What is No-Code and why should entrepreneurs and product people care?

  What's no-code? Who is it for? How far can you go with it? And Why is there such a hype around it lately? I've tried to answer those questions by talking to one of the best no-code hands-on experts out there: Zoe Chew.  When I was a student (without getting into embarrassing dates), I created a code-free gym management system using MS Access .  Access was a decent database that came with a powerful WYSIWYG UI designer on top. It was pretty good for small local businesses that wanted to manage their records digitally (with lists, lookups, forms, add/update/delete, etc.) and was considered the most widely used desktop database system in 2011 . I'm not sure Access is relevant nowadays (forgive me Microsoft if I'm wrong), but if you're following the tech trends you probably noticed a wide range of new no-code development tools and the huge hype around it.  I decided to ask the expert and contacted  Zoe Chew ( Website , Twitter , LinkedIn ), a product builder at Pro

How to use the Stepwise Refinement technique for strategic thinking and planning

  Here’s a little thing that sat in my drafts for a while: it’s a simple planning framework that we used to work with, back at ClickSoftware (now Salesforce ).  It focuses on breaking down a big challenge (or a goal) into smaller challenges (or outcomes) before diving into the actual tasks, and it's a pretty good technique when dealing with product roadmaps or strategic plans that spread across multiple teams. The credit goes to Professor Moshe BenBassat , the founder and CEO of the company, and a great innovator. He took the well known  “Stepwise Refinement” problem-solving method  (not to be confused with scrum's product backlog refinement ) and turned it into a useful planning tool, which I still use whenever I need to organize my thoughts and turn a big problem into a concrete plan.  What the heck is Stepwise Refinement?  The original stepwise refinement framework works as follows:  Start with the initial problem statement Break it into a few general steps Take each "

The all-in-one guide to high-converting CTA buttons

I've been summarizing a lot of tips for improving conversion rates, leveraging cognitive biases in UI design , and UX writing  best practices.  Here are 30 rules for designing high-converting call-to-action buttons.  Included in this guide: general guidelines, design tips, UX Writing, cognitive biases worth knowing, and dark-patterns to avoid. Enjoy!  General tips: 1. Be consistent with your messaging Remember this: conversion rate optimization is not about optimizing a certain step, it's about optimizing the entire funnel.  Be consistent with your messaging and set the right expectations across the entire funnel: your ads, your landing page, your App Store product page , etc.  Without a consistent message, your users will feel misled and bounce.    2. Focus on the user Nobody cares about the internals of your product. Focus on what’s matter the most for the users: the bottom line, the benefits, the outcome.  3. Aim to establish trust  Make sure to address any concerns the user

Why do we suck so much in time estimations and what to do about it

tl;dr Multiply everything by 3. Last year, when we just started renovating our house, a friend of mine warned me: "Your project will cost you twice as much as your original budget, and will take 3 times longer than expected 😈" Trying to get over the shock, I turned to all-mighty-Google, searching for a more optimistic sign, and ran into this disturbing Murphey's law: "A carelessly planned project takes 3 times longer than expected; a carefully planned project will only take twice as long." Murphey and my friend were pretty close. Now, let's talk about why do we suck so much in time estimations, and what can we do about it? Let's start with the reasons:  Optimism Bias - you know I love cognitive biases . One of them is our tendency to overestimate the odds of our own success: we assume things will go faster and easier than they usually do, and we base our estimation on absolutely nothing. This phenomenon is also kno

Product-led growth - the pocket guide every product person should read

When you work at a startup, growth is everyone’s goal: marketing budgets are limited, so growth hacking tactics become a way of life. The product becomes the main channel for user acquisition, and retention through a great product experience is a matter of existence. For the past few years, the notion of placing the product at the center of the business has become very popular among SaaS companies (B2C and B2B), and is known as “product-led growth”.  A recent report from Pendo shows that 89% of product leaders see their companies as product-led . Startups people may feel like it's old news, but for many SaaS companies, and product people specifically, it’s a real revolution that puts their products in the spotlight as the main pillar for the company's growth.  Here’s a handy summary for anyone who hasn't joined the product-led bandwagon yet and wants to catch up quickly.   What's Product-led Growth?  In a nutshell, PLG is a go-to-market

What's the ideal SaaS free trial length?

Image  is probably responsible for the most hyped email launch since  superhuman , but today, after 2 weeks of trial I received this message: Now, as a user - I'm unhappy: I didn't get a chance to do anything special with the product, so I didn't experience its' value, and there's no way to extend my trial either. I'm stuck.  As a product person - I'm asking myself are   14 days enough to evaluate such a product?  In most cases, I would think  yes ; 14 days should be enough, but this case is different: unlike most email apps that let you hook-up to your existing email/Gmail account - this one is a full  email service , which means you're getting a shiny new email address (, but it also means the inbox is pretty empty most of the time, as it does take a while to shift  focus to a new email account.  Now here's the thing: this product positions itself as a new type of email that fights "inbox overflow&quo

Put your product to the test with these 6 simple hacks

Outbound activities are the best way to collect product feedback and validate your ideas, but external engagement is not always available or achievable within budget, timeline, or COVID.  There are, however, some internal activities you can do at any given time, that will help you put your product (or idea) to the test, identify flaws, and help you evaluate your decisions.  Here are a few simple hacks I used on various occasions; they helped me identify gaps in our products, and are all extremely easy to do - in-house.  1. Turn your mockups into a teaser video So let's assume you don't have a product yet, and instead, you have some fancy designs and some user stories.   How do you guarantee that everything is covered?  How do you make sure the story fits into place?  Instead of using some mockups, try to visualize a complete story by turning your mockups into a quick, step-by-step video.  Think about it as a teaser video (or a GIF), d

Onboarding is dead, here comes "Noboarding"

Let's talk about  App Clips  for a minute, and forgive me Android readers, I know you had  Instant Apps  since 2018, but as product experts, entrepreneurs, or designers, surely you have to agree that Apple simply does it better with marketing, technology, developers, and users - all fall into the right part of the story. So watching iOS14 keynotes (and App Clips) got me thinking about the future of mobile apps. It also reminded me of the early days of our startup  Missbeez , and how we used to describe our product as a simple " magic button ". Whenever people asked us what does the product do, we used to say: "It's just a button. You click on it, and someone comes in and gives you a massage".  Unfortunately, the reality was not that simple: users had to download our button from the App Store (or Google Play),  go through a long onboarding process, provide their name, email, address, enter their credit card, and only then could they click the m