Sunday, April 26, 2009

How can observing the world help a software product manager?

Observing The World by ♪ María ♥♣ Trébol ♪

Here are just a few things I observed and (hopefully) learned from,

  1. Marketing: Champion toyota of Austin is running a campaign with the tag line "your car is worth more now than it was a year ago". They claim they will pay you way over blue book value for your used car. Pretty smart marketing campaign. This is one of the best car buyer's market in decades but most people have a functioning car so it is unlikely they want a new one given the economy. Champion Toyota has to unload the new cars in their lot and so they focus on the obstacle, your used car. Hopefully they have a model which helped them crunch the numbers. Here is the question for me: How would I apply this to software?
  2. Trouble Shooting: I drive a 12 year old car. It runs like a charm (most of the time) :-) It has a manual transmission and my wife noticed that the reverse lights do not turn on. The mechanic diagnosed the problem to a switch that sits by the gear shift and is worn down. The right way to solve the problem is to replace the switch and that involves taking the whole tranmission apart. That is way more $$ than I want to put into my 12 year old car. Larry suggested an alternative, he said he could rewire my reverse lights to bypass the broken switch and connect them to a manual toggle switch he can add to my dash. The total cost for this is less than 100$. I am not saying this is the right answer, but it was a great option to offer to me. Here is the question for me: How can I apply this next time I get a customer support issue?
  3. User Experience: I was recently involved in a church event which involved moving to a new location and having a grand opening. I watched the senior pastor plan for the event by walking into the new facility and pretend to be a middle aged man, a old woman and a mother with multiple kids. In addition, he sat in as many seats as he could to see the event through the eyes of his audience. Agreed it is hard to know your audience as well as he knows his but the lesson is still powerful. Here is the question for me: How can I try and view the finished product from the eyes of my audience before I design the product?

What did you learn from your daily experiences?

Posted via web from Staysmall's posterous

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