Before you design your product, design your customer.

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Before you design your product, design your customer.

Transcript Of Before you design your product, design your customer.

Before you design your product, design your customer.
– Somebody Brilliant™

™ David Taber &Associates, all lefts reserved Graphics courtesy PC Week

© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

Who is David Taber?
• 25 years in Information Technology
• Now a consultant to startups
¾ Product strategy, go-to-market, SFA best practices
• Virtually all experience in Software
¾ Finance, Telecom, Manufacturing, & Defense industries
• MBA, BA from University of California
¾ Instructor, UC Berkeley extension
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

The Newtonian Model of Product Development
• Product design is an inbound process • Product Marketing influences engineers
¾ Engages prospective buyers ¾ Makes mid-course corrections ¾ Tweaks messages to fit product reality
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

Problems with the Newtonian Model
• Engineers design for themselves
¾ “Stupid customers”
• Marketers write requirement tomes
¾ Nobody follows most of the Great Ideas ¾ Documenting after the fact
• Customers don’t know what they need
¾ Often follow ideas put in their heads by your competitor ¾ Suffering from future shock (undigested shifts) ¾ They don’t care the way you do…
• Which customer are you designing for?
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

Infinite Loop / Simultaneous Equation

Customer Segments Response

Channel Pitch

Needs

Press Story

Features
Market Size Value Prop & Messaging

© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

Breaking the Infinite Loop
• Don’t use the waterfall model anywhere
• Recognize that the Business Case is part of a large simultaneous equation
¾ Who are we selling to? ¾ Why will they buy? ¾ What will they value? ¾ What will they pay? ¾ How many will we sell? ¾ What’s the P&L?
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

The Iterative Cycle

Value Proposition Product Features

Business Thesis

Target Market Target User

© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

Define the Target User
¾The User is the person who touches your product every day
• Not the purchaser, installer, or “business beneficiary” • You need to know their business card title, who they work for,
how they are measuredP, rwohdaut octther products they use Thesis
• Age, sex, educational level, basic expectations, “cult” expectations (e.g., Mac user)
• You need to understand what they value and what their perceived problems are
• “A Day in the Life…”
¾Personas are different types of users
• Such as power user vs secretary or architect vs coder • Personas may need to cover “operational” or “support” people
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

Define the Target User
¾Roles
• Goals, intentions, and activities of the Personas • Think roles through for details of access, occasions,
circumstances
¾Use cases & Stories
• How would users work with the product? • What are the characteristics of the environment they use it in? • What other products / services would they use at the same
time?
¾Relationship to purchase decisions
• How does the user evaluate this kind of product (e.g., trial) • How do they make their personal purchase decisions? • Whom else would they need to influence to get a purchase
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING

In Thinking About the Target User…
• It’ll has to be (or become) “in your blood”
¾ Psyche, not just numbers
• Most of the time, forget about analysts
¾ Except for questions of “alternatives” and “willingness to pay”
• Find and interview Domain experts
¾ People who are gurus, practitioners, authors ¾ Trend-setters at the root of a nascent fad ¾ Consultants who mentor and advise on best practices ¾ Boutique / specialist implementers for your users
© 2008 DOTnet CONSULTING
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