Humans Around A Desk #3 - It's all about choosing the right things
Showcase things selectively
What do users see when they first visit your site? Your most popular product? What about everything else? Do you worry that, if you don’t show something front and centre, no one will know that it exists?
Beware the rabbit hole of showcasing everything out of fear that it might otherwise be missed. Your least popular products and features will always outnumber your most popular ones, and human attention is fickle—if you fill your homepage with your entire product catalogue, nothing will stand out.
Talk in terms of progress, not hierarchy
It takes a team to build anything, and if you’ve hired someone to be a part of that team, then the part they play is important.
When ideas may flow from the most senior members of the team at the point of innovation to the least senior members of the team at the point of execution, it can be easy to categorise the flow of information as top-down and to draw parallels with the org chart.
But those on the ‘bottom’ are often the ones who do all of the hard work, and implying that their function is less important due to the point at which they become involved with execution will only serve to demotivate and alienate them.
Instead, try framing the flow of information as start-to-finish; this not only describes more accurately how the information is flowing, but avoids the harmful implication that those who finish the job are of the least importance.
Are you building the right thing?
Think of a feature you’re building at the moment. What prompted you to build it? Did users ask for it, or are you following your intuition?
Now think of a feature you recently built. Are users using it? Which quadrant does it fall into on the below matrix?
Time is precious, so it helps to take an objective look at a feature’s likely impact before you write any code. Should you build it, or abandon it?