Member David Matheson Speaks: Is Change Always a Bottom Up Revolution?

The Challenge:

The case at hand was brought by the CEO of a mobile app company that was seeking to give users more transparency in billing and better tracking of their spending. He was at the outset of designing the user experience and interface.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

If I were in your position, I’d table the design and user experience discussion around your app. Instead, focus on what the big players in the market want – and why.

I can sense your passion for disrupting the market to make it more transparent. And let me tell you: I’m onboard. Issues with billing, payment and transparency are big enough to fly a 747 through it. Still, I would take a step back and reconsider your approach. Firstly, make sure you aren’t designing a solution for the sliver of the market that is app-savvy. Those in the broader market are different than we are in Silicon Valley. Think of the parts of the country that are less technology-centric. Would they gravitate towards this solution? Examine your assumptions.

Secondly, remember that a positive user experience doesn’t necessarily drive adoption. There are powerful forces at play in the national and international markets, and some are profiting massively from the status quo. Is transparency in their interest? You may want to actively engage the major institutional players in your market to understand what they want – and why. Understand how your software could facilitate better engagement with their customers, a need they have been striving at for years. Position your software as the key to unlocking value for these institutional players. Is UX design really the first step?