Product Design and User Experience

Sven Lenaerts of Umber

Sven Lenaerts joins us to share his expertise on product design and user experience. This conversation includes some thoughts on MVPs, when to hire a designer, and what a product person really does.

  • Here's what to listen for:
  • 00:46 What do you do as a product designer and UI/UX designer?
  • 04:18 What should I figure out before I talk to a designer or developer about building a product?
  • 07:01 What things can I do inexpensively that are lower-risk to see if building an app is the right solution for the problem I am trying to solve?
  • 12:35 What are the biggest mistakes people make when trying to define their Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
  • 15:29 Should you do much experimentation before the product goes out into the wild?
  • 17:53 What do you do when clients are including features in their MVP that they shouldn’t be?
  • 21:22 How do you formulate conversations to make sure the vision of the product is realized? What do those conversations look like?
  • 27:13 Does your vision document have a narrative start/finish to it?
  • 31:17 What “expensive mistakes” can be made when building products?
  • 34:58 Are there any qualities that would distinguish a good product person from a bad one?
  • 38:38 What can I do if I want to stretch my skills and be a little risky without feeling like I’m putting a client at risk?
  • 44:32 What do you do when you find yourself becoming cynical about product ideas and features?
  • 50:06 What can I do to help a UI/UX design person do their best work?

"To be able to make an app profitable you need to have significant traction."

"Building an app can get expensive really, really quickly."

"The most successful products have one core differentiator that makes them stand out."

"Even if you have significant traction right now, you're still not a clear winner at building a viable business."

"With minimum viable product people often get the minimum aspect wrong and the viable aspect wrong."

"9 out of 10 times you should say no to your own product idea bc you discover it's already been built."

"I like to use a month as a timeline to see if things work."

"It's my job to balance internal and external stakeholders. More often you're saying no to the client."

"The best product people are really good communicators."

"Different stakeholders speak a different language. Technical person + a designer use very different terms."

"Building a scalable product from day one might be a much more expensive solution than validating your MVP."

"It's really interesting how different segments of people interact differently with a product."

"What used to be YouTube famous is now Vine famous."

"It's very normal that the first couple times you interact with a designer it's probably going to suck."