Sunday, September 14, 2008

How to Create Products Customers Love

Watched a video cast, shared by Wee Khang, Senior Product Manager of JobStreet.com .

The URL of it is here .

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Key Points from "How to Create Products Customers Love" - Marty Cagan (Founder of Silicon Valley Product Group).

1. Product Manager is to discover a product that is valuable, usable, feasible and not Product Marketing, Project Management, while working with limited budget/resources

2. 3 Key questions that we should always ask ourselves.
a) What problem we try to solve? -
b) Who we are trying to solve for?
c) How do you know you have succeeded?

3. Product Strategy of what you're trying to achieve over in 3 years, and then articulate to the team.

4. Prioritized set of Product Principles, to know nature of product you're trying to build.

5. Won't get great products by asking customers what they want, mainly because they have no idea of what's possible and they won't know until they see it and use it. But this does not mean not to talk to customers. It is not about gathering document.

6. Don't define/design by committee. Empower key people:- Product Manager on function/value, User Experience Lead on form/usability, Engineering Lead on technology/feasibility. The 3 people need to work together and collaborate and most importantly, entrusted to do their job.

7. Function (Requirements) and Form (Design) are intertwined. It is not like old waterfall model of setting up requirement and then get it designed. It should actually work together.

8. Sales would tell that features missing. Marketing too. Everyone has features that they think are important. If you are just adding features, then you are not improving products. What usually fails is the whole product does not get delivered in a good overall. Sometimes the solution is to remove features.

9. User experience design is very important, especially make sure to have skilled user experience designers, especially interaction designers. 1 interaction designer to support about 4 product managers. It is not just about coding, but user experience design is crucial.

10. Create high-fidelity prototypes, which gives you something realistic to test on users, force to think through product, illuminates true product requirements, helps narrow down to minimal product and communicates product to the team.

11. Try out ideas on real users, before build anything. Test with real target users and customers and use discovery. Fail fast. A lot of smaller firms can't afford to wait for 3 years to have a major launch. Get it right after failed.


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2 comments:

Chan Cheng Hui said...

Chen Chow ! Could you remember me? I am Chan Cheng Hui. The tall prefect with spec in Jit Sin last time. I am purple-tagged.

This is a simple yet difficult to implement concepts. This concept can fit to every job cos everyone is producing a product for customer(internal/external).

I am a production engineer.I say its hard to do cos the one have to "throw away" the knowledge that learn and be open minded to THINK! I would like to take one example from your post --- "Sometimes the solution is to remove features." Yea, this is always one of the hardest thing when ppl make decision. To excel in it,heart have to be opened.

You posted something very good and i hope this would inspire some others.

Thanks a lot!

"You can't always control the circumstances in life,but you can control your attitude towards those circumstances" from Alexander Lockhart

Chen Chow said...

Cheng Hui, nice for dropping by. Great to hear from you! It has been many years since we last kept in touch.

Where are you working now? In KL? Penang?

Thanks for your sharing. Fully agree with you, definitely agree with the quotation you share too!

One day, lets catch up!