1. Launching without usability research
Research is often the first thing to get cut when crunched for time or budget. But research is critical to revealing issues with the intuitiveness of software. The learnings give you an opportunity to smooth out problems before your customers encounter them. Even if a full-blown, moderated study isn’t possible, chances are we can help you devise and conduct an affordable, swift study.
2. Launching without user engagement analytics
When the team starts looking for something to cut, this is another item that too often ends up on the chopping block. Instead, plan ahead and be very judicious about the critical Key Performance Metrics to capture. Set expectations with the executive team about what data will be available from day 1, and have a plan for adding more robust engagement metrics post-launch. You’ll thank yourself (and be thanked) later.
3. Launching without prepping support teams
The first couple weeks after launch are critical. You will discover bugs, your customer service team will get questions, errors may crop up, reviews (good and not so good) will appear on the App stores, etc. There’s nothing worse than a customer service rep being put in a tough spot because they don’t know how the app works or a bad review going without a response because none is monitoring the App store. Prepare your internal teams with lunch & learns, Q/A sessions, and internal wikis.
4. Launching without a plan for continuous improvement
In the relief of launching, companies sometimes fail to plan how to maintain the app/site. How many developers will you need? Will the skills needed to maintain be different than the skills needed to build? What cadence for releases? What knowledge transfer or documentation should be completed? Avoid falling into technical debt and feature rot by thinking that you’re “done” just because you launched. Successful experiences evolve to keep engaging customers.
5. Not launching at all
Of all the pitfalls on the list, this is arguably the most dangerous. Don’t let perfection, or desire for one more feature, prevent launch. “Fail fast” and “Minimum Viable Product” are clichés for a reason. If you’re really not ready to launch broadly, can you launch a beta or show the app at a trade show? Find a way to get user feedback. Then commit to your product roadmap and launch, trusting that more improvements are close behind.
More about Functionaire: Functionaire works backwards from your customers' needs and forwards from your business goals to help you create remarkable digital experiences. Whether it's for an e-commerce app or hospital software, we design products that thrill your users. For more information, go to www.functionaireux.com.