Creating Better Products By Removing Features

As a product leader you are required to make tough decisions on a daily basis. While you get feedback, complains and feature requests from your customers, your sales reps, peers, investors, partners and others, it’s up to you to prioritize and decide: what’s in and what’s out. For every decision you make there will be some who would support and others who may not.   To me, simplicity and consistency are both more important than features and I would typically prefer to keep things simple and well designed than to add more features just for the sake of claiming my product is rich.  Just finished listening (I use Pocket to listen to my favorite articles while driving) to a great blog post covering this specific topic:  Why Great Products Do Only One Thing One of the examples used in this post talks about the first version of the Sony Walkman, one of the most influentials gadgets of all time, and I felt I just had to quote this story here as I think this is the best example of how removing fe…

5 Great UI/UX Lessons For This Week

Here are 5 UI/UX related articles I really enjoyed reading. I’m sure you’ll find them extremely useful.  Scrolling and AttentionPeople scroll vertically more than they used to, but new eyetracking data shows that they will still look more above the page fold than below it.Two changes happened between our studies: (a) bigger screens; and (b) new web-design trends, with possible adaptations on the side of the users. We can’t tease apart the relative impact of these two changes, but it doesn’t matter, since both are due to the passage of time, and we can’t undo either one, even if we wanted.In our most recent study, users spent about 57% of their page-viewing time above the fold. 74% of the viewing time was spent in the first two screenfuls, up to 2160px. (This analysis disregards the maximum page length — the result can be due to short page lengths or to people giving up after the first two screenfuls of content.)  These findings are quite different from those reported in our 2010 articl…

Visualize Your Marketing Drip Campaigns With The Customer Journey Matrix

I’m not a marketing guy, but I love building machines. As our startup Missbeez continued to grow, we looked for ways to automate our marketing campaigns.  The goal was to create an end to end experience that begins with a promotional message (a drip campaign based on email, push or whatever we decide) and continues inside our product with in-app promotions (popups, badges, deep-links).Pretty basic stuff, but since our product depends heavily on location and usage habits - each marketing campaign had to be targeted to a relevant segment based on location and customer behavior. Oh, and it also needed to be fully automated so we can all go to the beach.Building our Marketing MachineWe combined our existing in-app promotions system (special offers, coupons, featured products) with our internal analytics engine to create personalized campaigns - tailored for our customer segments.Once we were able to create personalized drip campaigns - we integrated them with all of our external communica…

How To Create Perfect Animations With These 5 Simple Tips

Whether you are developing an app or working on a business presentation - you might want to spice things up with some animations. Animations can help you create a flow, they can create progress, emphasize or soften changes, catch the eye, and cause delight.   
Animations are great, but you need to know how to use them, otherwise they are just annoying. In this guide I will try to explain how to create a simple animations that never fails. Rule #1: Do not throw in childish animationsI’ve seen too many dumb animations being used by good speakers. 
Dumb animations are easy to recognise: they do not have a consistent direction, they do not contribute to the flow of the presentation (or app) and usually we (the audience or the users) just want them to end. The fact that there are so many animation types is a trap because most of these types are not recommended.   If you are not sure about what animation to select - don’t animate.   Rule #2: Select a simple movement direction and stick with it Se…

The zombies are not coming

Or: How we totally screwed up our product launch thinking that they are…Two years ago we launched Missbeez, a marketplace for lifestyle services on-demand. The first version of the app was available for iPhone only and included 2 apps: one for the customers (busy women looking for ways to order lifestyle and beauty services to their home or office 24/7), and one for the service providers (self employed professionals looking for ways to expand their customer reach and grow their business). Two days before our app submission due date, we started to feel nervous about our ability to deliver. 
We’ve been testing the apps, but didn’t have the capacity to do proper load testing, and suddenly those 500 early adopters who registered upfront through our website seemed like a risky volume to begin with.- “Who knows what will happen when those hundreds of users will simultaneously download the app and start messing around with it!”. (That’s me, scaring the hell out of my partner 2 days before lau…

A Random Thought about Developers

Technology people: Stop investing too much in the technical alternatives, and start working on your decision making skills.

Would You Get So Excited if Google Duplex Called a Taxi Station to Book a Cab?

Google’s Duplex demo was breathtaking.A computer that talked like a human, said “umm” and “mm-hmm”, and booked a hair appointment over the phone. But for the sake of the discussion: Would you get so excited to see Google’s Assistant pick up the phone and call a local taxi station to book a cab? Don’t think so…I assume your first reaction would be:  “That’s nice, but didn’t we solve that already with Uber?”  And indeed it seems like Google’s Duplex can be a fine solution for yesterday’s problem.  
Today you reserve a table in a restaurant, order a taxi or a food delivery, without involving humans: using dedicated apps. These apps are optimized for the tasks they do best: They eliminate the need to make phone calls, wait in line, call again…They can be work in the background (during meetings, other activities, etc.) They maximize the probability to succeed with the booking (by checking availability, finding alternatives)They provide a unique set of features each domain needs in order to m…