ARCHIVE: January, 2014

The experience is the product

There is your product and then there is the experience someone has using your product. It’s easy to see the difference from afar, but to the person using your product they are one in the same. This cannot be understated. Every interaction with your product/service/company matters and becomes part of the product experience. The original […]

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The difference between good and great

The difference between a good and great product is the last 10%. Everyone has the same 90%…the same core features and similar pricing and a similar story. But that last 10% is the real differentiator. It is the part that separates you from your competitors. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears of detail. It’s the […]

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Look for investment

The best product features are those that will be used. The best way to predict whether a feature will be used is if people are already investing in that area. Looking at existing features in competing products is the first place we tend to look. Many, many teams are simply trying to keep up with […]

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Release quality sets expectations

I try to remind myself that releases set expectations in the minds of the customer. It’s become common to release products as quickly as possible and then iterate based on feedback. This is laudable; there is no substitute for real-world use. But there is also a downside of going too quickly. If all your releases […]

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Your real competitors

Email and Excel are two of the most formidable software competitors ever: people use them to do just about everything. Yet we don’t often think about them as competitors because they don’t compete directly…they compete indirectly by being flexible tools you can use for almost anything. It’s too easy to follow the product categories analysts […]

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Killing Feature Creep

Almost everyone in product design is familiar with feature creep…the slow but steady growth of features over time that eventually make a product cumbersome and difficult to use. Yet, even though everyone is aware of the problem, we are almost powerless to do anything about it. Why is that? Well, I recently attended the Warm […]

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Can’t-Do Culture

Excellent piece by Ben Horowitz on culture within larger organizations: Can-Do vs. Can’t-Do Culture “As a venture capitalist, people often ask me why big companies have trouble innovating while small companies seem to be able to do it so easily. My answer is generally unexpected. Big companies have plenty of great ideas, but they do […]

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Scrolling is easier than clicking

A small observation with huge implications: scrolling is easier than clicking. This affects a lot of things, like whether to place information further down a page or whether to place it behind a drop-down, button, or link. Should we break up our articles like news sites onto 7 different pages? Are people happy clicking through […]

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Product quality trumps evangelism

John Gruber of Daring Fireball made an important point about product design recently in response to Robert Scoble’s concern that many Google employees were not wearing their Google Glasses. After Scoble suggested that a lack of employee support might hurt adoption of the Glass product, Gruber responds: “Scoble has the cause and effect backwards. If […]

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Shipping as a beginning, not an end

In Shipping is the beginning of a process, Paul Adams of Intercom writes of the crucial difference between shipping as an end vs. shipping as a beginning.: “Shipping is not an end goal. Unfortunately too many teams launch and move on to the next thing. Learning from what you shipped takes discipline. The larger and […]

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