Photo by: Jean-Pierre Brungs

Should I focus on a good user experience, or push something out quickly?

The problem with this question is that “good” is subjective. What’s good for you might not be good enough for others, particularly your target audience; or vice versa.

Good is not measurable, so it’ll be hard for you to know when to launch since it’s all based on your feeling.

Your goal should be to get your product to the place where your users keep coming back for more because it’s useful for them. That will allow you to capture value (monetize) from them. At the end of the day, these are things that you (and your investors) care about.

get your product to the place where your users keep coming back for more because it’s useful for them

Which one would you prefer: an ugly product that delivers revenue or a beautiful one that no one pays money for?

Now how do you get closer to the goal of making product that your user will pay money for?

Measure your progress the right way

Measure your progress with effectiveness and efficiency.

Effective product means your users can get the value that your product offers. If you don’t deliver value to your users, you won’t be able to capture any value from them. For example, for The Economist app, it’d be to feel informed about what’s going on in the world. For this to happen, they need to be be able to consume our content. So no matter how beautiful and delightful the user experience of some of the screens is, if they can’t get to the content, it’s a failure.

If you don’t deliver value to your users, you won’t be able to capture any value from them

Efficient product means your users can get to the value with minimal effort. Continuing the example from The Economist app, this means reducing the number of taps to get to an article or downloading a new issue in the background.

Actionable steps

Back to your question, here’s what I recommend:

  1. Identify the key user flows that lead to the value
  2. Create high-fidelity mock ups for the screens needed for the key user flows
  3. Prototype using InVision or similar tool
  4. Test with users to make sure they can get to the value and minimize the steps
  5. Build then release as fast as you can to small number of audience (closed beta)
  6. Identify issues from your analytics (quantitative) and user feedback (qualitative). Talk to the users to get clarification
  7. Go back to step 3 if you need to adjust the flow or step 5 if the improvements are more minor

Need more help?

Feel free to ask follow up questions here or contact me directly.

Originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the same question: Should I focus on a good user experience, or push something out quickly?