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How product strategy and UX design impact churn

Jinny Oh | Founder of Wandr Studio, a product strategy and UX design firm

  • | Onboarding | Product Strategy | UX Design
  • August 2019
  • EP21

A multi-million dollar success

Tackling churn through product strategy and UX design

Today on the show we have Jinny Oh, Founder of Wandr Studio, a product strategy and UX design firm.

We chatted about how Jinny built a multi-million dollar business as a digital nomad and her motivations to build a remote company.

We also discussed how Wandr helps SaaS companies tackle churn through product strategy and UX design, how to test your ideal customer personas before building a product, and the importance of having a solid information architecture to avoid build a Frankenstein product.

Jinny also shared how product copy impacts product design, how to conduct a usability audit, and how to effectively roll out a product redesign without impacting the existing users experience.

As usual, I’m excited to hear what you think of this episode and if you have any feedback I would love to hear from you. You can email me directly on Andrew@churn.fm. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter

Highlights

Time
How Jinny built a multi-million dollar business as a digital nomad 00:04:00
How Wandr helps SaaS companies tackle churn through product strategy and UX design 00:07:00
Wandr’s approach to tackle user on boarding issues 00:10:30
How to product copy impacts product design 00:14:00
The role of customer success in product development 00:17:00
How to conduct a usability audit 00:18:30
How to effectively implement product redesign without impacting existing users product experience 00:20:30
Design considerations for companies based on market adoption and phase of growth 00:24:00
How marketing and product can work together to ensure a consistent user experience 00:29:30
The role UX design plays in user retention and its impact on churn 00:31:00
What Jinny would do to help a company turn their churn rate around 00:32:00
How to test your ideal customer personas before building a product 00:34:00
Channels to source early adopters for your MVP 00:38:00
The MVP was a hit, what’s next? 00:41:00

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Jinny Oh

Founder of Wandr Studio, a product strategy and UX design firm

Jinny’s recommended resources on churn

About the podcast

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In the real world tackling churn and increasing retention is one of the hardest problems a subscription business faces.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.

Transcription

Andrew Michael
Hey, Jenny, welcome to the show.

Jinny Oh
Awesome, thanks for having me.

Andrew Michael
Great to have you. For the listeners. Jimmy is an entrepreneur who’s lived studies and travelled around the world. And it’s her passion that really for exploring that led to a digital nomad lifestyle from which she was able to build a multimillion dollar product strategy and design firm. In 2016, she started wonder to empower startup founders with better user experiences. And since then, they’ve launched over 250 brands and work with several fortune 500 companies, such as IBM Geico, WWF, and Dollar Shave Club to help reshape their product strategy. So the topic of today, obviously, then, it’s going to be revolved around product strategy and design and sort of what the role that it plays when it comes to retention and engagement to help you tackle churn. So Jenny, maybe you just want to give us a little bit about the history. So like, as I know, you’re travelling around quite a bit. Just before the show, we talked about like that need for sometimes that feeling a little bit. But when you get the moments like with an exodus nation that you have to

Jinny Oh
Yeah, actually, it’s funny because of all the destinations I’m in kind of a boring place at the moment. I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina, but I am heading off to Mexico after this and then eventually heading myself

over to Europe in Portugal.

Andrew Michael
That’s where you’re heading off to Portugal.

Jinny Oh
I’m doing a little road trip. It’s going to be one of my girlfriend’s Bachelorette week. So we’re starting out in Lisbon and then renting out a car and going all over the country.

Andrew Michael
Very nice. Yeah, this one’s probably one of my favourite cities. After travelling last couple of years went to about 17 countries. I think there’s been was one of the favourite cities because it had that really good. Mac city vibe. But then you had really good surf and people in food. I’m sure you’re gonna love it.

