In an ever more competitive landscape with thousands of daily new entrants and crowded app marketplaces, it has become increasingly difficult to stand out. To add to this already very challenging situation, user expectations have also increased significantly. Since the release of the very first iPhone, they have come to expect apps that are fast, easy to use and delightful. Even in the business software world, average software just won’t cut it anymore. It has to kick ass! And that’s excellent news! Who would want to ship stuff they aren’t proud of anyways? Let’s see 2 things you can start doing right now so you can leave the pack behind.
Way too often, what goes into a product is decided by a committee of “experts” who think they know what users want. But there aren’t user facts in the building and great products aren’t built by mistaking hypotheses for facts. To make sure you’re not falling into that trap, you have to approach your work with humility. You need to acknowledge that your initial solutions will probably be wrong and that it’s by gathering user feedback and measuring what works that you’ll continuously improve your product. Using this lean approach, with users at the center, is what makes it possible to build something that works objectively.
Too many companies think that, in order to increase sales, they have to match every feature of their competitors. The problem it causes is twofold. Firstly, this leads to creeping featurism, the tendency to extend the number of features beyond reason, which prevents the product from remaining usable and understandable. Secondly, it causes all products to look the same and they end up drowned in the mass. So, to make your product stand out, it’s a much better strategy to focus on areas where you are stronger, to strengthen those even more, and to emphasize that in your marketing efforts.
The best products come from ignoring the competition 95% of the time and building something that users love. So, talk to your users, mind your own business and go build something that kicks ass!