A look into our product design process
In previous posts I wrote about the meaning of loyalty, the value of customers and even gave some tips for merchants. But we have never talked about how our product is being designed. What is the process that we use and how we make design decisions. So this piece is centered in our product: Codabox.
Lean approach and MVP’s
We started working in Codabox in February of 2014. This was a period of early experimentation and iteration when we were trying to validate our assumptions by designing small minimum viable products through a lean process. For example, the first version of our landing page didn’t even have a backend. Merchants couldn’t do special configurations, it was a very basic version.
In the images below, you can see how we looked for the best solutions iteratively. We like to have a data driven and experimentation culture in order to achieve true innovations in our company.
Keeping agile with Scrum
We worked in the above designs using some flavors of the Scrum methodology. It’s not a pure version but one that we have been refining to achieve the best possible results in our company. The production team always does two weeks sprints. At the beginning they do a planning meeting in which they agree on a compromise. The compromise is that by the end of the two weeks sprint, all the discussed features will be already tested, working and being used by final users.
This is a radical perspective change: the team’s work is not finished until the product is in the customer’s hands
And this is a radical perspective change: the team’s work is not finished until the product is in the customer’s hands. If their goal has been achieved by the end of the two weeks sprint they can all have a home office day. And hey, this is something that the team decided as an appropriate reward themselves, something that came up horizontally. We thought it was a good idea and it has been giving us very good results.
Adding UX in our product design process
A few months ago we started using some UX techniques such as usability studies and ethnographic research in our design process. And although we know that UX is not an afterthought you can just add to a design process, it has already helped us achieve innovations and save resources. Besides the usability studies, the team has been going out to the final users and doing in depth interviews. Talking to them at bars, hotels and coffee stores in order to find exactly what they need. We are in love with our product as a concept, not with features that might work or not. “Don’t be attached, let go”, as our head of product always says. Our ultimate goal is to offer a rewarding experience for the final users so they feel engaged with the product. They validate our work.
In the images below you can see even some minor tests that we have been performing.
Our product today
Experimenting with our landing page provided us with some great insights about what was working and what wasn’t. And, after some months of hard work, our team is about to finish our mobile app.
I’m excited to announce that it will have some surprises that we’re confident final users will love and will increase engagement.
I’m excited to announce that it will have some surprises that we’re confident final users will love and will increase engagement. Of course, we will keep doing experiments and iterations along the way. We are not willing to quit incremental innovation as a structural part of our product design methodology. But we think that our mobile app is a good synthesis of the discoveries we have found in the past months. It is a user centered design product that we’re confident will provide a great experience. I cannot tell you a lot more about our mobile app because we prefer you to experiment it once it’s finished. So, very soon, we will make the announcement. Stay tuned!