2. Define Success
Know what success means for your business by listing how you’ll measure it. Don’t forget to count metrics related to your users and their goals.
First consider your business goals: What do you want to accomplish with the application and how it will provide value for your customers? Once everyone agrees on the answers to these questions and you’ve done your user research, you can safely move on to discussing technology platforms in a secondary conversation about the overall user experience.
3. Focus On What You Do
If you’re a credit card company, you don’t need to build a game. If you are a shipping company, you should not build a social network. Stick with the primary purpose of your business. Consumers know one thing for sure: If you build an application that does not have direct utility related to your business, it is probably an application designed just to market to them, and they will probably let it fail.
4. Value Good Design
Good design is more than just how something looks, it’s how it works. Just as people upgrade the operating system on their computers because it looks newer, users are more likely to trust data from a website that looks modern. As Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, once said, “Ugliness does not sell.”
5. Don’t Build for Everyone
If you build for everybody, you wind up building for nobody. Define a small set of user types—or personas—to help you understand who your audience is and what they want to accomplish on your website and application(s). A common mistake from building for everyone is to concentrate too much on features. The current thinking recommends applications with fewer features, which extends to the customer making fewer decisions. Asking users to make unnecessary choices often results in frustration with what should be a usable website.