With 6 years of experience in designing and developing products in the tech space, our Director of Product Saba Mirzaagha has learned a thing or two about the delicate process involved. He's narrowed it down to 3 main lessons to pass along to all other product managers out there.
1. Your product should uniquely address the needs of a customer segment.
These customers need a solution that they haven’t found yet, so – you can’t just roll out the same old thing. You need to provide something more valuable than your competitors. All of your users should feel better about having your product in their lives. With this in mind, my goal is to make life easier with the new products I develop.
2. The easier the better
Your product itself also has to be easy to use. So the user experience has got to be seamless. As technology advances, people are looking for convenient solutions to their problems. Your product’s ability to reduce the user’s amount of thinking or “pain” is a fundamental key to its success.
3. Building a great product is an art as much as a science
Don’t take forever to build your product – release your MVP for your early adopters, then iterate for a broader audience. People change, relevance changes, and so should your product. Why not release your product into the market and see how your early adopters react? You can then, adapt based on their needs and make those users loyal fans. Once new user groups start adopting your product, handling their needs quickly becomes the most difficult part of product development.
The biggest mistake I see with product developers is that they try to overload their products with features. This can really have a butterfly effect on the business. Causing user confusion, high cognitive load and damaging the core of your product, sometimes, we lose sight of why we started building the product in the first place.
Most recently Saba has been directing the product for the recently launched Contractors.com platform available on web, iOS and Android devices.
The platform is built to be the fastest way to match property owners with qualified and vetted contractors for all of their maintenance, upgrades and remodel needs. Users simply upload a photo or video of the project needed done and local contractors are notified. Users can message one on one with the contractor to discuss quotes and/or any other needs to fulfill the project. A reviewing system ensures a quality exchange and just like that, the home improvement process gets much simpler and efficient.
While the home improvement space does have similar applications available to complete a similar transaction, Contractors.com follows Saba's number one lesson in product development - it offers something entirely unique that no other similar platform can offer.
Along with offering an unparalleled multi-media platform that gives homeowners and contractors the ability to view projects via photo/video and communicate with one another seamlessly within the application, Saba also ensures that the application tends to a piece of the business transaction that can be too easily forgotten within the industry - the people behind the business transaction. In his own words:
Contractors.com exists in a crowded marketplace, in which providers spend too much time telling customers that to “get it done” or “you should consider it done.” “Done” is practical and mechanical, it offers no value specific to the provider, and it marginalizes the work.
Our customers are thoughtful and considerate of the work they need done: home improvement and maintenance intimately affect their lives. Not surprisingly, customers want contractors who treat the work like they do. They want contractors who treat them and their property with respect.
We connect customers to contractors who understand that they are not only building or fixing someone’s home or workplace, what they’re really building is someone’s future. This idea is not simply practical, it’s emotional. Contractors.com delivers an educated and thoughtful experience that doesn’t treat customers like a checkmark.
To do this, Contractors.com focuses on three things when helping customers hire the right contractor: we want it to be easy,fast, and painless. We have a robust set of algorithms that make matching quick. We also look over hundreds of contractors in the project owners’ area and contact the most fitting candidates first. Our goal is to match a contractor with a project owner within 15 minutes.
The platform is also built to uniquely address the pain points the other side of the transaction - the contractors, who many times are being sent leads for projects that they do not specialize in.
Contractors.com wants to help you find projects easily, so when we send jobs to contractors, we cater these jobs specifically to them. We don’t send every single job that comes through; we only send projects that you are likely to take. We provide quality projects with in-depth details, including images and videos, so you’ll know exactly what the job entails. We know it’s a painful process for contractors to find projects they’re passionate about. And that’s why we made it our passion to be the best source of work for contractors.
Contractors also have the ability to show off their work through their in app portfolio in which property owners can browse through and gain that extra dose of confidence in their own home project.
In celebration of launch, we are giving away a brand new Tesla Model X to one lucky beta user! To enter, simply create an account on either of our web or mobile platforms and you'll automatically be entered to win! Giveaway ends on January 1, 2017 and we will be drawing the winner shortly after!