Sunday, December 18, 2005

Critical to Customer: The Value Triangle.

Build applications is an art as much it is a science. A key ingredient of a successful application is listening to the customer and building features that will meet the key needs of the customer.

Customer needs are like the "Human Needs Triangle". So as we in life need the basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, and then value needs, emotional needs, satisfaction, etc; applications need to fulfill the same. What makes it complex is that different audience have a different pyramid, so making a perfect pyramid for each customer type is difficult. So creating the right balance is critical.

Here are some common basic needs that customer needs in most applications:
1. Speed: If it aint fast, its not worth it.
2. Access: Quick access to information is critical.
3. Simplicity: If its not intiutive, its not usable.
4. Searchable: If it cannot be searched, it does not exist.

Some solutions to achieve these basic needs:
1. Multiple Views: Plan on providing multiple views to users. Use system by usertype, functions, etc.
2. Customization: Provide features to customize.
3. Feedback: Get early and often user feedback with a working prototype.
4. Simple: Build simple interfaces. Add complexity for advanced users.

5. ALWAYS remember the pyramid: Basic needs are always needed, when providing cool & complex features.