All the hype, excitement and hard work all “culminates” into one momentous moment — product launch!
Or, at least that’s how it is for products outside of mobile and digital. Not so much in the mobile and digital industry. Products are continuous iterations that require very particular launch strategies over a period of time. This is obviously just an opinion, and I know people are going to disagree.
Do not launch without a user ramp up period.
I’ll rant and rave about the value of user-generated feedback, quick releases, “fail fast”, and getting a product in front of users early. But, that doesn’t mean that everybody needs to see your product upon launch. This could lead to a disaster. The code, servers, and team will thank you for putting together a proper plan.
Invite feedback during the launch and after.
I get it, you’ve done unit tests, had a QA team scavenging the application, and maybe even pair-programmed the whole code, but things will still go wrong. Service layers will hit capacity loads, mysterious bugs will appear out of nowhere, and users will wonder how this application even made it into the store.
Poor early user reviews can be avoided with the right plan.
So, how do you plan properly? Well, here are a couple suggestions that I’ve seen be very successful — and I didn’t come close to creating any of these ideas.
These are tactics that startups tend to use all the time, but corporations seem to frequently overlook when launching mobile products.
- Stagger the launch of each platform. For example, if your audience is mainly iOS users, then launch iOS first, Android second, and Windows if you have to.
- Use invite codes. Prior to a full launch, ramp users up in a beta period with invite codes. This is the idea that Gmail made famous ten years ago. Many times it’s used as a marketing tactic, but it immensely helps on the development side.
- Invite users into the product launch. Let users know that you are wanting feedback on the newest product launch or update. Invite feedback and create a safe place besides the app store reviews for your users to complain or rave about the mobile application. Many times, users want to help build a great product — especially if it makes their lives easier.
Maintain constant user contact.
At the beginning of a product launch, make sure to constantly grab feedback and relay this information to the Product Owners to filter into bug fixing and the product backlog. Be proactive about receiving this, even if it means in-app popups asking for feedback. This is super valuable, even if it isn’t perfect for the user experience.
There are plenty more tactics that could lead to successful launches. The main nugget to remember is to avoid the Mobile Product Building Mistake #7 by not rushing into launch.
Think, plan, and involve the development team in the creation of a ramp up strategy. Do not rush. You’re building something for the long term, a couple extra weeks won’t hurt as much as a non-working product.
This is one part of a series called 9 Mobile Product Building Mistakes. Stay tuned shortly for Mobile Product Building Mistake #8.