Having difficulties deciding which features your customers want? Just ask them.
When designing an app from scratch, it’s easy to come up with a dozen plus services and features that your app will incorporate. The problem is, you may not need a dozen features. You certainly don’t need to be paying to build features that no one will use. When proposing and building your MVP, how do you figure out which features to cut?
The old way of doing it would be to build all of your services (or as many as you can afford) and then publish to see what features your users are actually using. It isn’t hard to see the flaw here. Why spend all the time and money to build features that might not get used?
Unfortunately, (MVP) engineering and business culture often focus on minimum features and forgets the viability part. This results in products that are unstable, unusable, and just plain unacceptable.
-Jon H. Pittman, Medium
We believe in a more dynamic approach. A bit of intelligence gathering goes a long way, especially in the early stages of app development. The more you can learn about your potential customers and how they will use your app, the better you can develop the app to suit their needs. So how do you gather intelligence? Ask the right questions.
Start with a mailing list, spread the word about your app, and gather as many email addresses as you can. Then, once your MVP is up and running, invite them to try it out. This is where the intel gathering starts.
When users first sign up, you have a unique opportunity to learn about them. During the early stages of Writrsbloc development, the team at Cuttlesoft incorporated a survey into the onboarding process to give users a chance to speak up about what features they wanted.
Using a simple poll, users were asked to vote yes or no on a list of potential features. By indicating which items they wanted, the users gave insight into how they would use the app. The list of features also gave users a preview of what the app would do, increasing the chance of them coming back when those services are up and running.
This user feedback allows a team to focus on building the features of the app that they know users are excited about, and ditch projects that receive little attention. This intelligent development approach saves time and resources as the app is easier to optimize for user experience.
Most importantly, this method gives the user a voice! Most apps say that they are built for the user, but never bother to ask users how they feel. By polling the app’s early adopters, not only are you gaining priceless data, but giving the users a sense of agency. You made them feel important, like their opinion mattered. This builds loyalty and increases the chance of them becoming repeat users.
Want to learn more about intelligent app dev? Check out Cuttlesoft.com