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How to maintain your product momentum when you’re out of development budget

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Managing a product with no development budget can be a product manager’s worst nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence for the product.

If you manage a product in a company with few product lines - it can happen to you as well; new priorities, new initiatives and suddenly all of your development resources are moved elsewhere, leaving you with no development budget at all.

You can sink into self-pity or work with what you’ve got, and what you’ve got is your product, your knowledge, your authority, and most of all: your creativity. 
Use them to deliver more value to your customers, support your marketing and sales teams, get more involved with your partners and more.
There are many things you can do to make the product better and maintain its’ momentum, without involving the development team. Focus on those activities until something changes: a big customer comes in and shuffles the company’s priorities again, a new investment, a significant partnership, etc.Those things …

Is 'the fold' still a thing in today’s scrolling and skimming culture?

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We skim through text and scroll naturally through endless content, so does it mean that ‘above the fold’ is finally dead? Or is it still relevant in 2019? As someone who instinctively scrolls, I agree with Josh Porter’s statement that: “Scrolling is a continuation, clicking is a decision.”
If indeed this is the case, then there’s no need to aggressively squeeze in the content above the fold. Designers can triple the whitespaces, use giant images without worrying about pushing some key elements below the fold.  Unless, of course, the fold is still a barrier... I decided it’s time for me to check, and clear this question (for myself mainly), once and for all. 
Here's what I found: Search results:According to Google (based on the latest study I could find): ads appearing above the fold had a 73% visibility, whereas those below it had just 44%. A dramatic difference.According to Chitika, after analyzing over 22 million impressions, ads placed over the fold showed 44% higher click rat…

84 cognitive biases you should exploit to design better products

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This one is probably my longest post in my 15 years of blogging, and the result of occasional writing I've been doing in the past few months.


Cognitive biases are systematic errors in our thinking process that affect our decisions making.

As humans, we don’t always see things as they really are, or remember things as they really were. As a result, we create our own subjective social reality that affects our judgment.

As product people, we need to take advantage of these biases.
Not in a bad way of course, but in a way that will allow us to get a fair chance to prove that our products are worthy. Products can exploit common cognitive biases to establish trust with the users, improve conversion rates, increase their users’ engagement level, and as a result, improve retention rates.

Because at the end of the day, it’s all in the packaging, and being 100% accurate and concise is simply not enough to persuade the users to give the product a chance or to try out its’ new features.

Users…

Lessons learned from our App Store screenshots redesign

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Two months ago, while reading Girish Rawat’s great article about How to Design Scannable App Screenshots, it occurred to me that we haven’t refreshed our App Store product page for quite a while. I reviewed our page and decided to make some modifications and spice it up a bit.  I'm happy to share with you the process we went through, the changes we have done, and some preliminary results. 
But first - some data:

Phase 1 - collecting data I went through a few interesting pieces of research done by some app store marketing companies and reviewed some of the most popular apps. Here’s a short summary of what I found:  General InfoVisitors spend an average of 7 seconds on the store listing page (source: AppAgent)60% of visitors don’t scroll beyond the fold of each product page (Source: Storemaven).50% of visitors base their decision on first impression (Source: Storemaven).The product page should explain what the app does in less than 3 seconds (Source: Storemaven).Only 13% of visitor…

5 Unusual product management techniques

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There are many techniques and frameworks to define a product, establish a roadmap and prioritize features.
From time to time I run into unique techniques that are a bit different than the popular methods most companies use.
Whenever I run into such a technique, I usually store it in one of my endless notes so I can use it sometimes to challenge myself or as a product exercise.
Here are 5 thought provoking techniques you may want to add to your product managment arsenal:


1. A page, a paragraph, a sentence  This is an interesting exercise that startup founders and product leaders can use to describe their products in a short and concise way:
Start with a page:  Write down all the important things about your brilliant product.
Limit yourself to one page.
Switch to a paragraph:  This forces you to filter out some of the details and focus on the most important parts.
Once you have your paragraph ready - try it out as an elevator pitch in meetings and meetups, and see how it works.
End with a …

My 7 unique ingredients for a successful mobile app

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Mobile apps have been around for over a decade and even though it feels they are becoming a commodity - mobile products are still different than web or desktop products in many aspects. 
What does it take to create a true mobile experience?  What are the key ingredients required to build a successful mobile app?  And why is mobile still a painful challenge for so many software companies? 
After spending 15 years of my career, developing mobile products, here are some of my thoughts:


1. Make graphic design a priority It’s a war zone out there, with millions of apps competing with each other for the attention of users.
People have higher standards nowadays, especially iPhone and high-end Android owners.
They treat their smartphones as a piece of jewelry with that gorgeous giant screen and slick edges, and they won’t let any app come-in and ruin that perfect look.

Nobody cares about your tech. Make it look gorgeous.
If an app doesn’t deliver a slick, beautiful, VIP experience - the user…

Why do apps refer to singular users as ‘they’ instead of using ‘he’ or ‘she’?

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Question: what do you do when you need to write a pronoun for a single person that can be of any gender?

For years, those were the alternatives:
Change the structure of your sentence (not always possible).Use the name of the person (not always known, might be weird when used in a few sentences).Use just ‘he’ or just ‘she’ (might insult the other gender).Use ‘he/she’ or ’he or she’ (sounds clunky and too formal).Use ‘one’ (makes the sentence sound robotic).Use ’it’ (as if they were objects). All of these options are either lame or potentially insulting, so UX writers and product managers had to find creative ways to bypass them.

Singular ‘they' Lately, more and more applications have started to use the term ‘they’ as a pronoun for a single person. Here’s one example taken form Uber’s arrival notification. Notice how the entire sentence is written as if the driver is a “they”.

As I’m not a native English speaker, I thought I missed an English lesson back in fifth grade, but it turns…

10 product development practices that will give you full flexibility and control on your mobile app

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Product managers, startup founders and even software developers want to have maximum control on the products they build. Agile companies need to constantly change things and measure their impact, it's a pre-requisite to almost everything they build. 
The problem with mobile apps Native mobile apps are quite different than web apps: while web apps are refreshing themselves automatically whenever there’s a new version of the product, mobile apps are installed locally on each device. Upgrades require new versions to be submitted to the different app stores for review. This process can take a few days and even when the app is approved - the upgrades are not performed immediately (and in some devices they never happen because the auto-upgrade is disabled).
This is a cumbersome process and it makes it hard for companies to move fast and break things freely.

As a B2C startup, aiming to move fast and make frequent changes, we suffer from this problem a lot. Releasing a new version every …