Why should you adopt Lean UX principles?

In a mobile world where “I want it fast” is constantly confronted with “best quality only”, it seems like there’s not enough time to execute the whole UX design process.

Even though full details UX specifications and multiple user personas would mean a lot for the usability of the product, most companies are always looking for much faster solutions that would both give the same results and were less time-consuming.

Lean UX Cycle

Here comes the approach that’s getting lately more and more buzz – Lean UX takes the traditional UX process to a whole different level. It’s not only extremely agile but concentrates on collaboration more.

Basics of the Lean UX

Basically, the whole idea behind Lean UX is to be as efficient as possible. The goal is to reduce the amount of time that comes with writing the traditional UX documents and spending long hours analyzing different cases in a meeting.

Instead, the team focuses on regular interactions with real customers through UX interviews and early testing.

“Design only what you need. Deliver it quickly. Create enough customer contact to get meaningful feedback fast.”
Jeff Gothelf, Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

Another crucial part is collaboration. The perfect scenario is when everyone is considered equal – no place for gurus or ninjas. Each person has their own input into the product and they should all participate in solving a problem.

Collaborative approach not only brings different perspectives to the table but also initiates the simultaneous processing of the tasks within the different members of your team.

Assumptions first

Detailed deliverables aren’t a significant part of Lean UX, your purpose is always to improve the product here and now. That’s why Lean UX ditches “requirements” and concentrates on using “problem statements” which lead to a set of assumptions (used to create hypotheses later on).

An assumption is simply a statement that you think is true.
Yes, it’s that easy.

It’s important not to forget that assumptions may not always be correct and they’ll probably change during the project as better understanding will emerge. But that’s ok! As long as the changes will lead to improving your product, they are welcome at any time!

You can generate assumptions by asking the team typical questions:

  • Who is your user?
  • What is the purpose of the product?
  • In which situations it is used?
  • When is it used?
  • What is the most important functionality?
  • What is the challenge in delivering a product?

 

Hypothesis

After creating a list of assumptions you can move on and state a hypothesis – it’s going to test your assumptions. The hypothesis combines three main things: product purpose, its importance and the personas it is important too.

Hypothesis Statement

The hypothesis is your light in the darkness, it will lead you throughout the process of designing a product. The best thing about writing it is that whenever you can’t find any way to prove it, it means you start heading in the wrong direction.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

Lean UX is all about creating the MVP – a product with just enough features to give your customers a satisfying experience and at the same provide feedback for the future updates. The definition brings us to the fundamental idea behind Lean UX – build, measure, learn.

What is an MVP?

The MVP is created from both brainstormed ideas and the hypotheses. The goal is to build a product that has a minimum of all the key components (check the graphic above). It is a common misunderstanding that MVP is just a functional demo of the product.

MVP definition

When built, it’s time to ask your users for their feedback and then use that feedback to update your previous assumptions and simultaneously the quality of the product. When done correctly, the MVP brings down the cost of development and increases efficiency and the users’ satisfaction.

Evaluation

  • Observation –  directly observe the actual usage of the product this way you can understand the user’s behaviors and possible problems.
  • User surveys – when you can’t observe the usage directly, a simple end-user questionnaire can provide fast feedback.
  • Usage analytics – building analytics right into the product helps validate initial use and provides the application telemetry. This is an incredible way to be up to date with the feedback that is provided by product’s users.
  • A/B testing – it is a form of comparing two different hypothesis, which presumes that user preferences are unknowable in advance. This helps to eliminate some arguments among the members of your team who probably won’t use the product themselves but have strong opinions about what it should look like.

Conclusion

Lean UX can be very beneficial for the teams that don’t have enough time to conduct full UX process with all of its requirements.

If you want to maximize your output and reduce the waste, this is a solution that most likely when adopted will give you the best results. It works smoothly with Agile development framework which makes it incredibly easy to adapt to the current system.