Jinny Oh
Yeah, it’s so nice. I’ve been once for for web summit A few years ago, and I just loved it. It’s so beautiful.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, it’s awesome. Cool. So like, as I alluded to, in the beginning, it’s all you’ve lived this digital nomad lifestyle, you were able to build this multimillion dollar product strategy firm from a remote lifestyle, like, took us through that a little bit quickly, like, how did you get started? Like, what was the inspiration? And how did you end up sort of growing this company throughout and why remote?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, I mean, like anything good in life, everything just kind of happened organically. So before I started wander,

I had my own mobile tech startup that just never really got off the ground. And for a couple of years, I was freelancing. So I was doing user experience design and a little bit of copywriting as a way for me to pay for my travels. Because after my first tech startup failed, I all I wanted to do is travel the world. And that actually kind of creeped into what I’m doing with wander, which is continuing to build the company remotely. Travel is such an important part of my life and my core values. And I think it’s an amazing way to fuel creativity within the organisation. And so we’ve decided that even as we’re growing to just continue to build and scale up, we’re doing remotely, we do get together as a team a couple times a year, depending on you know, whether it’s a skill based, like we’re trying to learn a new skill, or we’re flying the team out to meet with the clients or doing a few different workshops, we do get together a few times a year. So it’s not like we’re completely remote. But I’d say we’re about like 90% remote of the time.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, that’s very cool. And I think in the context of retention itself, having a remote sort of environment really helps with that employee retention, even though it’s not the topic of the podcast, specifically, but giving them the freedom and flexibility to work from where they went into sort of have more control over how they work. I think it’s a superpower motivator to, like stick around with the company and

like sort of drive and feel that energy from that travel as well.

Jinny Oh
Yeah, of course. So we actually did a little experimentation last year where we had the entire team in LA for the month of July. So we rented out a little office space and had everybody come in everybody Monday to Friday, like a normal company. And what was funny was right around beginning of week three, we had a couple of our team members Tell me, I can’t wait to go back home to our like respective places because we want to be more productive. And I just thought that was really funny to hear that that they want to be remote to be productive and efficient at what they’re doing, rather than coming into an office.

Andrew Michael
It’s really weird that because I think it’s counterintuitive to most people’s beliefs, like when people think about, like remote sort of thing, okay, you’re at home, you’re your own schedule, you sitting on the couch, and you just relaxing and then working when you feel like it. But when you get into remote environment, you realise like how much more productive you can be when you have that absolute focus, and you’re not live in that office room, and cooler like come book coming and tapping on the shoulder, or being disrupted and things. Cool. So let’s talk a little bit about wonder and the firm sort of your areas of focus. And like, maybe you want to talk us through what a typical client looks like to you how you work with them how you help them?

Jinny Oh
Sure. So we’re we’re an award winning product strategy and user experience design firm. And most of the clients that we work with a big chunk of them, I’d say about 80 to 90% of the companies that we work with are either startups or fortune 500 companies that have a SAS product. So, you know, we’re helping them through a different types of external influence. So these companies already have existing product teams within their organisation. But the reason why they work with us is to have this external influence and spark of innovation within their product team as well as what they’re building out. And we do that through a number of different services such as our user experience, audits, workshops, usability testing, and of course design and implementation, which helps our clients acquire more users increase engagement, and of course, reduce churn.

Andrew Michael
Very interesting. I like the job that you say you have that focus with SAS companies, they tend to gravitate towards you talking about like the topic of like increasing engagement and decreasing churn? Are there any specific like sort of examples you could share with us where you brought into a company to help with the product strategy and the design, where you saw a marked improvement in engagement and hope to train in the company?

Jinny Oh
You know, so when we look at churn, the way that we’re approaching it with any organisation is not so much like in the number and saying like, okay, we’re going to come in and help you reduce from our know, 15% to 5%, churn rate, but more so looking at it in a holistic way of how do we, how do we get your customers as part of your product development at every phase? Sorry, how do we get your customers involved in every phase of that product development. And so a lot of times when we work with our clients, where their faults and where the problem lies, is within onboarding, even within larger organisations. onboarding, I say is probably the biggest problem that we are working on with our clients. And you either the companies don’t have any kind of onboarding at all, or the onboarding is too complicated that the users are trying to skip through it and get straight to the product. And in terms of the organisations that don’t really have onboarding, per se, they’re almost setting themselves up for failure. And so that is an example of where our team comes into, really just digest what’s happening in that part of the product development, to look for ways that we can improve.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, we’ve seen this quite a bit as well, talking through the shows that 10 companies tend to sort of really focus on the features and trying to keep up and catch up with the customer demand for what’s next. And often, like, what’s really neglected is that onboarding experience is that first touch of the product. Let’s talk through that a little bit more detail from like the product design lens. And when it comes to the work that you do, when you get approached by company, and you come in and you see that like onboarding is really been neglected. And you need to get started, like, what are your typical steps and that you advise companies to take to try and rectify the situation?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, so a couple different things that we’re doing. So if it’s a web application, we’re asking them to see if there’s any kind of data behind why there might be bounce rates or turn happening on their platform, and will actually utilise tools like hot try to give us more concrete, quantitative data. But we’re also looking at more so qualitative data, through the help of the customer success team, understanding where the problems lie within their customers, what they’re telling us that they’re having trouble with. And then mapping all of that out in a customer journey. Map just, again, just going back to onboarding. So we’re not mapping out the entire user journey, per se, but the user journey for onboarding and seeing where the pain points lie, where’s the friction? And how can we improve that, that experience so that it becomes a little more frictionless?

