Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change

Start at the End

This was my first foray into product design, as I am getting more into designing apps using the Shiny framework for work (and for fun!), I wanted to learn more about design from a behavioral scientist. I think the biggest takeaway from this book was to focus on what behaviors you want to modify (in my case, self-service analytics) and thinking about the product from a customer perspective first, rather than a data perspective.

Interesting Part: The author was categorically against the recent trend of “move fast and break things” or pushing out minimum viable products (MVP) as quickly as possible, learning what customers liked and didn’t like and iterating through the design process. Despite a recent Harvard Business Review article that subscribed to the same notion, I am still not convinced from a logistics standpoint. Of course you should focus on your customers’ needs and requests as much as possible leading up to launch, if you tried to please everyone you would never launch a product. I would suggest a blend of the two approaches might be worth testing out.

Favorite Quote: “This is one of the reasons that simply wallowing in data is so important and why not all data wallowing should be hypothesis driven. Finding novel potential insights is about noticing something that hasn’t been noticed before, and that’s awfully hard to do if you’re relying on existing hypotheses to guide you. You become your own worst limitation. When you let the data guide you to a potential insight, you often discover things that you feel like you’ve known all along (because your brain likes to feel congruent and smart) but that you would never have generated a priori.”

Greg Shick
Analytics / Data Science / Statistics