I just have to shout out some quick congratulations to ConquerMobile in Vancouver.
They make some amazing mobile apps … and some very cool tools for very simple app creation. And now they’re one of 8 Vancouver startups who have won free “tech space,” otherwise known as office space, in the Generator Challenge.
Very cool, and kudos to Aaron Hilton and Angela Robert!
Mark Betteridge, the CEO of Discovery Parks (where they’ll be getting the free office space) had some words of high praise:
“We selected the winners from a pool of very strong applicants, and believe that these companies could be BC’s next Hootsuite, Cardiome or Electronic Arts, in terms of technological innovation and impact on our economy.”
When you’re telling your boss what you think should be done, you’re selling. When you’re explaining to your spouse what big-ticket item you want to buy, you’re selling. And when you’re talking to a client and negotiating new features, you’re selling.
So, don’t you want to be good at it? I do, and this article is good enough and a big enough help that I wanted to remember it by posting the key points here:
8 Sales Questions You Can’t Live (and Sell) Without!
The Who Question
The When Question
When are you deciding?
The Scenario Question
Find the needs
The Net Impact Question
Understand the impact of the needs
The Explain Question
The Make Sense Question
The Removal Question
The Try Question
There’s a lot here, and some of it I’m not sure how I’ll use. But I love (and use) the “make sense” question a lot, especially since I’m often working with people whose native language is not English. And many of the others are great tips.
If you have five minutes, I highly recommend checking out the entire article.
I’m working on a usability project for desktop software right now, focusing on “UI strings.”
UI strings are the messages that you see in an application … what it tells you. Obviously, the better these are written, structured, and presented, the easier the application, and the better your experience with it.
Four things are really coming to my mind as I’m going through this. Three of them are directly related to UI strings. They enhance usability when …
You know what the software will do before you ask it to do it
The software does exactly what you asked it to do: not more, not less, not different
If something goes wrong, the software tells you in simple terms what happened, why, and how to fix it (this can be hard!)
The fourth thing is not really about UI strings, but an aspect of the application itself: revocability. Revocability, of course is the opposite of irrevocable (as in: can’t be undone).
The connection to UI strings is that if you know something is revocable … you’re less hesitant to try it and see. And that makes you a more confident and therefore happier user.
The overall goal of UI strings is giving the user the right amount of information at the right time. And the only way to know if you’ve got it right is to do usability testing during and after launch.