Andrew Michael
So do you want to talk us through some more practical examples? So in three, I get it, but maybe we’ll talk like a real life example of a product where you’ve taken through this process, and what were some of the steps in that user journey that you highlighted that needed to be included in the onboarding?

Jinny Oh
Sure. Um, so one of the examples that comes to mind was a recent project where the client was, they were collecting a lot of very private information. So they were seeing a lot of drop off rates in the signup process. And even within the onboarding after the user signed up, they’ve noticed that a lot of users were dropping off. Because even when they’re even after they sign up, they’re still asking for a lot of information like social security number, your bank information and things like that, where the users didn’t have the brand trust and the and didn’t feel safe giving away that information. Luckily, the client had already set up a lot of analytics for us to start observing and analysing where the drop offs were happening. So gave us a lot of good numbers to start working with. And a good, good starting points for us to look at from there, just trying out different scenarios of KYY. So like, why isn’t the Caesar giving us the social security number, and looking at that specific page, and it was because the, the platform wasn’t really giving concrete information about why we’re using. But why the user needed to give us the social security number. So things like that, where we realise we need to give more information and build more trust with the user for them to give us the information that we need to give them proper onboarding.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, I think it’s very valid points. And it goes to sort of like the power of really solid copy and product copy, and specifically micro copy as well. Again, this is like one of those things that really gets left to the last minutes. And it’s sort of thinking about design first, and then copy second, then what information needs to be highlighted. It tends to be a big mistake that I see the companies make. And then often like, you don’t realise how many opportunities lie in just making copy and text clearer for users tend to send alleviate some of that stress. What is your process around the storey? What is your process when it comes to sort of thinking about what information goes onto the page and how you prioritise design of a copy?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, I was actually going to mention the importance with copy. We had another we had another client where the copy in their platform was really inconsistent. And that was creating a lot of confusion within the user. And I’ll go back to your question in a bit. So I’ll give an example they were using. So it was a marketing SAS product. And they were using the term campaign interchangeably with another term journeys. And so they were creating a lot of inconsistency of what that campaign versus user journeys meant. And, and so those are, those are little things that, you know, we’re trying to detect when we’re doing a usability audit. So going back to your question of what’s our process in terms of looking at design versus copy? So first, when we work with our clients, for we want to get a holistic perspective of what’s going on with the organisation, not just on a product perspective. So is there a feedback loop happening between the product team and the customer success team, and that’s really, really important, especially, you know, if it’s 100 plus employee organisation, it’s hard for us to get that set up. And so we’re, we’re, our hope is that when we work with clients that that set, that feedback loop is already set up. And if it’s not something that we do try to encourage and help our clients get that in our organisation. And from that, we’re getting user experience feedback, and looking at the overall information architecture, and how that can be improved during the user experience.

During the user experience journey,

in terms of copy, I mean, that definitely goes hand in hand with design, because you want to portray the right messaging, right information and essentially build trust with your users. And it can’t just be designed, you have to be able to do that with coffee as well. Um, so yeah, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of that.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, it’s super important. And I like to draw you talking about really building that relationship between product and customer success. So you have that feedback, lips apropos going on? Why Customer Success specific, they’re like, are the other teams within the organisation as well, for example, maybe support, they could also be feeding back that loop and that customer thing like why specifically, you do try and foster that relationship between customer success and product?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, I think the customer success and slash support team is sometimes underrated, how important their goals are within product development. They are basically the eyes and ears of the customers. And without that team, and without that feedback loop, the product is a product development team is building out the platform almost blindly. You know, we can look at quantitative data and see where we can improve. But we also need to back it up with qualitative data and what the customers are saying, and really adding them every part of every.

