UX Is Not Just For Software

If you’re part of the tech world, you have heard of and know what user experience (UX) is. More importantly, you know how important it is to the success of your product. Poor user experience can lead to user frustration, increase in support requests, lack of engagement and higher churn rates. All in all, it can result in doom for your product. This is why product managers, developers and designers work hard to optimize the user experience. For onboarding, this means getting the user to the “aha moment” as quickly as possible, and for retention, it means making it easy to to achieve the key actions and decreasing the feature clutter. The goal is always user happiness because user happiness means increase in usage, increase in users and increase in the moolah, baby.

Unfortunately, it seems as if many non-software companies lose sight of user (customer) experience. It may not be as easy to track or capture data on overall user experience but it is just as important for any company trying to keep customers engaged and happy. Continue reading →

The micro and macro of Product Management

For a Product Manager, there is always a fine line between balancing the long-term with the short-term. Many PMs question where their focus should be and how to allocate the right amount of time to each. The answer to this question can vary depending on the type of company you work for and the organizational structure. At a larger organization, there are typically more resources so that PM may not be asked to focus on such a broad scope. For a smaller organization, or a startup, the PM does not have that luxury. In this situation, something that I have experience with, you have no choice but to focus on both the short and long-term scenario of your product. Continue reading →

Build for a market, not a user

Earlier this week, I attended a Product Manager event here in Orange County. It was my first time going to one of these events but it was great to be around other PMs that had many of same frustrations and objectives. The speaker was Jim Semick of ProductPlan and the topic was roadmap prioritization…an interesting subject for all PMs. As always, the discussion around prioritization techniques and internal requests was a heavy one, but the core takeaway I left with was to always build for a market, not a user. It can be extremely easy to get suckered into a user request, especially that of an important user, but in all stages of your startup and product, you need to keep your focus on the market. Continue reading →

Uber Killed The Lyft That We Knew

Branding can play an important role in the success and/or failure of a product and company. It’s what defines who and what a company is and is essential to help set the company’s tone and vision. That being said, branding may not be as important in the early stages of a product. At that point in time, all that matters are users, validation and growth. But as you do begin to grow, branding will help you become a recognized name and will take users from liking your product to loving your product.

Lyft’s branding is what made me love them, but now it’s dead…and Uber killed it. Continue reading →

Death of the MVP

If you’ve had a taste of the startup world, you’ve heard the term Minimal Viable Product (MVP). You may not even be anywhere around the startup life and still have heard the term. That’s how often it is used. It is used by almost all tech/software companies but it seems like many have a different view and definition of the term. Through my experience, a MVP could end up being a simple consumer insight survey, an informative landing page, a basic prototype or even a pretty build out software solution. Let’s get this straight, if you need to spend a nice chunk of change on it…it’s not a MVP. Continue reading →