a half‑century of success

11 June 2015, 12:48

This is the final instalment of the mini‐series I ran on the usual social channels—twitter, g+, linkedin and xing—called positive action ships successful products. There, for every wishful thought that persists in the (mobile) software industry, I supplied a complementary positive action.

To complete the round number of fifty, I present the final dozen + two of these for your reference. If you are a product maker, or manage a product‐shipping organisation, then you can initiate at least one of these today:

Make the lead designers of your hard‐ and software work as a pair; make them inseparable.
cf. ‘The hardware specs are fixed, now we can start with the software design.’
Define your focus so tightly, it hurts (a bit); deploy it so you ship, instead of discuss.
cf. ‘We spent ages discussing this, trying to find a solution that pleased everyone.’
Make interaction design the backbone of your product realisation; or compete on low, low price.
cf. ‘We thought we could spend a couple of man‐days on the low‐hanging usability fruit.’
Deploy lightweight design and engineering documentation to keep everyone with the programme.
cf. ‘The source is the ultimate documentation.’
Ban hacks, at least from those who are supposed to shape your product for the long term.
cf. ‘There is no need to go for the gold‐taps solution.’
Set a ‘feature budget’ and set it way below bloat; be frugal, spend it on user value.
cf. ‘It does not hurt to have those features as well.’
Set the goal to be competitive on each platform you support—that starts with your interaction.
cf. ‘One code base; fully cross‐platform.’
Root out boilerplate thinking for any product aspect; your design process is your QA.
cf. ‘You have to pick your battles.’
Set up your designers for big impact on the internals of your software, instead of vice versa.
cf. ‘Once you get familiar with the internal workings of our software, it becomes easy to use.’
Define your target user group(s) so tightly, it hurts; focus on their needs, exclusively.
cf. ‘Our specific target user group is: everyone.’
Introduce this KPI: the more your developers think the UI is ‘on the wrong track,’ the better.
cf. ‘Our developers are very experienced; they make the UI of their modules as they see fit.’
Hire those who are able to take your interaction beyond the HIG, once you achieve compliance.
cf. ‘We religiously adhere to the HIG.’
Regularly analyse workarounds adopted by your users; distill from them additional user needs.’
cf. ‘You can do that by [writing, running] a script.’
Make the connection: product–users–tech. Design is the process, the solution and realisation.
cf. ‘What do you mean “it’s all connected”? we just don’t have the time for those bits and pieces.’

ask not what this blog can do for you…

Now, what else can you do? First of all, you can spread the word; share this blog post. Second, I invite you to connect via twitter, g+, linkedin, or xing.

And third, if you able and willing to take some positive action, then email or call us. We will happy to help you ship successful products.

ps: you can check out part three if you missed it.

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