Monday, 26 October 2009

A question of gut

Paula Gray from Association of International Product Marketing & Management (AIPMM) argues for the importance of user testing in an article published a month ago;

'Ask yourself how deeply you know your customers and what they want. Do not relegate customers to the status of "data". If you do not get to know your customers well, your competitors will.'

I'm wondering, is there an ideal equation between user testing and PM gut?

Paula blogs how she went to a webinar where the speaker stated that most companies follow their gut instincts and too often, and as such ends up with unsuccessful products.

For a small / medium publisher, understanding your audience may not be too difficult a task. But even if you can 'see' and understand your audience, you need to listen to their ideas when you're developing a new product. Preferrably after you've done your competitor analys and have started thinking about how to develop the product. And if you have time and resources, after product has been developed and launched to further tweak it.

Of course, there are only so many topics you can cover when user testing, the rest - are down to not just expertise and previous experience, but that three letter word which some might not like but I quite do - gut. I think we need to bring some gut back and lose some fear when developing products.

More on this topic
For more reading about understanding your customers, I'd recommend reading about 'Personas' (which are very valueable when a company thinks about its customers and community, Chris Cummings talks about them here) and checking out Carl Knibbs' blog. He blogged about generating product ideas a while back.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Friday surprise!

Woop! Check out the top right hand corner of The Guardian's 40 years of the web project - moi quoted!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Google Wave curious

Super curious! Want to try Google Wave now :) Anyone used it?
I love it how they're so ambitious, wanting to improve emails.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Another great clean landing page

This is my kind of home / landing page. Clean, informative and instructive. This site,, encourages you to say no to paper based direct marketing.

I like the discreet top nav, I like the main box split into copy (left) and video or slide (right).
I also like the neatly styled three steps below. The call to action button is of perfect size and due to it not sitting in the middle of the page, you have to take in more copy before you can click - which denotes a site where message is equally important as action.

Free with flair

Two sites, one mission (giving and getting for free) but boy two totally different executions! I wish a designer would give Freecycle a free make over. God I want to use Kashless straight away, but sadly only available in the states.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Photoshop on the iPhone - great news!

For someone who hasn't got an iPhone (can't justify it the cost) but often borrows one from boyfriend I'm so excited to hear about the new free Adobe Photoshop app! Who cares if it's only out in the states yet, give it a few months and I'll be snapping, editing and uploading to Facebook with great ease.

According to, this app has the following features;
*Basics: crop, rotate and flip
*Colour: exposure, b&w, tint etc
*Filters: sketch and soft focus
*Effects: blur, vibrant pop etc

It kind of reminds me of the old days where I used to work at Nikon. Their camera range is split into consumer, prosumer and professional. This new app is for consumers whilst the full Photoshop is often aimed at prosumers and professionals.

This is the future! Free, smart, portable, easy to use!
Companies - don't be afraid to offer free. Offer some basic products for free and premium products at a cost!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

What happens online, stays online

Today I was approached by a paper, asking if they could quote me on a comment I made a few months ago on their site. At first I couldn't even remember my own quote :) Then it turns out, I had said it, I just couldn't remember it. Was just astounded... that my silly quote, out of many others, will be used for this project.

(The picture above is supposed to symbolise detectives and detective work, such as this guy finding me online. OK it's a long shot...)

So whilst watching The Hangover set in Vegas, it really hits home that what happens online, stays online.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Future Brand Communication

Johan Ronnestam strikes again. Some of these points you may already be familiar with, but I'd recommend anyone interested in web products and communication to take a look at this presentation. Engaging, smart, and encouraging. Let's push things forwards!

New homepage

Pretty neat, non?