[LRUG] Building a product - all the non-development stuff

Andrew Stewart boss at airbladesoftware.com
Tue Dec 11 07:50:02 PST 2012

On 11 Dec 2012, at 14:01, James Adam wrote:
> Like many of you I'm sure, in between doing client work we've been working on our own product called Harmonia (https://harmonia.io). One of our goals in doing this was to get better at all of the non-development aspects of building a product - finding new users, communicating with them, learning from how they use the app and so on. It's definitely been an interesting and challenging experience, exploring outside the comfortable world of stories and TDD.
> I'm sure some of you have already done all this, probably several times, but we were wondering if you had any tips or advice you could share? What has worked well for you? Did you try anything that turned out to be a waste of time?

The most valuable feedback I get for my webapp consistently comes from sitting beside my customers as they use it.

I phone all my customers regularly to ask for feedback and occasionally get something concrete.  But I also go and see them regularly (though less often) and invariably within a just a few minutes of watching them use the app and go about their jobs I get more feedback, and more actionable feedback, than in a dozen phone calls.

As well as finding many ways you can improve the app, you can also educate your customers about the app and how best to use it.  That obviously helps your customers – but it also helps you because it's in your best interests for them to become power users.  The more of your app they use, the less likely they are to stop using it and the more likely they are to recommend it to others.

So my top tip is to visit your customers regularly and watch them get their stuff done with your webapp.

Hope that helps!

Andy Stewart

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