Here’s the report from this year’s Product Doctor Drop in Surgery at OTA 2012.
Another interesting range of products; from making a good old phone call, through to tracking housekeeping budget, m-health to enhanced status posting and finishing with around the world travel.
From what I saw in the surgeries, a few trends were certainly coming through:
- incorporation of scanning technology
- the continued growth of products to support social networking status posting
- m-health becoming a reality
- increased adoption of value added mobile services by the corporate market
- revenue models from businesses rather than individual spend
Diagnosis hinged around some familiar threads –
1). End User Validation– making sure that user insights are gathered at concept phase and continued user testing continues. The point, as always, is that this is not just usability testing, but testing that the overall concept you have. Identifying user need and desire, supporting revenue models and product feature set all need to be validated before you go and build your product.
2). Ensure it is a Genuine End User – friends, family, established business contacts and friendly existing customers do not count – they don’t want to upset you. Remember also, that you are not representative of an entire segment – building something on your own needs is not validation.
Please see “DIY User Engagement” for more guidance.
3). Revenue Modelling – Really think hard about where the pots of money are; this year there was more talk about collecting and providing customer information to brands and generating sales leads for brands. In this climate and market, a product really has to be amazing for an end user to want to pay for it.
4). Know your competition – make sure you understand who is vying for your customer money or attention. Think hard about what you think you are selling and question whether it is already being provided today.
5). Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Technology brings many new opportunities and there are some very clever developers out there, but please check out the commercial bases before you give up your job and start building a new product.
There are a couple of other points that struck me this year. I thought about how useful it could be for my patients to hear each others session. Some have experience in areas that others have not and that “share” could have been helpful. Tying this together with some feedback last year that this felt more like “product therapy”, I am wondering about running group surgeries next year…