Every startup should create the WOW effect for its new product. You wish to build, such an amazing product, that your users will want to use it every day more than once. After starting six startups and mentoring hundreds of entrepreneurs in the past 18 years. I got to sit down and think what are the common themes that I saw in great products. The list below is not ‘everything’ but rather the main pitfalls that (too) many developers are falling into. I hope it will help you build the next amazing product.
- Performance – If you product is not fast (very fast) users won’t be happy. It’s about the perception of speed. For example, if your app is making a connection to the server you should give an immediate feedback about the action and free the user to continue with their actions. Later, when the application got the information, you can (quickly) embed it back to the relevant place. Another important point to remember is that your application should be optimized for performance but without causing the battery to die quickly. A good example is vine.co – Their web app is fast and smooth.
- App Navigation – You should make it clear and short. Your users got a muscle memory and you want to tap into it. In many cases, developers forget to guide the new user and give him a smooth way to be a real pro. Since you already know so much about the product, you can’t tell what will be the way that new users will choose to use it. This is why, you want to give new users an option to do several tasks and sit near them (without saying a word!) in order to learn what are the challenges they face.
A good example is Slack.com – Check it out and see how they are guiding a new user and how the service gives experts a real powerful set of keyboard shortcuts to master the it and be more productive.
- Clear Feedback – It’s important to give a clear feedback immediately after an action the user made. For example, think of a progress bar that show the users were they are on the ‘path’ to complete the five steps that you took them in your purchasing process. A good example is the famous shopping cart in Amazon.com
Any popup that your product use should be expressive and short. The user will be happy if it’s giving them ‘just in time’ the right information.
- Polish – For the WOW effect, you must have a real polish product with a focus on each pixel.
All your assets should be in high quality and look great. It’s important to think on the UX not only the UI and make sure that users can be productive with it from the first touch. Other areas to master in order to get the higher quality:
- Errors – When your user get an error message it is important to make sure they have a way to move forward and do something meaningful with it. Even better, give them an option to recover and get things done.
- Ergonomics – It’s important to think how users will ‘touch’ your product. Think mobile first (=touch) and later on users that will interact with a keyboard. For example, buttons should be big enough for fingers and have shortcuts for keyboards. Test on real devices in order to make sure your assumptions work in the real world.
- New Features – You should enable users to discover a new feature easily and quickly. A quick tour (e.g. intro.js), after a new version is deploy, could help. Another way will be a pop-up the show the user what is the new feature and where to find it – in the right moment.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s clear that there are many more aspects to iron in order to have a quality product that delight users. A lot of secret know-how is in good process: feature planning, prototyping with iterating instantly and fine tuning and testing constantly.
I will try to cover it in a future post.
- Startup tips from a talk I gave last year. It covers product and how to optimize it.
- Building Better Products with Finite Element Analysis
- How to build a perfect B2B product page
- You can learn a lot from the guidelines that Google Play store and Apple store providing.
I hope this list will help you create better products that put a big smile on your users.