Category Archives: Digital Product Strategy

Validate Your Products: A/B Testing or User Experience Research?

There are two main approaches of validating your products to see if they perform as expected and identify areas for improvements. One is user experience research, which includes usability studies as well as other forms of user interview methods, gathering user feedback through asking user questions, surveys, and direct observation of user behavior.

The other is A/B testing, also called “launch and learn”, through which we randomly present different versions of the launched product to different users and observe the differences in the resulted Web, mobile, and business metrics.

Given that both approaches are talked a lot about, based on what I’ve seen among clients I helped, there’s much confusion around choosing between the two approaches: Do we need to use both methods? Can we just do A/B testing and forget about user research? If we need to do both, then when do we use each method? Continue reading

Getting User and Customer Feedback: Usability Study vs. Focus Group vs. Survey — Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to the all-important issue, listening to user/customer feedback, the first thing that comes to mind for many is focus group or survey. The tendency is so persistent that even when I conducted usability studies, the stakeholders, typically product managers and business owners, kept referring to the exercise as “focus group” or “survey”!

On the other hand, designers and programmers trust usability testing much more and don’t see or understand value of focus groups and surveys.

So, what are the differences between the three and when should we apply each technique? Continue reading

Market Research vs. User Research — Which Should I Use to Understand Customers?

We all want to collect customer feedback, right? Then you might have heard of market research and user research, methods that allow you to systematically gather and analyze customer feedback. But then again, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between the two?

For most of you, I guess, you couldn’t care less about the nomenclature as long as you get the customer insight you want. However, in the corporate world, these two functions do belong to separate departments and, as such, you do need to know which one you should turn to if you seek their help. Even if you hire independent consultants or do it by yourself, a basic understanding of the two approaches would help you get high quality customer feedback.

Market Research — Focusing on Monetization

Continue reading

How to Get Users to Start Using Product? An Aggressive, Yet Effective Way

Wow, that’s an interesting way to get the products in front of you!

Ok, I was using AVG AntiVirus FREE version to do a routine scan of my computer, and yes, no virus was found! And then, it asked me whether I wanted to analyze my computer’s performance. I thought, why not? So clicked “yes” and then saw the screen below after a few minutes.

AVG good Adoptability

Upon seeing this, if you were me, what would you do? Continue reading

From Customer Journey to Business Opportunities

Ever wonder how to identify business areas you should improve based on customers’/users’ true needs rather than spend money on something that doesn’t matter to them? Looking at their end-to-end journey — across all touch points with your product/business — is a great way to start!

By Frank Guo

Google

Improve Your User Experience Through Customer Journey Analysis

In order to see business opportunities through the lens of customer experience, it’s critical for business leaders to see customer experience through a cross-channel, end-to-end perspective. By looking at customer experience holistically through the so-called Customer Experience Ecosystem (CXE) analysis, we can quickly identify gaps and find solutions to improve customer experience.

Benefits of CXE analysis:

  • Making the experience sticky
  • Improving conversion/reducing drop-off
  • Increasing repeat visits
  • Enhancing long-term customer loyalty Continue reading

Develop New Products that Customers Want – A Step-by-Step Guide

For entrepreneurs and product managers, developing new products and uncovering new markets pose great challenges, as they are in an uncharted territory with little guidance. That’s why it is particularly important to gather customer feedback to explore, validate, and improve the product vision and direction at a very early stage. However, I’ve seen many times entrepreneurs and product managers dived into UI design and coding without first evaluating the concept, the single most important step of customer validation.

Continue to read the full step-by-step guide

By Frank Guo

Google

Finding Business Priorities: What Matters to Your Users? – Part III

In my previous posts, I discussed the four elements of user experience — how they are constructed, how they are different from one another, etc. I’d like to call this framework VADU model, because it stands for Value, Adoptability, Desirability, and Usability. Here, I’m discussing the practical application of the model in relation to business planning. The model can help companies with:

  • Identify UX priorities based on business model
  • Evaluating and improving UX in alignment with business
  • Develop KPIs based on UX priorities

Read on: More Than Usability: The Four Elements of User Experience, Part III

By Frank Guo

Google

 

Finding Business Priorities: What Matters to Your Users? – Part II

Here is Part II of my three-part series published on UX Matters, which describes the different aspects of user experience and how we can develop better products based on the framework: More Than Usability: The Four Elements of User Experience, Part II

By Frank Guo

Google

Finding Business Priorities: What Matters to Your Users? – Part I

Whereas user experience and usability have been used almost interchangeably in many occasions, through my conversations with many product-design professionals, I’ve found that “usability” is being increasingly used in a narrow context, in which it specifically refers to the ease of task completion and is closely associated with a “testing” connotation. On the other hand, “user experience” is used by practitioners in much broader contexts, referring to things ranging from ease of use to user engagement to visual appeal, and therefore I believe is a better term in capturing all the psychological and behavioral elements of user interactions with products. Please check out my article on UX Matters, More Than Usability: The Four Elements of User Experience, Part I

By Frank Guo

Google

Architecting Customer Experience Ecosystem

I’ve talked about the business importance of developing a robust customer experience ecosystem or CXE in previous blog posts. Here, I’ll walk through a case study to illustrate how to design a CXE. In this example, my first step was to diagram the current customer experience based on a thorough understanding of the UI workflow and user needs and behavior. Below is a hypothetical CXE created in such way:

© Frank Guo 2012. All rights reserved. Continue reading

Integrating Customer Experience Ecosystem with Business Model: The Case of Telsano Health

As discussed in my previous posts, developing a robust Customer Experience Ecosystem or CXE is key to driving revenues through customer engagement and loyalty. It is of paramount importance for a business to integrate CXE as part of its core business model. This is especially true for start-ups in search of a profitable monetization model and mature companies that seek additional revenue growths (see my post about BlockBuster). Let me talk about the business model of Telsano Health, a healthcare start-up that I’m providing strategy consulting to, as a case study. Continue reading

Blockbuster’s UX Failure: Unable to Leverage Customer Experience Ecosystem

Many of us still remember the Netflix’s client experience fiasco — the company first abruptly raised the fees of its DVD services by more than 60% and then tried to split the streaming and DVD services into two separate websites to further inconvenience subscribers. As a result, the stock price plummeted from around  $300 to less than $80 within just a few months.

Blockbuster, the chief rival of Netflix, at the moment had a good shot at taking advantage of the missteps of Netflix, who broke down its own customer experience ecosystem or CEE by undermining the DVD rental experience. But Blockbuster’s failure of integrating its online and offline client experience made it forfeit this great opportunity. Continue reading

Not Just Usability: Customer Experience Ecosystem

Traditionally, user experience conversations focus on usability, user interface, and design, all related to human computer interaction. This approach unfortunately limits the role of user experience in companies’ strategic planning, because for most businesses, the digital space is but a part of their clients’ touch points with the products and the brand.

Here’s an example. Costco has a multi-channel retail business model, leveraging both a brick-and-mortar store front and a website. There is also a catalog as a third channel. Continue reading

How to Improve Full-Cycle Product Design

I suggest an integrated product design approach that combines user research and analysis with conceptual UI design in support of the full design cycle. The following white paper outlines the four stages of product design: Analyze -> Conceptualize ->  Architect -> Design, and proposes ways in which we can improve the four stages through an integrated strategy-research-design system.

Please review the UX Strategized white paper for a detailed explanation.

By Frank Guo

Google