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.


At 19/12/05 7:59 AM, Blogger Tim Whelan said...

Actually your approach is very IT. Well you say I am a developer and yes you are. Developers no matter how astute when developing business programs haven't a chance at getting them right even with customer feed back and interaction. In all cases it is assumed by developers that the customer knows what they want (when ows fly)and it is also assumed that developers no better than the customer on how to provide the structure and development to deliver this usually in terms that totally re design the business processes as they use them. Wrong on both parts. Studies have shown that in 93% of businesses studied the customer didn't know what they wanted before production and this resulted in a 80% non performance of expected objectives on the part of the developer. This was with almost a blue print of what your suggesting. In addition to this developers have no clue as to what constitutes a business process and how it interconnects accross diferent business systems. What they design are processes that are their concept of what is with each isolated in time and then connected to form a pattchwork system. 82% of all integration projects and design projects fail to deliver because of this one failure. Is there a way to do it right? yes, and that will be addressed at my site. Or youcould write and I'll give you my ideas on this matter. All in all though following the normal dogma of IT development you are right on.


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