In this series, we have been exploring the various aspects of the technology anatomy of startups. In the last article, we got into the weeds and discussed some methods to keep the product agile and scalable. In this part, we get into the experience part of the product. This is, as they say, where the rubber meets the road. There have been products, built very sturdy and robust, but failed because the user experience was poor. User interface and user experience can take precedence over functionality at times. Let us see this up close.
User experience is easily misconstrued as UI/UX. But, if you think of it, the user experience includes good functionality and features also. Let us look at these two pieces one by one.
UI/UX cannot be underestimated.
Quite often, UI/UX usually takes a backseat when developing MVP. This is because everyone wants to see their core solution come to life. There are very few startups which take a long hard & close look at UI/UX at the MVP stage. User experience is critical for any startup, yet it is given a lower priority. When a startup reaches the stage where it has got really critical to address user experience, unfortunately, there are already many other competing priorities. However, if a startup wants to be successful, it must prioritize the user experience.
Many factors contribute to a good user experience, such as ease of use, intuitive design, most used features up top, simplified user journeys etc. A startup must consider all these factors when creating its products or services. It is best to get professional UI/UX designers to do the job. As the world around us is getting more and more tech-savvy and digitally aware, the ability of the average user to differentiate between good and not-so-good UI/UX is also increasing.
UI/UX is important, but let's get that basic functionality bug-free.
Many pieces must come together when developing a new product to make it successful. Of course, one of the most important aspects is the user interface and user experience (UI/UX). Equally important is getting the basic functionality right. Though this sounds obvious, in practice we often see that not all user scenarios are fully addressed. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of exception handling and closing all loopholes during product development. After all, if the product doesn’t work well, no amount of good design will make up for that. So, before you obsess over making your product look good, ensure it works well.
Let the most basic promise of your product be delivered flawlessly first. Additional features should follow once you set a strong foundation.
This is a continuation of the earlier point. When we think of our product, we want to make sure it is better than the competition. So, we start thinking of what more we can offer to make the product more and more attractive. This leads to lining up lots of features.
You may have come across MoSCoW analysis. This represents four categories of requirements. They are must-have, should-have, could-have, and won’t-have. Some replace “won’t have” with “wish to have” also. It would be a great idea to get this analysis done on your features list.
Another method of approaching feature prioritization is the feasibility, desirability, and viability study of each of the features. You may also score the features on an Effort/Impact scale. RICE Scoring Model is another popular feature prioritization methodology. RICE stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort.
Choose your method and style. But please have a product roadmap planned before your plunge into coding. This also ties in deeply with the discussion on product architecture that we had in our earlier part of this series.
Startups must think dispassionately about the features that will need to be built in the various stages of product development, good UI/UX, customer’s perspective of the solution being created and finally how to get this all managed efficiently with the help of a talented team. Experience in this type of journey really counts.
In the next and last part of this series, we will look at how all the elements we discussed so far get orchestrated into a well-managed flow.