I was thrilled to see great progress with one of the startups I’m advising. In our meetings early on, there were questions from the entrepreneur and her team about what to do and where to go next. It was difficult as an outsider to give a good direction without specific industry experience. Instead, I recommended some best startup (business) practices including the importance of instrumenting their platform and using data to drive roadmap and business decisions.
In one specific example, the company wanted to immerse users in the experience of the platform. Their initial UI hid away menu options. However, they found users were not customizing their experiences very often. They finally knew, however, how long users stayed on the platform, what they did, etc. The team hypothesized that users would engage with the platform even more and for longer periods of time with more personalized experiences through customization.
So, the team started making cues to the menu options including explicit instruction during first-use onboarding. It worked. Engagement of the new menu increased as has customizations. Their goal of greater and longer app usage also increased.
Users are now seeing buying options more often. Their next goal is to drive increased sales.
The team is studying engagement data to help answer questions, create hypotheses, and make decisions to accomplish specific goals. It’s great to see progress.
P.S. You can check out related articles on instrumentation and metrics in “Don’t Know What Metrics to Track? Start Asking the Right Questions”, “Metrics vs. Instrumentation”, and “Metrics for the Early Stage Startups”.