Recently I’ve finished reading UX for Lean Startups
and strongly recommend this book to anyone who is OR wants to be an
entrepreneur. Here is a short review of the book.
This book is for anyone who is creating a product/service or is considering the
idea of doing so. It talks about validation, interaction design and subsequent
product measurement and iteration. The book demonstrates some techniques and tools
to validate, design and measure your business ideas and products.
Its goal is to teach you how to design products that deliver fantastic user
experience, e.g. ones that are intuitive and easy to use.
It has nothing to do with visual design.
The author Laura Klein summarizes the book as follows:
Listen to your users. All the time. I mean it.
When you make assumptions or create hypotheses,
test them before spending lots of time building products around them.
Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.
This chapter helped me a lot to understand what exactly is validation and how
to go about it. The flow is validating the problem you are trying to solve,
then the market and then the product.
I will also add that by using some of these research techniques around a
vague idea/area of interest you may come around a particular trend/pattern or problem
and develop your business from there.
You’ll know that you’ve validated a problem when you start to hear
particular groups of people complaining about something specific.
Your goal in validating your market is to begin to narrow down the
group of people who will want their problems solved badly enough to buy
your product. Your secondary goal is to understand exactly why they’re
interested so you can find other markets that might be similarly motivated.
You’ll know that you’ve successfully validated your market when you can
accurately predict that a particular type of person will have a specific
problem and that the problem will be severe enough that that person is
interested in purchasing a solution.
Just because you have discovered a real problem and have a group of people
willing to pay you to solve their problem, that doesn’t necessarily mean that
your product is the right solution.
You’ll know that you’ve validated your product when a large percentage of
your target market offers to pay you money to solve their problem.
Next few chapters talk about user research, the various kinds of it and when/how
to perform it. It talks how to properly run surveys, how to ask good questions,
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Quantitative research is about measuring what real people are actually
doing with your product. It doesn’t involve speaking with specific humans.
It’s about the data in aggregate. It should always be statistically significant.
Quantitative research tells you **what** your problem is. Qualitative
research tells you **why** you have that problem.
If you want to measure something that exists, like traffic or revenue or how
many people click on a particular button, then you want quantitative data.
If you want to know why you lose people out of your purchase funnel or
why people all leave once they hit a specific page, or why people seem not
to click that button, then you need qualitative.
Part Two: Design
The second part of this book talks about design - everything from building a
prototype to figuring out when you don’t want one. It assumes you have validated
the initial idea and now move on to designing the product and validating that
design before you start building it. It talks about diagrams, sketches, wireframes,
prototypes and of course MVPs.
I think you can safely skip some of these steps when it comes to small applications
because it may be easier/faster to build the application instead of a prototype.
Definitely not to be skipped if you’re building a more complex product!
Part Three: Product
This section talks about metrics and measuring the product once it is out of the door.
Supposedly based on these metrics you will refine your design and update the product
accordingly. Most of the time it focuses on A/B testing and which metrics are
important and which are so called “vanity metrics”.
I particularly liked the examples of A/B testing and explanations what it is good for
and what it does poorly. Definitely a mistake I’ve happened to made myself. I’m sure you too.
Let me know if you have read this book and what your thoughts are. Thanks!