One of the best ways you can earn trust with your audience of prospective customers is simply sharing more about how you think about the problems you help businesses solve. With that in mind, I'd like to share a little bit about how we think about what we might consider to be our product: our business's website.
Here are a few of the ideas we think it's important for us to execute on with regard to our business website:
Deliver a High-Quality User Experience
Perfecting Product's website should deliver the type of experience people have using their favorite products:
A simple and focused user experience where users have a clearly defined user goal, high situational awareness and high personal autonomy within the constraints of the interface that's sitting before them.
This is what I look for in a product. Does it accomplish my needs? Is it easy to use? Do I know what it does? Does it solve a problem I find important?
Too often the creators of software products forget to ask themselves these simple questions and start focusing time and energy on things that don't satisfy users.
Build an Authentic Brand
My second goal for the Perfecting Product website is to develop a brand that's aligned with who I want to work with and what I'm working on.
I'm working on developing products, developing product knowledge, and learning all about the problems that get in the way of creating products that people love.
That means building things, talking with people who build things, learning from their experience, and applying these lessons to my own work.
The people I talk to to improve my product knowledge are primarily technical people: founders, developers, and product managers. They either develop software themselves or work directly with people who do.
To pay homage to the hard work that's involved in software product development, I chose to use the monospace type font "Source Code Pro" for this website because fundamentally what I'm helping people do is create better products and I want my visual aesthetic to call back to how those products are actually built.
Software is built in code and I have deep respect for people who are willing to invest time and energy into developing their skills and apply abstract thinking to enable the world around me. Software empowers our lives and has changed the world.
Provide Useful and Non-Obvious Advice with the Necessary Context to Help People Make Real-World Decisions
Great products deliver information to users in contexts that they both understand and can use within specific and limited contexts. I want to ensure whatever advice offered on PerfectingProduct is given with the necessary context to help founders make key customer research, user testing, and product strategy decisions.
Here's one such example:
"Delight the users" is an obvious piece of advice that's often given to software devs, founders, PMs, etc.
But is it useful?
No, I'd argue it's not. It's just corporate filler speak masquerading as real advice in what is supposed to be spoken as an indefensible position.
An obvious followup question would be "How do you measure users delight?"
But then you might receive another filler parry from the speaker:
"You'll know it when you see it"
Code for the speaker either doesn't know how to measure users delight or won't tell you.
You know what might be a good answer?
Instead of the speaker saying "you have to delight your users", he or she could walk you through a specific example of what delighting your users might look like. He or she could walk through how you might measure users' progress through an existing set of user flows that are involved in accomplishing a user goal.
They could then talk about some of the ways founders might be able to measure users' satisfaction towards achieving user goals you've defined as being important to your business or product and what sort of in-product mechanisms founders and PMs can use to reinforce this process and make it a habit-forming product.
The speaker could also say could say "Hey, 'delight your users' is great, but what about measuring the opposite emotions? How about we measure either how much our existing users hate the problem they're currently experiencing or, ala Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis, how about we measure how disappointed our users would be if we went away as a product or as a business?"
Now that would be useful and non-obvious advice delivered with the context that's needed to take action. Whether that action is developing new product features, identifying new opportunities for monetization, or showcasing simple product marketing opportunities with quick changes to in-product copy, context is key.