The Product Guy: Astonishin’ in 2010!

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Wow! Another year of The Product Guy is now coming to a close… an awesomely astonishin’ 2010! Together we explored many exciting products and enjoyed the perspectives from very smart guest bloggers, from startups to user experience to modular innovation and more — all while getting to meat and speak with many of The Product Guy’s steadily growing readership.

And, once again, let’s take a brief look at the top posts that made this year on The Product Guy so awesomely astonishin’…

#10 Stribe to be Instantly More Social

Recently, The Product Guy had the opportunity to interview Kamel Zeroual, CEO of Stribe — Gold prize winner at Le Web ‘09. And he covered topics ranging from this Paris-based startup’s origins to where it is going and how it is planning to get there.

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#9 brainmates Interview with The Product Guy

Two weeks ago I was interviewed by Janey Wong over at brainmates for their brainrants blog. We touched on some really good Product Management topics in which I think you would be interested.

So, here it is, reblogged straight from Australia…

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#8 Why Startups are Agile and Opportunistic – Pivoting the Business Model

Startups are inherently chaotic. The rapid shifts in the business model is what differentiates a startup from an established company. Pivots are the essence of entrepreneurship and the key to startup success. If you can’t pivot or pivot quickly, chances are you will fail.

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#7 Quick-MI Worksheet: Spreadsheet to Sustained Online Success

Over the past few years I’ve been discussing Quick-MI. Now, through the help of Google Docs, I’m sharing the Quick MI Worksheet to make it even easier for you to apply Quick-MI to your products, track progress, and share the results with your team. The Quick-MI Worksheet automatically performs all the necessary calculations and summarizes the product for you.

#6 Modular Innovation 201

The products and concepts that constitute Modular Innovation are those that connect, enable, produce, enhance, extend, and make use of these relationships and, in turn, users’ online experiences with them. Let’s get to understand them better.

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#5 Facebook PDQ

In answering the question of Usability, "Can I use it?" the sub-category of Page Load plays an instrumental part. Facebook is one such excellent example of a web product with Prompt Page Load Time.

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#4 Automating the Path to a Better User Experience

Quick-UX evaluates the degree to which a product successfully addresses the following 3 questions: Can I use it? (Usability), Should I use it? (Usefulness), and Do I want to use it? (Desirability). Now, through the help of Google Docs, as I did the other week with the release of the Quick-MI Worksheet, I’m sharing the Quick-UX Worksheet to make it even easier and faster …

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#3 jQuery ThreeDots: yayQuery Plugin of the Week!

I’ve been a fan of yayQuery since shortly after their initial podcast episode. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise and elation when I heard them announce that my ThreeDots plugin was this week’s jQuery Plugin of the Week… almost falling down the stairs as I listened this past Friday while entering the subway here in NYC.

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#2 jQuery Plugin: CuteTime, C’est Magnifique! (v 1.1) [UPDATE]

I am very pleased to announce the latest major update to the CuteTime jQuery plugin. CuteTime provides the ability to easily: convert timestamps to ‘cuter’ language-styled forms (e.g. yesterday, 2 hours ago, last year, in the future!), customize the time scales and output formatting, and update automatically and/or manually the displayed CuteTime(s).

In addition to the inclusion of French CuteTime in this latest release, version 1.1 features: ISO8601 date timestamp compliance, insertions using the %CT% pattern of computed numbers within the CuteTime cuteness, support for all foreign language characters and HTML, Spanish CuteTime translations, courtesy of Alex Hernandez, richer demos and test, improved settings flexibility of the CuteTime function, documentation updates (corrections and clarifications).

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#1 jQuery Plugin: Give Your Characters a NobleCount

In my quest I have been on the lookout for a jQuery plugin that would provide the ability to: (1) provide real-time character counts, (2) enable easy to customize visual behaviors, and … While there are other similar tools out there, none adequately met these goals. Therefore, I created the jQuery NobleCount plugin.

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This year The Product Group grew beyond all possible expectations! Now with 600+ active members in NYC we Product People of all sorts and levels of experience to meet, interact, and network, in a laid-back, conversational environment on first Thursday of each month. Thank you to our sponsors, Balsamiq Studios, RYMA Technology, and Sunshine Suites, and to every one of you who attend, engage and help make The Product Group the astonishin’ success it has become!

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Happy New Year!

Jeremy Horn 
The Product Guy

Automating the Path to a Better User Experience

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I started writing about Quick-UX in 2008. Since then, I have written many detailed articles exploring, evaluating, and identifying areas of improvement for real products — along the components that make up Quick-UX. Now, through the help of Google Docs, as I did the other week with the release of the Quick-MI Worksheet, I’m sharing the Quick-UX Worksheet to make it even easier and faster for you to apply Quick-UX to your products, track progress, and share the results with your team. The Quick-UX Worksheet automatically performs all the necessary calculations and summarizes the product’s Usability, Usefulness, and Desirability for you.

