Focus on MVP for a command based UX tool

Part 5 of the series exploring the potential of a true UX tool. I’ve decided to focus on building a tool based on the prototype I’ve built so far. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for what might one day be a business.

The goal is to make the fastest tool on the planet for creating, updating and receiving feedback on simple wireframes. It’s for professionals with a (hidden) love for text commands.

While by my own definition, a true UX tool goes beyond wireframing, the MVP doesn’t go much further. However, I’ll still keep the name TrueUX. True now refers to the long term ambitions.

For who hasn’t seen the prototype yet, here is how it works right now:

In the next article some new animations, commands.

In this article I’ll be explaining why I’m narrowing my focus like this. If you’re more interested in the progress of the prototype itself, skip this article, and read my next one.

True to me

My personal goal is to build tools that enable people to grow into the best possible version of themselves. Tools that are loved by its users and with a net positive impact on society and my bank account.

Quoting Johnny Bravo: “Enough about me, let’s talk about me!”

TrueUX is a subset of this ambition. Allowing users to design faster, with less effort, enables them to experiment and learn faster and thus grow as a professional.

In order for it to have this impact, the prototype needs to evolve into a real product.

Why this makes business sense

The most value to be created by a UX tool, would probably be in the full blown comprehensive UX tool as described in my first article. But such a complex tool can’t be built from scratch, it must grow based on real world experiences.

In order to make both business sense and stay true to my goals, I need to build a minimum viable product. Less complex, but valuable from the start. The conditions for this minimal UX tool:

  1. Solves a real problem worth paying money for.
  2. Serves a (niche) target audience I can ‘monopolize’, so not yet served by titans like Axure and InVision.
  3. Can grow into a True comprehensive UX tool.
  4. I can actually build by myself within a year or so.
  5. Makes good use of the work I have already done.

I believe I found a use case that holds true to these conditions.

Main use case

Based on email feedback from what might be my first customer, I’ve come to this list to describe a decent use case.

  • Designs simple wireframes, mostly based on forms.
    Requirement: create and edit simple wires.
  • The wires tend to look alike between pages and projects. 
    Requirement: re-usable parts.
  • Currently time is wasted by repetitive tasks like aligning and shifting the order of elements.
    Requirement: Fast way to make these kind of changes, and automate often used tasks.
  • Needs a simple way to gather feedback on the wires from clients. 
    Requirement: a secret url that allows clients to leave comments.
    Requirement: show multiple wires in single image or screen.
    Requirement: Add annotation to (part of) specific element.

Assuming:

  • That my first customer is charmed by the idea of text commands, and willing to invest some time in learning them.

In the rest of 2018 I want to develop this and see if I can find potential users willing to sign up. If you might be one, send me a message and I’ll send you an invitation to a dedicated Slack channel for providing feedback and talking with other like-minded folks.

Perhaps email interviews for ‘ordinary’ UX designers

In order to focus my time, I can no longer share deep research on what a True UX tool would look like from different perspectives. As a consequence, there will be no more articles and prototypes for ‘ordinary’ UX designers, but perhaps interviews.

What I can offer is a grouping of different perspectives based on email interviews that I can post in this same Medium Publication (Proof of Concept). If you’re interested in contributing, let me know.

You can try out the prototype and leave feedback or signup to the newsletter over here.

That’s it for this article, my next and previous articles can be found over here.