Yeah, every part of our product development phase.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, that sort of that qualitative data needs to be fueling what you’re going to be looking for in the quantitative data.

Jinny Oh
Yeah, and and really understanding your customers to prioritise where prioritise features and where you need to focus on in terms of your user experience. enhancements.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, and things like user experience as well. It’s one of those things, like we talked about, in the beginning, it’s something that sometimes an afterthought for companies as well that can how critical can be, and you touch on usability sort of audit that you do with companies? What are the typical steps that you’re doing an audit sec, if you’re advising a company, and they want you to go out and do a usability audit for their company, what are some of the steps that you go through, like, maybe you want to talk us through them stage by stage?

Jinny Oh
Sure, so a lot of different things going to our music ability audit, but I had briefly mentioned earlier, which is, you know, talking to the customer success team and interviewing them and key stakeholders within the organisation, and then diving into the product. And what usually happens is, a lot of the companies that we work with, have what I like to call a Frankenstein product, you know, really, really powerful tools. But in the early days, they didn’t have a lot of product designers. So it’s a lot of engineers that are building and building. And, you know, they’re adding in what the customers tell them that they want without really stopping to reconstruct or take a look at how the information architecture was built. And so that’s a big part of what we’re doing with usability audit is looking at the information architecture. And a lot of times, we’re just deconstructing it and starting from the ground up just because it’s just become this massive product. Lot of the users don’t understand how to navigate through it. And they might not even find features that they came into use, just because they didn’t realise it even existed, again, because of poor user experience and how the information architecture is laid out.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, definitely see that happening as well. And when you don’t have designers early on sort of thinking about the challenges, you tend to get this, as you say, Frankenstein experience. Once you go through this, the and you’ve come up with sort of areas, where you see issues, you have a bit information hierarchy that you want to present and sort of redo a redesign. What are your process look like? Then like? How do you ensure that you don’t disrupt the user experience from existing users coming in from one day to the next? And they’re going like, Hey, wait a minute, like, what’s been going on with this product? How are you thinking about the different audiences in that context? And what do you do to sort of mitigate some of the risks around potentially upsetting old customers? changing their habits?

Jinny Oh
Oh, man, this happens all the time. So it is it is a very, very difficult part of our job, which is, how do we mitigate risk of, you know, having turned from existing users. And so sometimes, the best solution is to keep a legacy product as it is and then offer the new, the new and improved product as kind of like a

an alternative.

How do you say like a, like a switch on and off button. So you can go back and forth between the legacy product and the new product, it’s not really the most recommended. But that is an option that we’ve walked around before. The alternative is to just incrementally sneak in the new user experience throughout the platforms, it’s a very, very slow integration, because we don’t want to change too much where the users are confused, because they’re so used to the previous user experience, even if, even though it was really bad, they’re so used to it and so integrated to their daily use that like, when we introduce some new features and new experiences, they might, they might get really upset. So the way to go about it is to just really slowly, incrementally integrate it into the platform until, you know, over a year span, we’re switching it more and more. Um,

Andrew Michael
and how are you measuring that is that as you go through this process, so like, in both cases, one way you sort of have that option to switch back and forth between the two versions. And then the second sort of like, that iterative approach.

Jinny Oh
Yeah, it’s, you know, measurement within our company is difficult to do, especially when we’re working with organisations are quite large. So this is where we depend a lot on that feedback loop with the customer success team, because a lot of the data and a lot of the measurements that we receive is based on the qualitative customer feedback.

Andrew Michael
Okay. And then so like, this is what I think was actually base camp is one of the companies that ended up they wanted to redo the product, and they want to redesign that. And then they got to this point, when they realised they were so different from the original product, that they ended up keeping both. And you could either choose one or the other. And at some point, sec, have you ever come to this point where working with customers and realising the information architecture was just so drastically wrong, that you almost needed to propose a new product, a new product structure?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, we had a couple of clients that are still using the old legacy product. And they had to because they have to customers that were using their platform for over 10 years. And so for them, even though the existing user experience is so bad, that’s what they’re used to.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, and I think one of the things I can this that Slack, often really considered is the types of users that are using your product, different stages, and I’ve only sort of like become empathetic towards this lately, when my mother actually contact me from time to time, I set her up with a WordPress website. And like her, my father, like, reach out to me, maybe periodically, once every three months, sort of with this, like, things have changed drastically, like it’s a completely new system now. And I’ll go no login. And I’ll see maybe like two or three things moved around a bit, but nothing really that drastic. And I think this sort of just sort of goes towards like you have totally different types of users today, levels of different sophistication. And making these big design changes, like you sort of need to really understand who the audience is, and who you focusing in optimising for, I guess? How much like of the user audience themselves and their sophistication Do you take into consideration when making design decisions? Second, how much does the stage of the company matter as well? So when we think about the different phases of growth and targeting early adopters, early majority, or the late majority, like, do these sort of thoughts come into your mind when thinking about your design work?