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About Quick-UX

Quick-UX evaluates the degree to which a product successfully addresses the following 3 questions:

The elements evaluated in response to each question constitute a minimal representative subset that accurately addresses the question posed while adhering to the goals of Quick-UX.

Often, a quick assessment of User eXperience is more aptly called for. A quick assessment allows for rapid compilation of simple heuristics that can be very handy in providing…

  • a summarized view of a product’s overall User eXperience,
  • directional guidance for a product’s future development, and/or
  • metrics for comparison with other products.

Quick-UX is a method that I have developed and refined over time and frequently utilize when quick assessments are best suited to the task. The method that I describe below is a great way to build a summary description with quantifiable and comparable metrics, representing the understanding of the overall User eXperience of a product.

Instructions

The Worksheet is broken into sections based on Category as indicated by the blue row starting each.

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Beneath each Worksheet Category are the variables that make up the associated category.

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To the right of the Category variable names is the Description column providing quick guidance regarding how to quantify each variable. More detailed guidance and examples can be found within article series posted on The Product Guy.

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The next two columns “Select One” and “Select All that Apply” contain the variable values. When a variable has values listed within the “Select One” column, only the variable that best describes the current product’s characteristic is selected and copied, within the same row, to the Total Value column.

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When a variable has values listed within the “Select All that Apply” column, each value whose Description matches the current product is mirrored into the Total Value column.

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The Accessibility value is calculated differently than all the other variables. The value associated with the Accessibility variable comes from the normalized result of a 3rd party application. To obtain this value we use a robust (and free) proxy for quickly assessing a product’s Accessibility through the use of the Functional Accessibility Evaluator (fae) link. The fae’s resultant scores are averages which, in turn, are normalized to a range from zero to one to represent the value for Quick-UX‘s Accessibility variable.

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The Total Values associated with each Category will automatically update…

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… as will the Quick-UX Rating at the bottom of the table.

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Quick-UX Summary boils it all down into one single page, from each variable value to handy visual representations.

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I also find it handy to use for tracking product progress over time, as well as instantly overlaying against products.

As an additional note, the Quick-UX Worksheet is pre-populated with sample data to make it easier to dive in and get started. As you assess your products, just replace/add/remove the variable values within the Total Value column to match your findings. (Remember, only modified the Total Value entries within the non-blue rows — everything else will update automatically for you.)

VIEW THE QUICK-UX WORKSHEET

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Quick-MI Worksheet: Spreadsheet to Sustained Online Success

clip_image001Over the past few years I’ve been discussing Quick-MI. Now, through the help of Google Docs, I’m sharing the Quick MI Worksheet to make it even easier for you to apply Quick-MI to your products, track progress, and share the results with your team. The Quick-MI Worksheet automatically performs all the necessary calculations and summarizes the product for you.

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About Quick-MI

The more relationships, the stronger the relationships, in turn, the stronger and broader can be a product’s acceptance, support, and success. These relationships comprise Modular Innovation. And it is through Quick-MI that we quantify them.

Quick-MI evaluates the degree to which a product successfully addresses the following 5 categories of Modular Innovation:

Once quantified, products are better understood and clearer courses are able to be set for improvement and solidification of the elements within products directly relevant to Modular Innovation, and subsequently relevant to sustained success.

Instructions

The Worksheet is broken into sections based on Category as indicated by the blue row starting each.

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Beneath each Worksheet Category are the variables that make up the associated category.

02_variables

To the right of the Category variable names is the Description column providing quick guidance regarding how to quantify each variable. More detailed guidance and examples can be found within article series posted on The Product Guy.

03_description

The next two columns "Select One" and "Select All that Apply" contain the variable values. When a variable has values listed within the "Select One" column, only the variable that best describes the current product’s characteristic is selected and copied, within the same row, to the Total Value column.

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When a variable has values listed within the "Select All that Apply" column each value whose Description matches the current product is mirrored into the Total Value column.

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The Total Values associated with each Category will automatically update…

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… as will the Quick-MI Index at the bottom of the table.

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Quick-MI Summary boils it all down into one single page, from each variable value to handy visual representations.

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I also find it handy to use to track product progress over time, as well as instantly overlay against products.

As an additional note, the Quick-MI Worksheet is pre-populated with sample data to make it easier to dive in and get started. As you assess your products, just replace/add/remove the variable values within the Total Value column to match your findings. (Remember, only modified the Total Value entries within the non-blue rows — everything else will update automatically for you.)

 

VIEW THE QUICK-MI WORKSHEET

 

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy