Iterate until you have a compelling product offering
The Learn phase is where we really define your product. We spend a lot of time with your users to better understand their actions while our development priorities are now informed by data. We continually refine your product and enhance the value it offers with every iteration. The main activities are outlined below.
1. Release your product to a wider Beta group once you have an MVP
Once we have an end to end solution it’s time for your Beta launch. We typically aim to have a product out in less than 3 months but depending on the complexity of the solution we’re building this could be less. In parallel to our development activities we have been building a community so now is the time for us to reach out to them.
We think carefully about the type of communications to send during your Beta. We may have an end to end solution but the likelihood is that it isn’t 100% perfect just yet. We are open and honest and set expectations before onboarding users to the product. Transparency is key to getting the most out of this period. We have created our own template to improve communication engagement rates.
2. Set up analytics and conduct further user testing for detailed insights
There are a host of analytics tools available to track your product; our favourites are FullStory, Hotjar and Mixpanel. Setting them up isn’t a difficult task but deciding on the leading metrics to track and how to interpret the data is. We take our time to consider the success factors and make sure these are captured and displayed to everyone within the team. It is easy to become distracted by vanity metrics which mask our real position so we constantly challenge ourselves to not let this happen.
Analytics tools are great for quantitative data but it’s important to supplement them with qualitative techniques. The number of actions taken is great but understanding why they were taken is even better. We conduct further user testing so we can observe first hand and probe for more information where required. It’s important to acknowledge user feedback directly but we avoid jumping to conclusions too soon.
3. Stay agile and adjust your product roadmap based on data and intuition
We now have more data at our disposal than ever before. It’s time to make the most of it and adjust your roadmap based on the insights derived. Pivots might be required and we don’t shy away from making these decisions. Failure to do so will only prove to be more costly later on. It is important to remember this phase is about learning.
When updating our roadmap we will consider the optimisation of existing capabilities as well as the adding of new. Striking the right balance is key but we always revert back to the value offered/gained by each option as well as consider the short and long term implications of our decisions.
We use a simple matrix to help visualise these variables. Both items can be subjective but we use these metrics to determine value while we find it best to discuss complexity as a team. We don’t let ourselves be put off by high complexity as there are often ways to reduce it following a team discussion.
4. Keep your team aligned and informed to enable high performance
We want to keep the team as close to your product and users as possible so that they can proactively generate ideas. A good starting point is to ensure all our documents are up to date and that we are regularly reviewing them. They are ingrained in our work processes and at the centre of most discussions.
In addition to live documents we use a KPI driven dashboard. Pulling everything together in one place makes it easy track progress and discover insights. Real time updates also allow us to act fast as there is no lag time within the team. We find databox to be a great tool for this.
With everyone well informed the process of build, measure, learn continues throughout this phase. To broaden horizons we also hold round table meetings at ucreate. These bring in a variety of stakeholders who are not attached to the product on a full time basis; they bring a fresh perspective and an unbiased approach.
5. Start experimenting to find your most promising traction channels
It’s important to start considering which marketing channels will be most effective for your business. It’s easy to get lost in development and it is important to not jump straight into the easier or more well known channels. Great products should be able to sell themselves but we still need to have a strategy in place to enable the business to grow.
We find the Bullseye model to be a great tool for exploring your options and refining our strategy. Divergent techniques open our horizons while ruthless prioritisation helps us to concentrate on the channels that move the needle.
With a unique offering and viable marketing strategy it’s now time for Launch.