TAG: Product Design

Actual vs desired use

There is often a difference between what you want people to use your product for and what it’s actually used for. Don’t confuse the two. Don’t be happy simply because people are using it…know exactly what they are using it for. Be honest about how people are actually using your product and interact enough with […]

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What product vision looks like

An exceptional post by Stewart Butterfield, founder of Slack, the new team collaboration tool that just exited beta: We don’t sell saddles here. He wrote this last July as his team was readying the first version of the tool. It’s an excellent example of product vision, going way beyond what the software technically does to […]

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Solve existing problems

When building new products, the best way to ensure that your product will be adopted is to solve existing problems. If that doesn’t sound glamorous, consider these companies: Netflix solved three existing problems: the pain of return fees, lack of video selection, and the chore of driving to the video store. The iPhone solved the […]

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The origin of Product-Market Fit?

In case you’ve never read it, here is the origin of the term “product/market fit”. It comes from VC Marc Andreessen, who in a series of blog posts in the summer of 2007 called PMarca’s Guide to Startups established many of the concepts that have become standard operating procedure in today’s startup world. In the […]

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Can you design for word of mouth?

An interesting way to look at the success of your product is whether people are talking to each other about it. I remember going to a conference in San Francisco when Netflix was in what you might call their “word of mouth” phase. Everyone was talking about Netflix, how amazing the service was, and what […]

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Model features on real artifacts

One way you can be sure people are investing in a problem is to look for artifacts of use. Artifacts are real world objects that people use to get a job done. Think post-it notes surrounding a computer screen, a journal of meeting notes, a binder full of documents. Artifacts are objects that people create […]

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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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