High-Fidelity Prototypes

In several earlier articles I have talked about aspects of prototypes. I’ve talked about using them as the basis for your product spec, and how to use them to test out your ideas on target users, and why I prefer high-fidelity prototypes to their lower-fidelity...

Prototype Testing

Readers of these articles know that I view the high-fidelity prototype as the primary means of describing the product to be built. I have written elsewhere why a prototype is significantly more useful to the product team than the typical paper-based specification....

The Origins of Agile

If your engineering team hasn’t already moved to some form of Agile methods (like Scrum or XP), then it’s likely they’re at least considering it. Agile really does attack some key problems that have plagued software teams for decades. But many product managers and...

Design vs. Implementation

NOTE: “Design” below refers to User Experience Design, and not Architectural or Systems Design. There are many things in the software development process that can and should be done in parallel. For example, I have long argued that requirements and design...

The Product Council

Even in small companies, getting decisions made is often time-consuming and frustrating. Every product company needs a mechanism to get the key stakeholders and decision makers together to make timely and informed product decisions. My favorite way to ensure this is...

Lessons from Apple

I have to admit to a strong bias up front: I love Apple. I think they’re responsible for some of the best technology products our industry has produced in the past 25 years, and I have been a fan of the company since the Lisa (which I consider a prototype for the...

Gentle Deployment

One of the fun things about working on a 1.0 product is that you get to start fresh with your community of users. It’s true that your user base is still influenced by other products and services that they’ve been exposed to, but overall you don’t have to worry much...

Rapid Response

I’ve talked elsewhere about the pitfalls of confusing product launch with success, and how important it is to not lose focus after you ship your product or service. In this article I wanted to say a little more about what you should be doing during this critical phase...

Product Validation

The past few newsletters have had references to what I call “Product Validation.” This refers to verifying that the product spec (PRD) is describing a product that you know will be successful, but doing so without actually building out and deploying the...

The Waterfall Product Development Process

In the last newsletter we discussed the Agile Development Processes, and the implications for product managers. In this newsletter we look at the process that the majority of product teams still follow, which is known as the “Waterfall” process. Even though the...
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