In a perfect world, companies would take a systematic approach to product design from their very first days. But, in reality, early product design efforts can be sporadic for various reasons—for instance, because a product must launch as soon as possible, there’s not enough money at the start, the user base must grow at the fastest rate possible, or the product idea changes constantly in trying to discover an effective business model. Why is this?
Product-growth and market-penetration rates are critical in a company’s early days. In fact, they’re more important than perfect technical solutions or high-quality designs. This is true especially for lean startups that employ the minimum viable product (MVP) concept. A team first needs to validate that they're solving the right problem for the right audience, in the right market. Only after that should they polish their product. At that point, a company understands that good design is important to the product’s success. Read More
Making a fresh start with a new organization is always an exciting time, isn’t it? Especially when that organization is a startup. During your interviews with the startup, you didn’t just tell them about your approach to user experience and your past work experiences, you were already evaluating the problem they were working to solve, trying to decide what potential the company really has. Before you even began working in the startup, you were thinking about the customers and what their current experience is or could be. You were already sold on the startup’s vision and their product’s market potential—and the whole company was growing.
The startup had made it this far without a dedicated UX professional, but it was time for someone to step in—to begin creating a process framework that would evolve healthily over time and help the company produce amazing user experiences. Read More
An increasing number of organizations and individuals who develop software products, Web applications, Web sites, or other digital products are gaining a better understanding and appreciation for user experience and UX design and research. Subsequent to the introduction of some magnificent products and services that many executives now own or use—such as smartphones, tablets, Web applications, social media, and video games—they have gained a better understanding of what UX design and research can do to boost the success of a business offering.
That said, it still seems that the majority of product development organizations and the individuals who work for them have not yet fully bought into the benefits of UX design and even less so of UX research. When you encounter these sorts of organizations or individuals, you have a decision to make: fight or flee. To make a good decision, you should start by identifying the maturity of the organization in which you work. It might be helpful to do this by considering the UX research maturity model I’ll describe in this article. Read More