Developing or refining your digital media product? Let me guess: as a start-up, you don’t have any budget but it’s gotta be slick.
It’s OK; it happens to us all. At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last month, I picked up some tips from Dan Olsen, CEO and founder of YourVersion, Alexa Andrzejewski of Adaptive Path and John McCree from Effective UI that you can use in your business.
User testing for cheapskates, er, value-seekers
Alexa Andrzejewski’s session focused on using a low-cost system for designing and “paper-testing” a product that includes a great user experience. Most start-ups are cash-strapped and can’t afford the time or money to build clickable prototypes in the early stages of product development. Alexa’s step-by-step instructions provide a process for developing a great product with little or no budget.
Alexa’s slide presentation is available here on Slideshare.
Dan Olsen’s talk offered tips and best practices for understanding customer needs, product design, usability testing, how to interpret user feedback and using metrics to optimize your product. He outlined how to:
Dan’s presentation provides a basic and efficient product development framework that can help digital media start-ups develop on-target products that maximize customer value. Download it here.
Ease of use
John McCree is the lead user experience architect at Effective UI. While his session included different methodologies for product development requirements gathering, what I found most valuable was his emphasis on the importance of ease of use in product design as a key to business success. A study done by IBM on “Cost justifying the ease of use” states, “For developers and manufacturers, the advantages of creating usable products far outweigh the costs. The rule of thumb: every dollar invested in ease of use returns $10 to $100.” You can see John’s slide presentation here.
Quick ‘n’ dirty overview
So, what should digital media entrepreneurs keep in mind when planning and engaging in product development?