From Opinions to Facts - Building Products Customers Actually Use
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Research shows that for a typical system, more than half of all the features are never used. This is a colossal waste of R&D effort and is caused by companies asking customers and users what they want. Users don't know what they want and it's the engineer's job to find this out. Answering this question requires a systematic approach to exploring a broad set of hypotheses about functionality that might add value for users at different stages of development. The talk introduces the notion of Innovation Experiment Systems as a systematic method for optimising the user experience of existing features, developing new features as well as developing new products. The method uses different techniques dependent on the stage of development, including pre-development, development and commercial deployment. In each stage, frequent customer involvement, both active and passive, is used to constantly establish and improve the user experience. The method is based on data from eight industrial cases and stresses the importance of speed and rapid iterations in development. The talk uses numerous examples from industry are used to illustrate the concepts.