Category Archives: User Research

Researching Customers for Business

Trello, a versatile, easy to use,  tool for collaboration, sold to Atlassian for $425 Million, rather than becoming the next $1 Billion+ SAAS application.

trello

Hiten Shah explains Why Trello Failed to Build a $1 Billion+ Business in medium.com.

Researching your customer base and understanding who your customers are early on, will allow your company to know what to implement into your product and where to take it next.

Shah says “Instead of focusing on building a wide product for everyone, Trello should have dug deeper into its use cases in the beginning to figure out why people were signing up, what they were using the product for, and what people found so valuable that they’d be willing to pay to use Trello.

If you have a broad product with a lot of applications, dive into all of the different use cases first:

  • Is there a competitor that’s able to do this — or is already doing it today?
  • What’s the revenue potential for people using this use case?

By doing research around your customer base and your competitor’s customers, you can segment out the use cases with the highest lifetime value.”

Don’t build a single feature, like the kanban board, that the competition can simply copy. Make sure your software integrates into everyone else’s products so much that copying it would be pointless.

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Thinking about Thumbs

Luke Wroblewski tweeted 3 links about Designing for the thumb:

1. Designing for Thumb Flow  features video that shows how you use polar with one thumb.

2. Scott Hurff explains how the “thumb hook” gesture used often in Facebook’s new Paper app might drive the sale of arthritis medication in a few years. He then shares a Thumb Zone template to use when designing for the most comfortable area for one handed touch.

Thumb Zone

3. Michael Oh demonstrated the Vice Versa UI pattern that bisects the screen diagonally and allows for a more natural thumb motion. This works best for two choices that are the opposite of each other.

Don Norman Signing Books

Designing Everyday Things

Don Norman gave a great talk and signed his book http://www.amazon.com/Design-Everyday-Things-Donald-Norman/dp/0465067107  at the Los Angeles User Experience (LAUX) meeting, November 2013.

NEW VIDEO – Donald Norman: The Design of Everyday Things in the 21st Century, Nov. 15, 7PM, Santa Monica, @jnd1er from MobileK.it on Vimeo.

To get to the part where Don begins to speak, jump to 10:03 on the video timeline. At 20:26, Don talk’s about the User Centered System Design (UCSD) book. Don is holding my copy of his book! He signed it for me before his talk.

Don Norman is an entertaining and inspiring speaker. I was Dr. Norman’s student at UCSD and I used his advice and read his books throughout my career. His messages have gotten even better with age and experience. At the end of the meeting I had the honor of having Don show me the Uber app to call a ride to the airport. It was fun to watch the “black car” move along on the map on Don’s cell phone and then appear in front of us in real life.

Don Norman Signing Books

Don Norman signing Ellen’s giant stack of books