UI20: You Need to Solve Problems, Not Build Features

Jared Spool

September 21st, 2015

Recently, I published an article on a novel concept that Bruce McCarthy shared with me: Themes. Themes are an alternative for features. Instead of promising to build a specific feature, the team commits to solving a specific customer problem.

Here’s an excerpt:

Part of solving a customer’s problem is making sure you don’t make it worse. By having the problem as the starting point for the project, the development team has an instant baseline to measure against.

Given a customer problem, the team will come up with multiple solutions. Picking the best solution becomes a trade off of effort against the improvement they can deliver. Determining these factors is easier when they start with a clearly defined problem. Without a commitment to specific solutions, the team has flexibility.

It’s worth reading the full article.

You can also hear Bruce’s interview with me on UX and product roadmaps where we discuss how the importance of good user experience shifts the product-management world thinking.

Without a doubt, UX can influence a product road map. Bruce McCarthy covers exactly this in his full-day workshop, Collaborative Product Strategy: How UX Can Influence Product Decisions.

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