Date Archives August 2011

Quantitative vs Qualitative

I got into a really interesting discussion yesterday where I found myself defending lightweight usability testing. My core point: Analytics are great for What’s. For example, “A is better than B”, or “this is a problem area” What analytics do less well is help you understand Why’s. If you don’t understand the root cause, you can… Continue reading

Customer development isn’t enough; think holistically

I often mentor at “startup bootcamp” weekends, and I see a lot of emphasis on “product-market fit” and “minimal viable product”, but in general I don’t see teams asking questions and analyzing risks across enough aspects of a startup concept. Customer development, while essential, is not a replacement for business development, or rather, “business model… Continue reading

Entertainment or Utility? (more on gamification)

Several years back, over beers one evening at GDC (Game Developers Conference), I debated design principles with Bernie Yee, my colleague at Electric Sheep who had previously worked at Sony (Everquest) and at Harmonix (Rock Band). He argued that any product had to choose between being an entertainment property or a utility.  There are a… Continue reading

Know Your Buyer

Steve Blank just shared an interesting anecdote from his days in marketing, where he created what he thought was the ultimate data sheet, only to find his CEO and VP of sales literally setting it on fire. The VP of Sales had an insightful quote: “the only thing your datasheet will do is give a… Continue reading

Free Your Mind

A core concept in “lean startup” is that validated learning needs to be your initial measure of progress, not deliverables of other kinds. However, I suspect that many people struggle to internalize this and fully put it to work. Learning doesn’t feel like traditional measures of success. It’s not a line up and to the… Continue reading

Lean Wireframing

Will Evans, who does UX design at The Ladders with agile-UX champion Jeff Gothelf, recently wrote a tweet that caught my eye: The hi-fidelity vs. lo-fidelity wireframe debate is silly. You use the weapons you need based on the war you face. (link) A wireframe is meant to communicate and test. You want to do… Continue reading