The making of a “minimum awesome product”


When the Flipboard iPad app first arrived, it helped us to look at the tablet user interface in a whole new way. Suddenly, those ugly RSS feeds became beautiful, and they could be navigated alongside Twitter and Facebook streams. Flipboard’s co-founder, Evan Doll (@edog1203), recently sat down with me to talk about how the app was designed and where it might be heading. Key highlights from the full video interview (below) include:

  • A key to design at Apple: Every time you present the user with a non-essential decision to make, you have failed as a designer. [Discussed at the 1:00 mark]
  • Steve Jobs and user interface design: All those rumors are true. Steve Jobs has indeed played a significant role in even the tiniest of user interface design decisions. [Discussed at 1:20]
  • Exceeding customer expectations: Focus less on producing a “minimum viable product” and more on making it a “minimum awesome product.” [Discussed at 2:28]
  • Anonymized data is a crucial tool: You may not like it, but your browsing habits are being studied. Don’t worry though — it’s not some big brother conspiracy, but rather the Flipboard team looking for ways to improve the user experience. [Discussed at 4:05]
  • Focus on being “fundamentally social”: The social component of your product needs to be organic, not something that’s tacked on later. Flipboard is an “inherently social browser.” [Discussed at 5:15]

You can view the entire interview in the following video.

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