nicolas leroy

Book review: “Subject to change”

September 11, 2008

I’ve just finished reading “Subject to change – creating great products and services for an uncertain world“, a book written by people at the design company Adaptive Path. Despite the facts the book can be considered as 160-pages long advertisement for Adaptive Path, the book is pretty inspiring for designers looking to produce WOW products. Here are a few excerpts:

Keeping the focus on core features

At Adaptive Path, we believe that a key step to organizational success is through employing what we call an “experience strategy.” An experience strategy is a clearly articulated touchstone that influences all of the decisions made about technology, features, and interfaces. Whether in the initial design process or as the product is being developed, such a strategy guides the team and ensures that the customer’s perspective is maintained throughout. […] An experience strategy can take many forms. At its heart is a vision, an expression of the experience you hope customers will have. The next level up from this concise vision statement is a bulleted list of experience requirements.

Develop design as a competency at the company level

Many organizations stand at the threshold of integrating design to a level at which it can become a powerful, competitive competency. First, you have to be aware of the benefits of design relative to existing business practices. You can’t build a design competency overnight; it requires difficult changes in processes, skills, and perhaps most importantly, culture.

WOW effect to build user loyalty

A satisfied customer isn’t necessarily a loyal customer […] Customer loyalty can’t be bought or bottled. Loyalty grows within people, based on a series of notable interactions they have with products, services, and companies. No card-carrying programs are necessary: Apple doesn’t have a traditional loyalty program, and neither does Nike or Harley-Davidson. These companies impress, please, and stand out in the minds of their customers through repeated, notably great experiences.

Overall, this is a pretty inspiring book that I encourage all product designers to read. If you don’t have time reading it, have a look at this Google Tech Talk by the authors of the book: