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Learning UX from Angry Customers

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2 founders, 1 great idea and 0 cash. But infinite passion and drive. Sounds familiar? If you’re working on your own start-up, trying to conquer the world while penniless is simply a fact of life. Add customer anger and disappointment from a botched product launch to the mix, and we had the perfect storm which led to a huge learning curve.

This is the story of how we built Studio Ninja, a self-funded start-up SaaS, from an idea on an A4 sheet of paper into a customer base of 1000+ subscribers worldwide. How we got our first 70 users with no product and no cash. How we turned customer support on its head and channelled negative feedback into a wealth of opportunities for growth and product development.

We will show you how we overcame our penniless beginnings, how to utilise lean UX methodologies, how to co-design with customers, and tips on getting the most out of limited time and resources. We will also discuss our successes and failures, and how you can apply our learnings to your own start-up projects.

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Learning UX from Angry Customers

  1. 1. TALES FROM LEAN STARTUPS LEARNING UX FROM ANGRY CUSTOMERS
  2. 2. 2 FOUNDERS. 1 IDEA. 0 CASH. I WISH I HAVE A TEXTBOOK STORY OF HOW WE STARTED
  3. 3. Life-changing CRM software. Designed for photographers, by photographers. WWW.STUDIONINJA.CO
  4. 4. YUAN WANG Creative Director at Yump CHRIS GARBACZ Wedding Photographer
  5. 5. JUNE 2015 Pre-sold to 70 users DECEMBER 2015 Launch with 600 on waiting list (0 conversions) 6 months in MVP development FEBRUARY 2016 9 new subscribers
  6. 6. ANGRY CUSTOMER #1 “I am going CRAZY!! It’s none of those things I have tried everything... need to get a refund if it won’t work!”
  7. 7. MATTER-OF-FACT ANGRY CUSTOMER #2 “I am incredibly unsatisfied with your product and service... please refund my subscription payment and cancel my account.”
  8. 8. WHAT WE LEARNT It was easier convincing someone to pay $150 for a product that doesn’t exist than to pay $30 for one that does.
  9. 9. 3 MONTHS AFTER LAUNCH LET’S START A FACEBOOK GROUP!
  10. 10. WHAT OUR GROUP CREATED We started building a genuine and transparent relationship with our customers.
  11. 11. Bit by bit, we started involving our customers in every stage of our product development journey: 1. Respond to every comment, feedback and suggestion 2. Polls to vote on features 3. One-on-one interviews 4. Prototype testing on Invision 5. Beta testing on test server 6. Regular updates both good and bad
  12. 12. Why research? When we could copy the best features out in the market and have an endless supply of suggestions from our existing customers.
  13. 13. To identify which features are most important to our highest-value users. To avoid working on features that don’t actually matter much to our most important users. To identify the gap between what users say they want, and what they really need. To find a particular competitive advantage before our competitors.
  14. 14. WEEK 1 WEEK 3 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 Best practice and competitor review Consolidate customer suggestions and explore what works best among references. Prototype creation and review Create and share design prototype with a larger group of around 20 customers. One-on-one interviews (6 - 10) Make sure customers are well-represented. Prioritise features based on insights. Design refinement Finalise designs using customer feedback and queue for development. Research & design 4-week sprint Major feature “Lead management”
  15. 15. STUDIO NINJA TODAY 10X INCREASE IN SUBSCRIBERS
  16. 16. CONVERSION FROM TRIAL TO SUBSCRIBER 36%
  17. 17. “I would like to wholeheartedly endorse Studio Ninja. It’s the shit... ...they are literally on it night and day working their arse off, motivated by making the best product for us.” Rick Liston (photographer) ‘Victorian Wedding Photographers’ Facebook Group
  18. 18. “We appreciate not only the work but the communication and openness about what you are doing and how you are doing it! You are ninjas!” Maree Jaeger, Dec 2016
  19. 19. “The fact that you guys are always listening and evolving makes me want to stick around.” Peter Dawn, July 2017
  20. 20. 1. Presell to gauge market demand before you start building a MVP. 2. Know who your highest-value users are. 3. Involve users at every stage of your product development journey. 4. Be open and honest with your users. Be real! THANK YOU. ANY QUESTIONS? OUR UX TIPS FOR LEAN STARTUPS

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