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The User Experience

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by Jim Johnson

Last week Apple announced the iPhone 6 and the iWatch.  Apple is the master of the user experience design.  They build products that people want to use rather than have to use.  I want to use my MacBook Air. I never wanted to use my Windows PC, but did so to do work.  Our current CHAOS Tuesday is titled the “User Experience”.  Ninety (90%) percent of CIOs agree that the user experience is the most important part of any mobile and Internet application project. They feel no matter how technically successful projects are if the user experience is poor the project has failed. They also agree that most of their applications get short changed in the area of improving the user experience.  In addition they feel that most PM and other staff do not have the skill to get the right feedback to create an exceptional user experience.

In this CHAOS Tuesday our book review is called: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products written by Nir Eyal.  Nir has an interesting background.  He has expertise in both technology and psychology.   The book is really about building software and other products that get people to keeping coming back. The four big take-a-ways for me were: First, create a trigger; second; Make the user do something; Third, give the user a variable reward; and lastly make the user invest in the application. I give this book four out of five butterflies. Please make this blog, PM2GO and CHAOS Tuesday a habit.

Google is a good example of a great user experience.  It is not fancy.  In fact it is rather plain.  However, the elegance is the simplicity and the relevance of the information returned.  Twitter is another example of a great user experience.  This is especially true for the receiver, rather than the producer.  Restricting the producer to 140 characters makes the person focus on the essential information.  These two ideas are behind our Value Portfolio Optimization and Management service.  Like Twitter, the service breaks down projects into small microprojects each with only the essential features and functions.  Like Google, the service ranks each of the microprojects by relative value.  This allows the organization to create and deliver the most valuable projects rapidly. Our Value Portfolio Optimization and Management Service is a forward-thinking and predictive visualization of the value of your software investments. By focusing your project portfolio on value, our service frees your organization to create value. Download our “Exceeding Value” report/brochure by going to here.

Our Next CHAOS Tuesday:

On September 16 CHAOS Tuesday #60: is titled “Aereo Crashes”.  The main focus on this show is the Aereo copyright case.  Aereo is a start-up that allowed subscribers to view live and time-shifted streams of over-the-air television on Internet-connected devices. The service was launched in February 2012.  Our primary guest for this program is Lee Gesmer.  Lee Gesmer is a founding partner of the Boston law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLP.

Last Week’s PM2GO Advice Posts:

Secret Life of Houdini: Jim Johnson gives The Secret Life of Houdini 3 out of 5 butterflies.

The Plan Overview: The Standish Group suggests that a project plan must be well thought out and well articulated to all parties involved, particularly the executive sponsor.

The PMO Acid Test: Peter Taylor suggests you try these two simple tests to assess the effectiveness of your PMO.

Negotiate Overview: The Standish Group suggests that putting together a successful project plan requires negotiation.

Mission Impossible: As Raj says, “The big thing for an executive sponsor is to recognize they can not make the impossible happen.


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