Designing a new product? The two most important features are…

  • Keep your product ugly, don’t get slick graphics involved at this stage. You’ll actually get better, more honest feedback if your product looks and feels a little rough. Implicitly this communicates that its a work in progress and they’re helping to shape it. If you show them a really slick product and they don’t quite like it, they feel worse about criticizing it so they wont, or you’ll start to hear feedback like, I can see how some people might like this which is code for I don’t like it, but a lot of effort went into this so I hope someone out there does!
  • If essential features are hard to program, use lots of screen shots, mock-ups, and fake data. Real customers generally have bad imaginations, so even though you tell them, XYZ will happen when you click here, and the customer says oh yea, I get it they’re either being nice and have no clue what you mean, or they’re imagining something but its very different than what you’re imagining. You don’t want an illusion of understanding. Create a mock-up with fake or static data, put the most weight on feedback to stuff they’ve actually seen and clicked on, not on stuff you hypothesized about with them.

👋 Hello there. I’m the Co-founder & CEO of Mystery.org. More about my background can be found on linkedin.com/in/keiths. This profile picture is public (CC0).

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Keith Schacht

Keith Schacht

👋 Hello there. I’m the Co-founder & CEO of Mystery.org. More about my background can be found on linkedin.com/in/keiths. This profile picture is public (CC0).

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