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Why Product Thinking is the next big thing in UX Design Life’s too short to build something nobody wants…

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When thinking of User Experience, we often think of a simple, beautiful, and easy to use feature-set of a product, that makes the user’s life easier. But as a matter of fact, features are merely a small, fragile part of the product. They are only a few of many thinkable solutions for a user’s problem the product tries to solve. Thinking in products means thinking in specific user’s problems, in jobs to be done, in goals, and in revenues.

The core user experience is not a set of features; in fact, it is the job users hire the product for. Uber’s core user experience is to get a taxi easily at any time. The countdown, displaying when exactly the taxi will arrive, is a suitable feature that expands this experience. But Uber’s product works regardless of this feature. The countdown, on the other hand, cannot live without the product (the certainty to get a taxi easily at any time). There is a one-way interrelationship between feature and product: Features don’t work without the product. This is why designers should think in products first.

“Think in products, not in features”


Uncover the jobs the product is hired for

A product has a core user experience, which is basically the reason the product exists. It fulfills a need or solves a problem people have. By that, it becomes meaningful and provides a certain value. If the problem is non-existant, or the solution doesn’t fit to the problem, the product becomes meaningless and people won’t use the product; which in turn leads to the downfall of the product. Wrong solutions can be fixed, but non-existant problems aren’t adjustable at all. So, how can we be sure to tackle a real problem? Alas, we can‘t be 100% sure, but we can minimize the risk a lot by observing and talking to people. Hence, uncovering the problem and building solutions customers really want.

„It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want“ — Steve Jobs

Clay Christensen, for instance, once tried to improve the sales of milkshakes. He tried to make them sweeter, offered them in different tastes, and slightly increased the size of the cups. Nothing worked out, until he started observing the customers who bought milkshakes. He found out that the job the customers hired the milkshake for was in fact to make their morning car ride to work less boring. The big benefit a milkshake has is that it is a thick drink that lasts longer than any other drink and stuffs the stomach. This was the real problem; the customers had no idea about it. In the end Christensen came up with the solution to make the milkshake even thicker, which led to an increase in sales numbers. http://ipony.de/?p=3495

„Fall in love with a problem, not a specific solution“ — Laura Javier


Think in products and build the right features for the right people

Thinking in products helps building successful features. By defining the problems the product tackles, it answers the question “why do we build this product?”. Defining the target audience “who has these problems?” and defining the solution “how are we doing this?” will give enough guidance to create a new feature. Setting up a goal will help to measure the success of this feature.

The Problem-Solution-Fit

Products become meaningful when the provided solution fits the uncovered problem. This solution describes the way how a problem will be solved. Thus, the problem-solution-fit defines the core user experience of a product. The concrete features are extending this experience and support the core experience, but they cannot replace it. Interaction Design and Visual Design can make a product beautiful, easy-to-use, delightful or make it stand out in the competition, though it can’t make the product meaningful. This is why a proper problem-solution-fit is so critical for the success of a product.

The Product Definition

When thinking in products, UX designers should be able to answer the following questions first: What problem do we solve? (User problem). For whom are we doing this? (Target audience). Why are we doing this? (Vision). How are we doing this (Strategy) and what do we want to achieve? (Goals). Only then it makes sense to think about what exactly we are doing (Features).


The power of Product Thinking

Thinking in products gives designers the advantage of building the right features for the right people. It helps understanding the user experience of a product as a whole; not purely as Interaction- and Visual- Design of features. It makes sure designers tackle real user problems and herewith reduce the risk of building something nobody wants. It gives the power to make the right decisions whenever it comes to building features.

“Building features is easy, building the right features for the right people is challenging”

Product Thinking enables UX designers to ask the right questions, to build the right features and to communicate with stakeholders more efficiently. It enables designers to say „no“ and to be hesitant before adding new features. Whenever a new feature is requested or someone has an idea for a new product, designers are able to ask the right questions, before drawing wireframes or crafting fancy layouts: “Does it fit into the product?”–“Does it serve a real user problem?” –“Do people want or need it?–Let’s find out first!” This will keep the product slim and effective.


Conclusion

Thinking in products makes sure designers build the right features for the right people and tackle real problems people have. It empowers to make the right decisions and is the foundation of building successful products users want. Product Thinking establishes a fruitful relationship between Product Management and UX Design and therefore leads to stronger products. This is why Product Thinking is going to be the next big thing in UX Design.


Nikkel @JAF_Designer is a Product- & Interaction- Designer at XING, Hamburg. Founder of Design Made For You | Studiowww.nikkel-blaase.com

Read original article on Medium.