How do mobile Bitcoin Wallets work? – Blockchain Technology [Part 1]

It is hard to find someone interested in technology that has not heard about Bitcoin – a digital currency. Or better, – cryptocurrency that is considered a payment medium of tomorrow. As more and more online and traditional businesses start to accept payments in Bitcoin, a Bitcoin Wallet – a type of a blockchain app, comes in handy. In this post, I will tell a few words about it and its features.


“The blockchain allows our smart devices to speak to each other better and faster”

— Melanie Swan, the Founder of the Institute for Blockchain Studies


What is a mobile cryptocurrency wallet and how to get one?

In a nutshell, it is an app that gives you access to the Bitcoin wallet address and therefore to your money. To get a wallet, all you have to do is to go to the Google Play or App Store and install one. If you have trouble choosing one, I can recommend Blockchain Luxembourg app [download for Android] & [for iOS devices]. It is very user-friendly due to its good design and simple navigation. You just set up your account. Then you are ready to receive and send funds in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

If you’re looking for mobile app development for blockchain purposes, keep in mind it needs to result in a secure and stable product. That can be done only by a highly-skilled team of developers. That must be guaranteed with best standards and procedures. Mood Up team is the mobile apps software house, that you should check out.

Utilisation of the QR-Code technology for the sake of super-fast blockchain transactions

To make transactions much simpler, most of the wallets integrate the QR-Code technology. So there is no need to provide recipient address and amount manually when sending funds. All you have to do is to scan the QR-Code of receiver’s wallet address and you are good to go.

Technical side of a mobile Bitcoin wallet and its security for blockchain transactions

In short, a Bitcoin wallet stores private key. It is needed to access the Bitcoin address of your wallet and to sign every transaction. But how is your money protected if you don’t need to provide the key every single time? Well, in this case, you should ensure an appropriate level of security to prevent unauthorized usage. You can set up a pin code which you have to enter every time you open the app. Moreover, some other apps offer email verification for every transaction.

How does a mobile wallet differ from a desktop one?

Mobile Bitcoin wallets, due to the limitation of mobile devices, do not download the whole blockchain. It’s because it would consume a significant amount of phone memory and mobile data transfer. Instead, it just gets a very small part of it needed for performing the transaction.

And that would be enough for a quick introduction to the mobile cryptocurrency wallets. I don’t want you to feel overloaded with too much information 🙂

In the next part, we will take a look at the underlying technology – the blockchain. And we will focus on blockchain applications that go far beyond cryptocurrencies.

How to monetize my app?

The day has come, finally your app is ready. This magic moment when everything is possible but still, behind all the confidence, there is just a little bit of doubt. The one that forces you to ask yourself how will it generate revenue when the top charts in App Store and Google Play are occupied by free apps.

Let’s have a look at options that are avaible, I will describe here solutions to current market situation, where users are expecting free app but you need to recoup your expenses and of course gain profit.

Advertising and in-app purchases are the way to make money after you’ve decided to make your app free. However, it takes a lot more than just puting ads or paid premium options, it’s not as simple as that. You need to understand what revenue-generating choices you have, what your market and competitors are exactly and finally you need to process this data into right paid user experience. Then you will be able to choose your app monetization strategy.

What are your app monetization options?

Luckily, there are some when your app is free. In-app purchases and advertising help breaking the barrier of price tag. Choice between them is directly connected to the type of your app and users.

In-app purchases

The most common example of this approach can be found in games. Free version of app that offers paid, optional features. ‘Too bad! Wanna extra live? Here you go! That will be 0.50$’ – consumables.

Second type of in-app purchases can be found outside gaming world, e.g. Apple Music. Once you’ve paid and used that purchase, it will remain avaible to use.

Let’s not forget about ‘freemium‘ – free app with paid component, such as new feature. There are couple of ways to approach freemium app such as: reduced features or allowing all the features initially and then blocking them.