Jinny Oh
That’s such a great question. I definitely have to say like, the older organisations have to be a lot more careful about, you know, what they’re implementing, what new, what new changes that they’re implementing, because like I said, we had a client who is I think, at least 10 or 12 years running and their old users will not adopt to the new platform that we’ve designed out, there’s no way like, they’re just so used to how things were that having them use the new platform, even though it’s it’s the same features and functionality. It’s almost like trying to onboard new users all over again. And then you have to worry about churn. I guess with startups, it’s a little bit more forgivable for them to make changes, because you are expecting early adopters, and you are expecting these users to be a little bit more forgiving about changes and experimentation. Whereas I think once you’re an established organisation, it’s it’s much harder to have

Andrew Michael
freedom to experiment.

Jinny Oh
Yeah, exactly.

Andrew Michael
Cool. Yes, definitely. Like it’s something. It’s one of those challenging things just to think about as you grow sort of decisions like from design, to marketing, to customers access, everything sort of starts to change as you start to hit these different stages of growth and the different phase of the market that you’re going after. Talking, again, about like market that you go after and services specifically, like I see as well, the wonder you offer quite a variety of design services. So from a brand strategy and development to user experience and audits and then user interface and visual design. When we think about sort of the user experience itself, like how do you see the user experience flowing between brand and product? And what do you see some of the companies that are doing as well?

Jinny Oh
Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Andrew Michael
So like I think sometimes as well, we have these two different groups of designers or two different teams that sit in marketing or sit in product design. And what tends to happen is that you have a group designing for products, and then a group designing for marketing initiatives. But then, is this not this coherent experience that flows from one to the other? Like, how important do you think it is for brand and for like my getting to have this current appearance and flow into product. So that’s one united experience,

Jinny Oh
you know, it’s funny is that separation is very, very real, like we’ll work with clients on building out their entire product, but then they have a separate marketing department that has their own separate team, and they’ve got their own separate vendor list and marketing or design agency that they work with, that’s completely separate from what we’re doing. I do think it’s so important that there is communication between the two teams, but it really rarely happens. I wish there was more of it. But, you know, again, it just kind of depends on the clients organisation. But it is important to have a co coherence, looking feel and messaging and vision throughout not just the marketing, but also throughout the product as well. And use of going back to use of copy, you know, we want to make sure that it’s consistent not just in the product, but also marketing vice versa.

Andrew Michael
So yeah,

yeah, definitely, I think like some of the good examples for this is like, for example, Slack, how you just have this really solid consistent experience throughout from arriving to the site and sort of the tone of voice and the design and sort of this friendly feeling that you get with it as it flows straight into the product as well like this communicative style that they do, it’s, and it really sort of adds to the overall user experience. I think that’s also what I was trying to touch on before is that, like, when thinking about user experience, people just tend to focus on product, but not really like your user experience really starts from the first time they see an ad. Oh, for sure. Yeah. And like, what are some of the things that you like to work through with customers when thinking about this as well? Like, is there any sort of methodology that you try and bring people on board with marketing and product strategy?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, I think this is the reason why like I love working with startups is because like, we get more of an influence on how to build their entire user experience, not just within the product, but the user experience of the whole company, like how the how the customer interacts with you upon the first impression, all the way to customer support like that is user experience. And I think a lot of organisations don’t understand that. So when we work with larger organisation, which, you know, is the makeup of most of our clients now, but it’s so difficult to do, because we’re just working directly with the product team. So yeah, I mean, my whole point was that user experience isn’t just just the product experience itself. It’s just encompassing every part of the company brand.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. Cool. So I think like what I want to touch on and then as well now is going back as well to the problem of churn retention. What role do you believe that sort of user experience and user interface design plays in churn and retention?

