This post hits hard!!!
Having worked as a UX designer, this is possibly one of the best way to explain User Experience Design to anyone, let alone product managers.
These are simple rule of thumb that have existed since we have been shipping software. We just tend to ignore them happily most of the time. Some of these rules also are very closely related to the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design published by Jakob Nielsen.
User color & patterns to show app's internal state
Its always a two way street. Think about it that the users are communicating with the software and they expect a visceral response to know if things are working or not.
Learn which app functions the user wants to use on the go and add a mobile experience for them.
This is true especially in enterprise. Have you noticed that the apps that you most rely on either has no mobile app or has a terrible app that you refuse to use. It's because most of the time we feel that we have to build the exact same functionality on the mobile experience. The simple answer is no. Users are in front of their computers for 8-10 hours a day at work. They only want a mobile experience to check on things or be notified.
Users do not like surprises. So you have to earn their trust. Make sure users are always know what is happening or what is about to happen.
A long time back I attended a training on the PET model taught by Eric Schaffer. Its called PET (because it sounds good) but you have to earn your user's TRUST in order for them to be EMOTIONALLY involved with the product or brand or company and that is when you will be able to PERSUADE users to use your product. There is a reason why Apple has a cult following.
Users should not need any extra settings, tools or effort to use your product. Reduce clutter and simplify things to provide a seamless experience.
Making a product simple to use is one of the hardest task one can have. Also, over time the product evolves and so does complexity and we tend to add more feature settings in order to make it flexible. When you see this happening, pick smart defaults. Most of your user base are going to use that simple feature. By adding smart default you are taking care of them; however by allowing to override certain things, you are also satisfying your advanced users need.
The more problems you solve for your users the more reasons your users will have to use your product. Solve a variety of use cases and enjoy more usage and engagement.
There are a few things to keep in mind here.
- Make sure you are still keeping things simple. Ask yourself "Why" at least 5 times before you add a new feature and make sure you are building it for multiple paying customers.
- More user engagement does not mean that your users have to be actively using your product. It could mean that your product integrates well with other tools that the user relies on.
Be where your users want to find you. Do not limit yourself to one screen size or device or locale and meaningfully expand your reach.
Going global means making sure you connect culturally with your use base.