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Book Business November/December 2012 : Page 17

fact, it’s inevitable. The decisions you make may not always be op-timal from various user perspectives, but the having the ability to make an informed decision is always optimal. 7. Find an equitable balance. Decision making in an agile context should be about balance. It’s important to find the balance between offering the best user expe-rience and responding to your business needs. Sometimes business decisions trump user experience, and vice versa. 8. Establish a direct connection to your customers. Digital products do best when companies establish and maintain a direct connection to their customers in various ways. For many publishers, the shift from B2B to B2C is a difficult one, but essen-tial to success going forward. And remember, B2C is not just a sales thing. Forging and maintaining a direct and ongoing connection to people who purchase your products is an essential strategy for any business today. 9. Have a point of view about user experience (UX). User experience is not a set of defined rules that you must follow. Rather, your company should establish your own informed best practices for UX. Start by defining the type of experience you want to deliver to your customers. Make sure everyone on your team is working toward providing a superior experience to your customers in everything they do. 10. Digital is not right for everything. Just because you can make something digital, does not mean you should. Any digital products your company produces should make sense for your product mix. Each product, digital or not, should have a compelling story of how it fits into your offerings and works toward your bottom line. Formulate a coherent digital strategy. 11. Eat your own dogfood. This expression comes to us from Microsoft and tells us that we have to use our own products. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer; see what they go through to be your customer. You will never truly understand what a customer feels until you’ve used a product for yourself. 12. Finally, be agile about agile. Unlike some other business processes, agile is such that change is not only expected, but encouraged. If something is not working, ditch it. Don’t try to cling to processes that don’t work for you, as it will just slow you down and make your workflow less efficient. Instead, change, experiment and try new things until you find the right configuration for your organization. BB Brett Sandusky is the Founder and Principal of bdigitl Media Labs, a consultancy helping companies build smart digital products. His expertise is in user experience design, agile product management, research and data analysis, eCommerce, and mobile applications. Formerly, Brett launched and ran an innovation lab for a major educational publisher focusing on bringing new products to market, usability and user behavioral data. More at Taking Book Printing To The Next Level Your Source For Short-Run Book Printing > Comment on this and other articles at 17

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