My friend Alex King writes a post called Around the Web every week or so (Its the inspiration for my Friendly Intelligence post) Its probably the most ego lifting/smashing post I read (depending on if he has a link to me or not). Given Alex’s history with blogging, getting into that post is always such an honor for me.
(Tester fatigue is an issue that all developers are constantly struggling with: it’s not so much that a tester is “tired”, but that they fall into a pattern of use, and rarely venture outside it.)
It made me think about how I suck as a beta tester, but also how important first impressions are to the success of a company. Now, I know the immediate response is that first impressions matter in “real life’ as well, but like in my post about asking for help the real world and the business world are two different places with very different expectations, and those expectations really shape action (and lack of action).Back to First Impression Fatigue:
- When a logo is too web 2.0-y.
- When I cant pronounce the name of the company without asking.
- When the product is missing a major “no brainer” function.
- When I cant easily upload my friends (if its a network).
- When a company is way too excited about appearing on TechCrunch (as if that is a measure of success).
- When the company’s blog/twitter/etc talks about success and the fucking site hasnt even launched into a private beta.
- If the founders of the company are heavy twitter users/bloggers/tumblrs and they are clearly assholes or way too narcissistic.
- If I dont smile because something is funny, or because I enjoy using the application.
- If I cant think how to integrate the application into my daily life.
- If your first blog post about the product starts with “10 reasons…”
My friend Deb is not new to product launches and growing businesses, and in a recent email outlining her thoughts about Lijit she talked about the importance of the 1-2-3 approach. Here is my modified version:
- Capture Attention: The common stat I read is that a website has 3-8 seconds to capture a person’s attention.
- Express Value Proposition: Now you got ‘em, tell them how you make the user’s life better.
- Call to Action: Now you got ‘em, they understand the value, now tell them what to do.
If you first impression fatigues the user, forcing them to not change their already common patterns, no matter how great an application you have it will fail.