Jinny Oh
I mean, I definitely think

especially where I come from, it’s the most important part of reducing churn. You know, I do think churn has to be looked at in a holistic point of view. Because even if we build the best user experience, product that there ever was, if the customer support team can’t answer their phone, then that’s not going to help reduce your churn rate. So it does play a very, very important part. But to add to that, you do still need to look at it in a more holistic point of view.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, and it’s not just sort of one aspect, that’s going to have an impact, it’s thinking about it across the board. So with that in mind, those are when it comes to student retention, like I want to put you in this hypothetical scenario. Let’s pretend like you’ve been bought on to a new customer. And they’ve actually asked you to try now the churn is not great retention, like they’re losing customers left and right. And you’ve been given the task now to help turn things around. What would be some of the things that you would look to do in the first two to three months with this company to try and help turn that around with them?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, so it’s a lot of active listening. Again, going back to customer success, like, what, what’s that team hearing from the end users? And then to looking at leadership? Is there something wrong with the business model? Like, are we going after the wrong type of customers? If, if so, then we need to recreate what that target persona looks like. And then use that to influence what’s going to be built for the next iteration of the user experience. And then going back to what I’ve talked about, which is reconstructing information, architecture, user experience, and then redesigning the user interface, as well. But the very first step is, comes from the active listening and really trying to understand what’s going on inside the organisation as well as externally outside, what’s going on with the customers.

Andrew Michael
Let’s talk about that as well, like the target customers you mentioned. And another scenario, like a company comes across, and they realised, actually, they’ve been trying to target the wrong customer all along. And now it’s time to sort of reconstruct to that ideal customers. What does process look like? for that? Like? How would a startup go about trying to figure out who their ideal customer profile is,

Jinny Oh
um, it’s a lot of different testing, you know, especially when you’re an early stage startup, you have your first demonstration, or first minimum viable product, and going out and testing two different user groups. And this could come before development even happens, like, you know, what, who you thought were your target market may not actually be the right fit for your product. And so this is where a lot of iteration and the iterative process comes in. You know, you design build, test, come back the design and build understanding from from your understanding of like, who your target market is, and that that changes over time. I mean, who you started off as your primary target market may not actually be the target that, that that actually pays and stays with you. Throughout your, your

life cycle? Yes, thank you.

Andrew Michael
Yes, I think this is definitely one of those things. It’s, it’s a tough topic when it’s the early days, because you definitely start out with this like, really solid idea in mind, at least your idea in your mind, it’s a solid idea. You got to build a product, and then you realise people aren’t really using it. At a later stage, it’s a lot easier to sort of identify and like solidify who that ideal customer profile is, because you have a user base that using and actively using your product, but nearly said, what are some of the clever ways that you think people could use design to avoid going down the route of building their own things? And how are you helping companies? I could the very early stage sort of validate the idea assumption through design.

Jinny Oh
Yeah. So before diving into that, I also have to mention that even if you are an established organisation, that they’re they’re still testing out different target markets, especially if they’re rolling a new feature or a new product within their company. So I do want to mention that as well. Now, going back to your question of how do we help start early-stage startups, you know, avoid risk of developing something that doesn’t have product market fit. So that all starts with the MVP. And I think a lot of people have a misconception of what an MVP really means. A lot of times, people think MVP means let’s build the full full thing. Let’s invest our time and money into building the full thing legit and see what happens. And that is the worst way to build a product. Because that’s, that’s a lot of risk. I mean, like, building a product, and then launching it is is just like, throwing spaghetti on the wall, I’m hoping something’s going to stick. And a lot of times, it’s not going to. And so what you want to do is literally start out with the smallest stupidest thing that you can start testing with. What we like to do at wander is create a sign up landing page. We haven’t even designed what the products going to look like. We don’t even know what the product is. But we have a signup page with the concept. And it actually looks like a legitimate. It’s like a legitimate startup, you know, it makes it it makes the users feel like, okay, the products almost built, we’re going to be part of this like exclusive beta, this is awesome to see if the founders can even get the first 100 100 signups. And if they can’t get to that first 100, signups that’s a really good indication that that is not either one, not the best target for that product, or there’s no use for this product at all in the market. So then we go back ship, make some shifts and changes to the concept, throw it back out there as a another signup page. And again, do that process over again. It’s also a good way for the founders to take that if especially if they can get a lot of a big number in the signups to take that to invest potential investors.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, I love as well what you highlighted in the MVP, because it different is that sort of misconception. And I think there’s these different definitions. If you ask different people when it comes to what is that minimum viable product? It’s really, at that MVP stage is all about validating, is there a market for the product that you’re trying to build. And if you can do that in smart ways, without going down the route of actually putting together a nap and actually starting to validate things early on, you save yourself a lot of pain and trouble down the line.