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , ,
What is the skill of Entrepreneurship all about? Why startups are emerging like never before?

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Following the suit of the 9am-5pm job becomes inevitably mundane over the period of time. While some learn to adjust and mould themselves accordingly, some breakthrough and opt for entrepreneurship. However, even if there are 100 individuals who decide to take the route of entrepreneurship there are merely 50 that succeed. Even though there are numerous external factors such as idea, market, competitors etc influence the stand of the start up yet there is one skill that affects everything majorly. The skill is known as – Entrepreneurship.

You may read a hundred thousand articles a day on entrepreneurship that shall guide you through the thick and thins of the business, however, what matters is that ingrained skill which nobody teaches you but you can learn it.

  1. Hocus Focus – A keen eye on detailing and an outstanding focus is the first key feature of the broader skill called entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur must make it a point to keep his focus upright. A 360-degree dedication and devotion lead to the favourable fruits. Whether your personal life is unhealthy or any other issue that is troublesome, there is no excuse to lose out upon focus especially when you are an entrepreneur.
  2. Managing people – One of the toughest tasks an organisation faces is to manage their people. While managing machinery is much easier, managing human is a feature that requires knack over understanding and a blend of compassion, empathy along with logical approach. If you as an entrepreneur make the employees feel as if they are an integral part of the organisation (which they obviously are) your half the battle is won already.
  1. Enthusiasm to learn – Even when you reach the top of the world there are still things that are left to be learnt. Numerous of us do not understand the significance of acquiring knowledge over money. Being an entrepreneur you must discern the importance of learning. Your every move, each failure, every day teaches you something or the other which might turn out to be advantageous 5 years down the line. Hence, never stop learning. Never. Ever. Ever.
  2. Regulating stress – There are times when stressful situations refuse to end and in such times only the ability to withhold yourself with patience is going to work in your favour. Every day is not a day of sun, there are times when it just rains with no sunshine around the corner and yet you should keep your plans preceding.
  3. Adaptability – Countless start-ups fail to mark their existence for longer simply because their inadequacy of matching with the volatile demands of the market. When the entrepreneur meticulously and briskly digs through the market researchers keeping its eye on every new trend it becomes uncomplicated to adapt. Being rigid to own ideas without adding the pigment of flexibility can lead you nowhere in the long run. A sheer balance between originality and adaptability has to be established.

 

As I was scrolling through the job portals I figured that in the clutter of big corporate and mediocre sized organisations there is a mushrooming trend of start ups. While some start ups do own a small place called office others merely operate virtually but that is not the point of discussion here. With the number of employees ranging from 2-20, these start ups, needless to say, are doing wonders in their own arena.

Similar Read:  A Basket Full of Startup Nonsense

If we take advertising world, without a doubt Lintas, Ogilvy are some of the well established names that has earmarked their paces followed by other small agencies. However as the start up trend is taking its flight an arrangement of couple of copywriters, a couple of graphic designers, a client servicing executive, an accountant and one or two more people are sufficient to take a shape of startup advertising agency.

On dissecting the problem with our corporate work culture I believe there are multiple layers that turn out to be the influencing factor. However, what majorly makes an individual incline towards start up is the flexibility and space for experimenting. Being under the surveillance of corporate culture even the most capable and creative mind faces the lack of experimenting. On the contrary when an individual opens his or her own start up they can invest the same amount of energy that they used to put in their respective jobs and create something that they would call their “brainchild”

Another reason that was gauged through observation is the returns. It is not an unknown fact that monetary returns are pretty much higher when you own a start up in comparison with your slogging 9-5 job. But, here the non-monetary returns are much higher. When you work in the company shedding your blood and sweat only to see your managers taking the credit for everything that you have done you boil down to the point that putting efforts in a start up can certainly provide your non-monetary returns at a much higher level. The sense of fulfilment of being able to shape something that is “yours” is worth the perseverance you put day and night.

Similar Read:  These 6 Indian Startups Got Picked By Facebook for FBStart Program

On the contrary, however, it is worth scanning that setting your foot in the startup trend is going to be much more demanding that your normal job. A life of an entrepreneur certainly is everything that his or her start up is. You cannot afford to take a break or move out of the focus for a period of time. You have to be there with an imperishable passion day in and out.

The startup trend is definitely a positive sign that is in a way contributing to the economy of the nation. With numerous of individuals eventually starting something of their own if are quite evident that being a nation we are the pool talented minds that are well versed with the ways of carefully channelizing it in the right direction.

