Are your users stuck in "P" mode?

Kathy on Creating Passionate Users asks,

How many things do you own where you can't use more than 10% of what they can actually can do? The home stereo you play CDs on but gave up on Surround Sound. The cell phone that can fry eggs, but you still can't get it to vibrate. The software app where half the menus might as well be Latin. So what are we doing to make sure this doesn't happen to our users?

Documentation is an area that product managers often ignore.

Back in the day, vendors produced both system guides (how to do everything) as well as user guides (how to do what you want to do). Where did those usage guides go? (Probably another victim of cost-cutting.) Are your customers novices? If so, they need more than 'how ever menu item works'; they need how to do what they want to do. More examples, more step-by-step. No wonder the "Dummy" books are so popular; they're really the usage documentation we've been missing.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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