Inspired by a variation of Maslow’s hierachy of needs from Designing for Emotion book by Aaron Walter.
Start with user needs
At Spook Studio we believe it’s best to get the features of a new, innovative product right before starting on any visual or interface design. After all life’s too short to build something nobody wants, so we want to ensure the features we work on are desired, reliable and usable before we add the final layer of perfection (‘beyond the usable’).
This means testing early prototypes of a product with real people and iterating before adding any gloss. Adding the final 20% of polish to a product can take as much time as the first 80%. For this reason, it’s key that we validate features, confirm priorities and optimise user flows before adding the layer of personality (interaction design, microcopy, branding, etc) that really creates an emotional connection with users and saves you from blowing your cash on marketing. At this stage we can start to think about the product’s persona and design principles.
We’ve worked on projects in the past where we’ve perfected the product too early on, only to find out certain features aren’t needed or require a different approach. For this reason we prefer short sprints with an initial focus on learning, then creating a stable product before the perfect one.
If you’re searching for a profitable business model then get it good enough, before making it great.
STARTUPS ARE HARD
If you need help turning your startup idea into a successful web product, visit www.spookstudio.com or contact me via Twitter @welovelean. I offer a free 20 minute sanity check for startup founders to share and discuss their ideas in confidence via Skype.