Designing a Successful App Using Lean and Agile Principles
SVP of Products at Produx Labs
My team and I recently launched an app that went viral. Tens of thousands of people installed the application in a matter of days. Our success was due to the fact that the app was free, because we used the power of the press and a good PR to spread the word, and most importantly because we designed it using Lean/Agile principles. Here are the steps we took that are based on solid Lean and Agile practices that led us to a successful launch.
- Quick idea validation: Tell people about your idea and get a feel for the people who are interested in it. In our case, people liked the idea and so we had someone offer free PR services. Additionally, beta users that we shared the app with eagerly wanted to share it with their teams. Both of these were strong validation of our idea.
- Know your ideal user: Can your product be used by anyone? More likely you are targeting a certain audience. Know your ideal customer and build something to meet their specific need.
- Build small: Don't invest your time and money to build something big and expensive. Start small and if there becomes a need for a larger product then make that a priority later on.
- MVPs aren't perfect: Ship imperfect products rather than trying to fix all of the issues from the get-go. Acknowledge the conflicts that you have but be responsive when users diagnose the issues.
- Test actual users: Speak with potential users about their thoughts, every step along the way. Gather feedback from your target market to ensure you are headed in the right direction.
- Iterate often: Make changes through the building process, during the launch, and immediately after. Look at the feedback you are receiving and make iterations when necessary.
- Tie into human behavior: People want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Use product hooks to attach people to a greater purpose. This often creates virality.
- Guide people: Good user experience design is all about getting a person to take the right action without instruction.
- Measure the important stuff: It is important to keep track of figures and analytics. We used Google Analytics and with the information we received we were able to get users and the press excited about our app.
"Quick idea validation: Tell people about your idea and get a feel for the people who are interested in it."
"MVPs aren't perfect: Ship imperfect products rather than trying to fix all of the issues from the get-go."
- Create and launch a smart and simple product, even if only a portion of the population can use it.
- Unless someone is willing to provide you their time, money, or social capital, they don't really love your product.
- Knowing your target user will allow you to tailor and focus your marketing for a launch.
- Open source your code for anyone to leverage and build upon what you have already created.
Source: Lean Case Study: Just Not Sorry
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SVP of Products at Produx Labs
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