Being an entrepreneur is ten times more demanding than your 9am-5pm job because here you are the master and the slave both. [iamwire]

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , ,
Chrome 55 for Android allows downloads for offline use and more

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According to a post on the official Chrome Releases blog that tracks release updates from the Chrome team, Chrome 55 for Android has been released and will be available on Google Play over the next few days. The latest version v55.0.2883.84 contains several performance, memory, and stability fixes, apart from a few new features.

The new Chrome for Android update allows you to easily download music, videos, and even full web pages for viewing offline. You can view these downloads within Chrome, as well as share those.

The browser also introduces a spell checker and the misspelled words will be highlighted in the text fields on web pages. Per the blog post, there are also improvements to the contextual search UI.

What do you think of the new features? Tell us in the comments! [AndroidAuthority]

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , ,
Rumor: Samsung to release Pearl Black Galaxy S7 Edge on December

 

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was originally released in four colors: Black Onyx, Gold Platinum, White Pearl, and Silver Titanium. Since then, the South Korean giant has also released its flagship smartphone in Pink Gold and Blue Coral color options.

According to SamMobile, Samsung will launch the Pearl Black version of the high-end smartphone in South Korea on Friday, December 9. Despite the different name, this is the same glossy black S7 Edge we saw in-the-wild photos of recently. [AndroidAuthority]

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , , ,
ZUK Edge to be unveiled on December 7th

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Lenovo’s ZUK sub-brand has a new handset coming that we’ve been watching for a few weeks now. With thin bezels, the Snapdragon 821 chipset  inside, and a price that could be short of $400, the ZUK Edge is quickly gaining plenty of attention. Today, a live image of the phone all dressed in black surfaced, quickening the pulse of smartphone fans who are enamored by a sleek design.

And now we have an idea when the ZUK Edge will be made official. An invitation sent out by ZUK indicates that the phone will be introduced on December 7th. The Edge’s rumored specs include a 5.5-inch screen with a 1080 x 1920 FHD resolution. As we already pointed out, the Snapdragon 821 SoC will be under the hood with a quad-core CPU and the Adreno 530 GPU. 4GB/6GB of RAM allows users to switch back and forth between apps as smooth as can be. Internal storage options include 32GB/64GB/128GB. A rear-facing camera weighs in at 13MP, and a front-facing 8MP snapper can be used to shoot selfies and handle video chats. Keeping the power on is a 3000mAh battery.

Source: PhoneAarena

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , ,
Young Entrepreneur Scores 25,000 Subscribers In 30 Days, Then Monetizes Like This

 

This week I had a return visit with Benjamin P. Hardy, the 28-year-old entrepreneur who’s one of the most-read voices on Medium.com. As you may recall, he accumulated 50,000 subscribers in 16 months.

Now there’s more. Hardy’s done more experimenting in the month since our visit and in 30 days has amassed an additional 25,000 new subscribers. He’s nurturing this newer set of readers in a separate list in preparation for the Morning Routine Course he’ll premiere in January, 2017. The new course is an outgrowth of the topic Hardy is recognized and known for the most due to his hit article in 2015 “8 Things Successful People Do Before 8 a.m.” That article received millions of views, a myriad of re-postings on platforms including BusinessInsider, New York Observer, and Huffington Post, and has been modeled by a spectrum of other writers, including several contributors to Forbes.
Benjamin Hardy is proactively converting thought leadership subscribers to sales (Image courtesy of BenjaminHardy.com)

Benjamin Hardy is proactively converting thought leadership subscribers to sales (Image courtesy of BenjaminHardy.com)

In our last conversation, Hardy had only moved through the preliminary steps of nurturing and converting his 50,000 subscribers into early-stage customers. He sent them 5 daily follow up messages about his favorite productivity principles, followed by an offer for a a high-level and self-paced productivity course for the minimal price of $19.95 to help distill those among the interested readers who are ready to become customers by stepping into a higher level of play. Then he did this:

Key #1: Immersive Indoctrination Training. Interestingly, while Hardy agrees with recommendations from me and others that you should not engage an agency too early, he didn’t go it entirely alone. Hardy is an advocate of “Immersive Indoctrination”—the practice of pairing up with an expert or a mastermind group to brainstorm and enact major changes. This is generally not free, but far less expensive than hiring an outside agency or consultant to market on your behalf. Hardy spent two deep-dive days with a mentor in Orlando to map out and enact the steps for what he’d do next. He details this learning practice here.