Jinny Oh
And a lot of money to I mean, if your MVP is going to take you more than a month to build and that is not an MVP, that means you’re building v1.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. And how are you sort of then getting like exposure for these landing pages? Like what is the process of like? Are you trying to put them in front of a panel like it is certain channels that you’re reaching out too, and trying to get feedback and input? Because I think that could also be one of the things that early on even though you have this MVP, you have a landing page, like distribution for startups is pretty difficult. So are there any things you’re doing like, with your companies you’re working with to ensure that they are you getting the amount of eyeballs on in that initial fee to sort of validate if it’s viable or not?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, never underestimate the power of Facebook groups, like I love using Facebook groups for, for everything that we do. So that’s how we get a lot of user users to volunteer for testing. And that’s how we, you know, help founders get their first sign ups as well. So, for instance, like if you’re building out, hypothetically, a SAS product that’s focused on, I don’t know, real estate, let’s say, so then go join a dozen real estate groups that are going to have a high concentration of your target market within the real estate industry. And then send out a blast. And don’t be spammy. Don’t just say like, sign up for my new product, just explain what you’re trying to do. And then add a link to your post and see if people would be interested in signing up or even volunteering to be part of your test group.

Andrew Michael
Yeah, I really liked it as on having that, because then you have this hyper-focused audience. If you do find an active group, like on Facebook, people obviously love to provide input and have a conversation there. So it’s really good to have a hyper-focused audience.

Jinny Oh
Yeah, especially if it’s, if it’s a product that’s going to add value to them in the long run, then they’re most likely going to help you by giving a lot of their inputs on building your and helping you build that product.

Andrew Michael
Absolutely. And then so from that stage, so what would be the next steps then that you work through in the design process with the company so they built this real estate productive, understood that it’s really a good product for individual real estates, individuals like working solo pioneers? What would be the next step then, that you would work through with your customers?

Jinny Oh
Yeah, so the next step is low fidelity wireframe. So we’re building out what their platform is going to look like, and what we’re going to send off to the developers as their second phase of the product development. And again, after that low fidelity, we’re going back to that same group and saying, like, Hey, we’re, we’re building out something really awesome, it’s going to help, you know, help real estate agents with X, Y, and Z, can I get a few volunteers to get some input on my, my new product. So going through that round of usability testing, and then moving on to high fidelity, visual and branding, and then doing another round of testing after that, before that gets sent off to the development team.

Andrew Michael
And then that, again, sort of like having that constant feedback loop as well. I think that’s like, for me, one of the biggest areas where companies go wrong is when they get to the end of having a product being built, that has found a vision in mind, and they go start building but then lose touch of the customer along the way and forget that you need to be speaking to them at every step of this stage. because things change markets shift like ideas as well, of our customers, actually one versus how you execute on that can be

Jinny Oh
definitely, exactly always be listening to your users.

Andrew Michael
Yeah. So Jenny, like from your side? It’s been good having you on the show today. But before we leave, like I wanted to see if there’s anything that you had that you’d like to share with us today, like, how can the audience keep up to date with the work is a sort of any last bits of advice that you’d want to leave the listeners with when it comes to trying to tackle channel attention?

Jinny Oh
Um,

any last minute? i? Yeah, I mean, just wanted to reemphasize active listening, you know, not just within your organisation, but externally with your customers and testing every step of the way. Whatever you build, don’t just send it off to the dev team test that, that that gets launched.

Andrew Michael
And I said, and how can they keep up to date with your work like, Is any place you recommend that they follow?

Jinny Oh
Yeah. So you guys can follow our team at wander dot studio. That’s WANDR without the E. And then you can also follow me, Jenny OJINNYOHH on social media.

Andrew Michael
Very cool day. Well, thanks very much for joining us been a pleasure having you today. And obviously, like, as you mentioned, active listening is a critical component. Second, the audiences will actively listen to this episode and post something insightful away from it. Really appreciate your time. Thank you.

Jinny Oh
Awesome. Thank you so much.