TAG: Product Design

Usefulness is job #1

Dropbox founder Drew Houston, in his presentation Dropbox: Startup lessons learned, says the number one risk of startups is to build something that no one wants. It’s such an easy statement, right? Who in their right mind wouldn’t build something that people want? It seems so obvious. Well, there are many reasons why it doesn’t […]

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The designer’s job

This quote by author Neil Gaiman can be applied to product design as a whole: “When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” This insight by Gaiman […]

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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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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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Before you write that code…

I don’t think the recent spate of articles on building startups without writing code are a fad. Here’s why.

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