Next, a product. Hardy expanded his Morning Routines teachings into a 12-week course. For the first four weeks, participants receive daily and weekly materials to study and steps to take that arrive in their email inboxes in digestible steps. The final eight weeks of the course provide follow-up and accountability to reinforce the concepts they’ve learned. The price: $187. While Hardy reports that the course was fairly easy to write and develop, the accomplishment is a good one in that for the first time in his entrepreneurial journey, a serious product offering is born.

A New “Call to Action.” At the end of each of his articles on Medium, Hardy’s big ticket has been to invite readers to subscribe to his ongoing blogs (of course) and to download his two eBooks—in particular, his popular “Slipstream Time Hacking,” for free. The books are excellent, and 75% of people who click on the link immediately convert, meaning they were willing to give up their email addresses in exchange to receive the free books.

Hardy’s first new “eureka” in the work with his mentor was that not everybody wants an ebook. To some, it represents a time commitment or a dreaded piece of homework they don’t yet want to achieve. But maybe they would click and sign if the offer were different.

Read original article on Forbes.

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , ,
Fitbit acquisition to cancel the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core, Kickstarter backers to receive refunds

 

Last week it was revealed that Fitbit was in talks to acquire and subsequently kill off smartwatch maker Pebble, much to the dismay of many Pebble fans. Now, a report from Bloomberg explains that Fitbit’s acquisition will spell the end of the company’s yet-to-be-released new smartwatch, the Pebble Time 2 as well.

Bloomberg’s report describes this acquisition as “imminent,” with the deal offering jobs to approximately 40% of Pebble’s current staff, mainly software engineers. This confirms previous rumors that Fitbit’s goal in buying Pebble is for the company’s software assets.

However, the deal doesn’t cover any hardware at all – that includes current Pebble wearables and future options as well, such as the Pebble Time 2 which was supposed to debut this month. The report states that “the rest of Pebble’s assets, including product inventory and server equipment, will be sold off separately.”

The report further confirms previous rumors, stating that Fitbit will acquire Pebble for under $40 million, mainly due to Pebble’s debts and other obligations which exceed the purchase price. Following the deal, Pebble’s offices will be closed and it will be up to Fitbit’s discretion as to what will lie in the future for the Pebble brand.

As for to-be-released hardware – the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core will both be canceled with Kickstarter backers receiving full refunds. The Pebble Time 2, the company’s new “flagship” wearable, garnered attention from many fans early this year when it was announced as, alongside the Pebble Core and Pebble 2, it raised nearly $13 million on Kickstarter.

The Pebble 2, which is currently on sale, will remain on shelves, but it’s unclear how long that will last or how Fitbit plans to support the $99 wearable in the future.

Of course, Pebble and Fitbit have yet to officially comment on these reports, but an announcement is expected in the coming days.

Via 9to5Google.

December 7, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , ,
China’s NextEV to sell a premium electric crossover at a ‘Toyota price’ by 2019

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Chinese startup NextEV surprised the auto industry late last month by introducing an all-electric, limited-edition supercar named EP9 (pictured) that set several records on Germany’s famous Nürburgring track. The company will use the proceeds from selling six examples of the coupe to develop its first mass-produced model.

Marketed under the Nio brand, the yet-unnamed car will take the form of a battery-powered crossover aimed directly at the Tesla Model X. It will be equipped with a 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack that will offer up to 330 miles of range, though industry trade journal Automotive News reports the final figure might be a little lower because the European testing cycle is wildly optimistic. NextEV has never built a production car, but it learned a lot about designing an electric drivetrain by competing in Formula E.NextEV believes it will be able to significantly undercut its main rivals on price. The crossover will be positioned as an alternative to BMW- and Audi-badged models, but it will launch with what company co-founder Jack Cheng promises will be a “Toyota price.” Whether he’s referring to the Yaris, which carries a base price of $15,250, or the Land Cruiser, which sits on top of the Toyota hierarchy with an $84,325 price tag, is anyone’s guess at this point.

Beating Tesla has become a buzzword in among startups who specialize in electric vehicles. NextEV is no different, and it promises to offer much better customer service than its American rival, especially on the Chinese market. “I have a Tesla. It took me three months to install a charger at home,” affirmed William Li, the businessman who co-founded NextEV.

Cheng told Automotive News that the company’s crossover will be sold in the United States starting either in late 2018 or early 2019. By that point, the premium electric crossover segment will begin to get crowded. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar are racing to enter the market, and Chinese-funded startup Faraday Future hopes to sell a battery-electric crossover sooner or later, though recent reports claim it’s running into funding issues.

Read original article on DigitalTrends.

December 6, 2016 / by / in , , , , , , , , , ,
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