experience Canvas: lean-ux-with-the-experience-canvas/ ! Luxr, Experiment Template: @luxrco