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Understand you products lifecycle

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Usage life cycle

  • Map the users life cycle to your design.
  • There will be a start, middle and end
  • Each stage will be characterised by different goals and behaviours
  • Each stage has different challenges – what was a show stopper isn’t a problem later on; problems regular users start experience doesn’t occur to someone just starting out.

1. First Contact

  • users discover your product or brand
  • users become aware of you
  • users perceptions are formed – do they understand your design? Do they understand what it means for them

2. First time use

  • most critical point in life cycle
  • usually very quick in the life cycle phase and often overlooked
  • first engagement user has with your product or design
  • based on first impressions users will make a decision to continue long-term or to quit and find something else

3. Ongoing use

  • the first impressions have encouraged the user to continue engaging
  • the user ‘got’ what your product was for and how it could help them
  • the user regularly engages with your product/ design

4. Passionate use

  • this is the desire of every designer
  • this stage is rarely attained
  • user becomes immersed in your design, passionate about it and shares it with others
  • this is how organic growth happens

5. Death

  • users stop interacting with your product
  • this can happen at any point during the life cycle: design might be too hard, no longer solves their problem, might have found something better
  • post mortem of designs can give valuable insight esp on life cycles that were cut short.

Know your exit points

  • Exit points are those critical points that you lose users.
  • There are usually common exit points for users – spotting the trend and changing the design will increase retention of users
  • Exit points usually have to do with context of use and meaningfulness to the user


  • I don’t understand how this is valuable to me
  • I don’t have any friends here
  • I can’t see how I would do anything productive here other than manage my contacts
  • I keep getting messages from people I don’t know

Other things to be aware of with exit points:

  • Exit points aren’t always necessarily interface design issues – they could happen merely in the mind of the users who has changed their goal, mindset or requirements
  • Other people or users behaviour can create an exit point



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