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Product Design

Thoughts on effectively selling products to customers.

October 05, 2017

3 Lessons Yeti Learned Designing a Chatbot for the City of San Francisco

If you've worked for a large organization, this should sound familiar: You're trying to follow the “proper channels” for procurement. What should only take a few minutes turns into a whirlwind of red tape the size of a kaiju - a Japanese movie monster.

March 23, 2017

3 Mistakes Your Product Development Team Might Be Making

Years ago, while working on the second version of Weathermob — a social weather app — we made a mistake. The app had traction, but it also had flaws that we were correcting to help it reach the next level of growth. Rather than solicit user feedback on our new developments, we built and released the new iteration based on our assumptions about the product’s existing user base. While the relaunch was a success, it did upset a small-but-vocal cohort of users. Small things like font size and interface changes, which we thought were improvements, frustrated a key user base: seniors who enjoyed talking about the weather. We’d failed to do our homework, and we had to make last-minute changes to address the situation. Worse, we’d missed a big opportunity to show our users that we understood their needs.

March 06, 2017

Does Your Creative Brief Contain These 10 Elements?

Imagine trying to build a product that you know nothing about. Who is the user? What features do those users need? What’s the budget and deadline? What should the interface and color scheme look like? A product’s creative brief — also known as the “product overview” or “project brief” — provides developers and designers with answers to those essential questions. Without it, they’re forced to hunt for basic project information, opening the door to costly errors and missed timelines. 

With a creative brief in hand, however, product developers and designers can confidently and quickly jump in. On a recent healthcare product, for instance, a client brought us a very comprehensive creative product brief — complete with product flows, a timeline, and a description of success. The brief allowed us to quickly understand client needs, fashion a product roadmap, and hit the ground running.

February 23, 2017

5 Common App Design and Development Mistakes to Avoid

Finally finishing development of your first mobile app is an exhilarating feeling. And it’s one that quickly fades when that app is rejected from Apple’s App Store. Thousands of iOS developers endure this emotional roller coaster every week. But acceptance isn’t the end of the road. A whopping 59 percent of apps generate so little revenue that they don’t even recoup development costs. Beyond painful rejections and inadequate monetization, poor development practices can also hurt users and cause PR nightmares. Just ask the developers of EnergyRescue. In January, the battery- saving app was booted from Google’s Play Store after a security vendor discovered it had been embedded with ransomware because of a development oversight.

February 21, 2017

5 Startups That Could've Been Saved By Stronger Product Roadmaps

A year from now, will your product still be in play? 

 To create something users can’t put down, you need a product roadmap. While roadmaps can’t predict the future, they can help your team stay on target when evolving your product. 
 The brain behind your product roadmap should be your product manager. Think of the PM as the architect of your product’s blueprint. For startups without PMs, a lead designer or engineer is the best person to plan your product’s future. Regardless of who you choose to craft the roadmap, it’s essential to tap someone who understands the delicate balance between business, technical, and user needs. This person’s roadmap can help you avoid a number of product problems that will, sooner or later, come back to bite you.