Friday Readership - Usability, Specs and Getting to Know your customers

Today is Friday and although I've been quite silent on my blog this week, I'm going to get back to posting more often... and today's my readership day and I've got cool articles I'd like to refer you to....

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Usability and Conversion by Maciek Saganowski

The image above is the screenshot from his blog, sorry Maciek, couldn't resist :-)

This is a new blog by a good friend of mine, Maciek, who's also the guy responsible for the User Experience of our new Nozbe 2.0 - he also chose posterous as his blogging platform - make sure to subscribe to his blog to learn more about usability and user experience - Maciek knows a lot and practices what he preaches.

Now, to comment his article - I find it very true. Usability is not everything, but it's so important!

Maciek actually made me aware of many usability issues in our web app and I'm glad we've worked many of these. Now it's time for KAIZEN - continuous improvement and making it even better.

I've scheduled each Monday morning with my developer to work on one usability improvement for Nozbe - this way we'll have at least one issue worked out a week and ultimately our app will be getting even better on a continuous basis... and hopefully it'll also have an impact on our revenue and conversion... and overall happiness of our users :-)

Less is better (and specs are not efficient) - interview with DHH of 37signals in UX Magazine

I really dig David's advice and we'll be commenting more on the stuff from this interview in my next blog posts.

My initial comment: We're working on a new web app right now and I had the idea for it about a year ago... then I started developing specs and feature ideas.... and project kind of started to stall... I started to lose motivation although I think it'll be a great tool and would go with our current Nozbe really well...

And then I started building it... I started from its core feature... and now I know a lot better how this tool will work, suddenly things started to make more sense, my app started to look even cooler than I initially thought.. and I'm extremely excited about it.

It's a lot more fun and a lot more productive to start building something and seeing it grow... and starting from the core feature... and use it right away.

Charing for your products helps you find who your customers are by 37signals

Tim Ferris in his "four hour workweek" said that asking for users how much they'd pay for something is useless, until you actually pull up the product and say - OK, sir, you said you'd pay for this kind of device 10 bucks - well here it is, how about buying now?

They you'll know if the potential client is in fact.. a client-to-be or just a person who's being nice to you.

Anyway, 37s advice on charging for things from day 1 is a great one and I intend to follow it with every product I've got... having people pay for your stuff makes the commitment on both sides a lot better and tighter. And is very rewarding for both parties, too. And as in this article - you get to know your real clients right away :-)

Question of the day:

Now it's your turn - which articles you'd like to refer to me? What stood out for your this week? Any cool piece of advice?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of Nozbe.com - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Friday, December 4, 2009 (followfriday,marketing,programming,usability,ux)