Consultant Thursdays: It’s Sometimes A Lot Of Small Things Instead Of A Big Thing

Good Product Manager has a good article about delivering customer value versus delivering a lot of features.

I’m going to go one further: sometimes it’s about a lot of small features instead of doing one large feature.

Example: when I was working at, the application was receiving a lot of bad reviews by the users, and the customer service department was working 20 or so overtime hours a week. I did an analysis of the customer service emails, and found that a full 20 percent of the emails and calls were related to the URLs in the emails — they were too long. All we had to do was design shorter URLs.

Two days of work by the developer, and in three weeks, the overtime was gone.

Over the next few months, we did a lot of small changes, like rewriting the customer service emails, making small improvements in the application, making small user interface tweaks. None of them took more than a couple of days, but over the long haul, we saw month to month improvements in both conversion rates and revenue generated. The return customers doubled, because they found the site to be easier to use.

This was all done without spending any marketing dollars.

We did do a redesign four months later, but the design was based on the small changes and user feedback collected from emails and focus groups selected from our more frequent users. They told us to make small changes, because it was the details that made it a better user experience.

Think small, then big. If you have to think big, there should be a big reason to justify it.

What are your success stories?

$99 Tough Love Resume and Portfolio Review

Tough love. Great Advice. Receive an one hour portfolio review and career coaching session online, or in person if you're in Seattle.

$99 with PayPal