Nailing the User Experience

There's only one way to nail the user experience; that is to have people use the system, watch what they do and listen to what they say. It doesn't need to be a lot of users. Foneshow has had some real users for about 10 months now and every day we learn from them. Every day we take their feedback and try to improve the user experience. Without some real users using your product you don't know anything. Up until now we have not focused on growing our user numbers beyond a small number. We had enough users to learn from their experience.

What have we learned?

1) No one wants to listen to long form programming on their phone. What does this mean? It means you can't just take radio feeds and pipe them onto the cell network. We learned from our users that this will fail. This medium is about content snacking. You've got them for 5 minutes maximum.

2) Until the voice network gets better sound quality, music won't work well.

3) Voice makes for bad menus. We refer to the experience as voicemail hell.

4) Each key on the phone must be mapped to a single function. If you load modality on an unlabeled 12 key pad, your users will be thoroughly lost. Do less, do it better, and easier.

5) Just launch. Get users. Learn.

There's a corollary to all this; until you nail your user experience, you're wasting your time doing anything other than the most cursory of business development. If you have a great salesman and close deals while your product still weak, you're going to have pissed off partners. The mantra of business development is "under-promise and over-deliver". It's really easy to over-promise with an unfinished, untested product.

This post is long enough. I'll do another about what comes next for Foneshow.