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Outlets for crowd wisdom and feedback on product ?

I am a tech related single founder with sufficient skills and resources for MVP.

The first version of my app is already live, but under the radar, not trying to get users yet.

My UX is outdated, too desktop related and not simplistic enough for the lazy thumb swipers out there.

I am working on redesign right now, but this time I need to nail it. The 1st version was just supposed to work, and this one should go viral.


Are there any crowd wisdom opinion resources where I can get a review and advice over my design?

Are these resources sufficient, or do I still need a professional partner?

16 Replies

Anthony Jones
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Anthony Jones Entrepreneur
Head of Creative at Marketecture
UX, UI and IA are all hugely important aspects of a successful interactive product and distinct professional skills. I would definitely suggest seeking professional assistance if you feel this next iteration must 'nail it'. Why not seek freelance assistance?
Near Privman
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Near Privman Advisor
Googler, Startup Advisor
IMO, if you want a viable product you need a professional hand on it, not just free advice. That said, it doesn't have to mean bringing on a co-founder, which is a step I'd wait with as much as possible unless you have an opportunity to bring on someone you'd be thrilled to work with.

For an early version of a simple product, I would go with a freelance designer, taking into consideration that you might want to redo the design at a later stage, just as you would with the code base of an early version.

If you recognise that the design is a critical determinant of the product's success (it likely is), go to the extra trouble of A/B testing significant design decisions. It's easier than most people expect, and might make a greater difference than the professional quality of the designer you work with.
Todd Marks
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Todd Marks Advisor
CEO and Founder @ Mindgrub
Eyal, Great UX is instrumental. You need a team that can not only recommend changes and do requisite usability testing, but help implement them too. If you are looking for a good partner, don't hesitate to reach out www.mindgrub.com, todd.marks(at)mindgrub.com

Best,
-t.
Kevin P. Marra
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Kevin P. Marra Entrepreneur
Founder & Chief Fantasy Officer
Eyal- I think this website is great. https://www.useronboard.com/ -- Kevin [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy] www.linkedin.com/in/kevinPmarra/
Andrew F. Martz
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Andrew F. Martz Entrepreneur
Andrew F. Martz: Ideation, Strategic, Maximizer, Futuristic, Self-Assurance
I recommend you work with a UX designer, either as a partner, a contractor, or any other arrangement you can work out together. You could try the crowd, particularly for some general ideas, but the final results will be disjointed, and not cohesive. In the case of UX, the entirety of the experience is important. The crowd is great for pointing out things you, and/or your UX designer, may have overlooked. Alternatively, f you think you can design and conduct user surveys, wireframe a meaningful UX design flow that resonates with users, and then code it, maybe you can do it yourself. Time to market is a question to consider.
Daniel Drew Turner
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Interaction Designer, Xerox PARC
Eyal, I'd cosign what's been said above about seeking professional help. Um, that came out sounding a bit more personal than I meant.

But step back a bit even more than that. First you should probably learn about what you don't know; I understand that potential founders are coached to be super-confident and project "I know it all", but it seems you aren't aware of what really goes in to design -- which is problem solving, not just making pretty images/elegant look and feel. You mention that you think your UX is "outdated". Why so? What makes you think this?

Also, you don't mention user research at all. There's an incredibly high correlation between not doing user research and vanishing into obscurity (I've seen it over and over again (self-promotion of something I wrote, and make sure to read the comments:http://boxesandarrows.com/we-dont-research-we-build/). People often misread "Lean Startup" as meaning "start building immediately", but Eric Ries never said that -- his rapid build/test/iterate cycle comes after gathering data on your hypothesis. That is to say, you need to treat your "vision" or "idea" as an hypothesis, and test with real people you don't already know whether this solves a problem that people who are not you actually have. This saves so much time and money, as changing code is harder than changing your angle of attack.

So, when looking for a UX designer, please keep in mind that a good one will ask at the onset, "What problem does this solve, for whom, and how do you know this?" A good UX person is not just there to pretty up a visual design, but to make things really work for real people and real problems -- and this may involve challenging you on your assumptions.

And we all know what happens when you assume, right?


Grant Sernick
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Grant Sernick Entrepreneur
Co-Founder at LoyolyPRO
Eyal, along the lines of what Daniel said, I have started to embrace poor UX/UI, especially if you are speaking with customers or potential customers. From my experience, the best feedback you can get is when your UX and UI suck, and people still want to use it. That proves, beyond any reasonable doubt, that you are solving a real problem. Customers will use your product despite it being a hassle to use. Is there anything better than that?

One of the things that I got concerned about when I was reading your question is that you are hoping that your app goes 'viral'. That is akin to saying you are hoping to win the lottery. There are so many factors that go into making something go viral, including luck, that it really shouldn't be your goal. Solve a problem that people need solving, build your customer base, get raving fans, improve your UX/UI incrementally, and you will nail it.

Again, just two pennies from a guy that hasn't made it yet.
Eyal Feingersch
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Eyal Feingersch Entrepreneur
Software Engineer
Thanks everyone.
Concluding and planning due to what I've learned here:
I will try to redefine the problem and my solution due to the experience from the existing product, then see if my new UX plan still holds, get some crowd advice, friendly pro advice (i.e. free) and if it's relevant, I'll hire an advisor (or a cofounder that knows that too, but that's off topic).
Daniel Drew Turner
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Interaction Designer, Xerox PARC
Eyal,

Please don't ask for free work. We're glad to point you towards what you might learn, or how to seek out professional partners. But this is what we've trained for years for, gone to school for years for, worked hard to develop. Why should someone give away large amounts of money (that is, hours of their time) to you for nothing in exchange? Not to sound mercenary, but how would you feel if someone came to you due to your professional credentials and asked you to code or run their for-profit business for them, just because?

Cheap option: hire a UX professional to do a heuristic evaluation to identify low-hanging fruit or high-priority problems. Sign up for usertesting.com and pay a usability professional a decent rate for a few hours of helping you interpret the results. All of this will probably be as cheap in terms of your time as going to try to pitch for free help.
Eyal Feingersch
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Eyal Feingersch Entrepreneur
Software Engineer
Daniel, I was not asking for free work.
Please don't take the discussion into something wrong and irrelevant.

Friendly advice, from a designer from my network who's also a friend, which will actually tell me if it looks good or that I should get a consultant is not work, but a review before giving a proposal for actual, paid, work.
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