Show me the magic (in your product)
Every product developer needs these tools
Great product feels like magic to the consumer. Great product developers can read the consumer’s mind and anticipate their needs in product delivery.
I had dinner the other night at Anchor and Hope in San Francisco. I was meeting an old friend who I had not seen in a few very tough years and his significant other who I had never met. It was very important to get a great meal and to be able to understand the last two years of his life.
The waitress did a fantastic job. She, made great recommendations for appetizers, entrees and desert, helped us choose a fantastic wine and brought the check as required. But, at the same time, she performed a subtle act of magic. She managed to disappear. By anticipating our needs and making it unnecessary for us to interrupt our thoughts or conversation to ask for anything, she became invisible.
Her ability to anticipate was magic and it was the difference between good food and a great experience.
In the small part of the conversation that we spent on my work, I mentioned one of our portfolio companies, Swipely. I described the service and my friend said he would love to try it. That night I went into my account to invite him and remembered that I had promised an invite to someone else as well.
I sent both invites out and felt a good product become a great experience because of anticipation.
The first invite I sent to my friend from dinner resulted in a “thank you” for inviting someone new to Swipely. The second invite, that I had promised to send a few weeks before, returned a different message. In the time it took for me to follow through on my promised invite, this person had gotten an account from someone else.
The obvious endpoint of this user experience path would be a message letting me know the person is already a member. A slightly better endpoint would be their profile page. Swipely has taken this a step further by reading my mind. They anticipated that if I want to invite someone to the service, I am also interested in following their swipes. Rather than ask, they create magic and return a message letting me know the person I wanted to invite is already a member and that I am now following them.
With this simple change, a good product experience was made great. By anticipating my needs, Swipely showed me the magic.
If you have examples of magic product experiences, I look forward to the list created in the comments.