In-app advertising

Here revenue is generated based on traditional advertising models. Size, placement and positions varies. Ads pay differently for impressions, click-throughs, country that user is from and the format. Dynamic tend to be more attractive.

User growth is the key

Really, whatever you choose from options described above, this is what matters: there is only a handful of users that will ever help you generate revenue from your app. Grow large active user base and it will turn this handful into significant revenue.

There are some handy metrics which you should get familiar with and use. Without them it will be a struggle to make your minority of users generate actual revenue.

Who are your users and what is the market?

Good, old-fashioned research. Examine your competitors, you won’t get exact numbers but you will be able to identify their strategy. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with their apps you will be able to ask crucial question – what are they missing? And this is when you strike hard. You will be able to adjust your monetization strategy or even more: turn your app into better product.

Users though are much more important than your competitors. Because a handful of users will ever pay for something in your app or tap an ad, it’s absolutely fundamental to know what triggers it. Tendencies and demographics will come to rescue here. Note that it’s risky with in-app purchases – you need to find balance between value from your free app and desire for paid extras.

Less is more

Mobile users know what they want, they are sophisticated. Be intrusive with ads and they will find something else, more elegant. In order to actually generate some revenue, your app needs to give them value first.

Advertising strategy will depend on purpose of your app and your audience.

The key is to make your users feel like ads are natural part of app, hence the placement and timing should be properly adjust. By that I mean ad during loading of next level/video rather than in the middle of it, we’ve all been there.

It’s also important that your in-app purchases are intuitive, quick, in harmony with user experience.

Conclusion

Define your business goals, purpose of your app, your users and market – then you will be able to choose monetization strategy for your app. Keep an eye on metrics, track data. Once you’ve gathered some of it and your assumptions were proven to be correct, try to innovate. Adjust and adapt and you will be able to find perfect monetization strategy for your app.

Paid vs. Free app – what should you consider?

Choosing a model of how you will offer app to your potential users can be very ambiguous. Do you want to charge for each download? Maybe you want to develop free app which can be upgraded (freemium)? Or maybe you are considering monetising it differently, e.g. by in-app advertising?

As easy as it may sound, choise is crucial and can affect entire future of even the most brilliant product. On one hand – paid apps are considered guaranteed revenue from the moment they launch, but on the other hand price tag can scare off potential users browsing the store – no one likes to buy cat in the bag.

Let’s have a look at some things that might clear this up a little bit for you.

What is the purpose of your app?

If you are lucky enough – this is the only question you should answer. There is great chance that business app user will find in-app advertising irritating and would consider paying for it in the store. However, gamers would most probably prefer to download it for free, prepared to just ignore the ads, click them to discover other games or simply upgrading after they see the app is worth it.

pricing_stategy_in_different_app_categories

The whole point of an app should be to allure users and provide oustanding user experience and because of that, you should consider if they are willing to pay for it. Keep in mind things that affect it directly such as demographics or loyalty.

What is your revenue model?

It is quite obvious that your app will be more popular if you make it avaible for free. It will help achieve major victory in development world, which is breaking the psychological barrier – price. There are thousands of great free apps with awesome UI and various functionalities and if you decide to make your app a free one, you will join this competition and could leave paid apps far behind. Less paid apps are developed now than ever before.

But in order to do that you will have to earn money by creating revenue model where there are advertisers, in-app purchases or content providers. Number of users is directly connected to revenue then and of course you can get more users by offering your app for free.

App will not be always sustainable revenue

This is really important thing to remember – no matter how much you will charge ($0.99 or 100$), a price sticker on your app will be only one-time payment. Even widest user base won’t change the fact that the revenue you can get will be hard cap. No one will pay for the same app twice.

However, if your app is free you will not generate revenue up-front at all.

Conclusion

Deciding to offer a free or paid app is difficult and has been causing headaches for quite a while now. In app development keeping your user happy is most important, so you should find a balance between that and your business needs.