Minimum Viable Lemonade

User Experience is Not a Feature

Is anyone else out there sick of signing up for on-line products that don't do what they promised?

Or more commonly, products that don't actually do anything?

Seems like every day I'm running into another landing page which requires access to all my social networks, yet provides no actual value.

Minimum Viable Product

I am a huge fan of creating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) in order to test business ideas. I advocate it on a daily basis because too many people build too many products that no one is really interested in using. A minimum viable product is a great way to test customer interest in your solution and figure out the minimum feature set that you can build a business around.

However, even if you're running a basic smoke test just to see if anyone will sign up for your business idea, "It's only an MVP" is a poor excuse for bad user experience.

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No Customer Persona

Design does not equal Pretty Pixels

Since I started writing more about design and user experience, I've been getting emails from entrepreneurs asking for design feedback. These emails usually have some screenshots attached and some sort of description as to what value the website or app is supposed to provide.

Unfortunately, no one seems to include a description of the customer.

You Can't Design in a Vacuum

Leaving aside the ridiculousness of anyone asking me for my aesthetic opinion (my photoshop skills are weak at best), how can you give feedback on a design if you don't know who it's being designed for?

Design != Pretty Pixels

Is it pretty? Sure.

Does it look Web 2.0ish? Sure.

Is that what your customer wants? I have no idea.

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