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Simplicity is a valuable asset. People crave it in all walks of life, but when it comes to complex technology solutions, it too often takes a back seat. But in the context of cybersecurity, such as identity and access management (IAM) solutions, simplicity is just as important, as friction and complexity negatively impact the user’s digital experience. If 61% of consumers admit it If they were to switch to a competitor with a simpler experience, it is vital for businesses to prioritize simplicity in order to earn customer trust and loyalty over the long term.
Why simplicity matters
When Apple first introduced the iPhone in 2007, it didn’t have a copy and paste feature. BlackBerry offered it, but Apple decided it wasn’t necessary, shipped the phone anyway, and sold millions of devices. It was an easy-to-use device for their customers. Limiting functionality wasn’t an easy decision for the team, but it showed how ‘easily’ wins customers.
Simplicity is important for several reasons. When users can easily understand how a product works, it is more accessible and routine, and can increase overall adoption. This is particularly important in the technology space, where complex products can be more difficult to understand or frustrating to use, leading to them being avoided altogether.
When it comes to simplicity, less is often more. Instead of trying to cram as many features into your product as possible, focus on the core features that users actually need. This makes the product easier to use and maintain and reduces the risk of vulnerabilities. With every new feature comes additional security, testing, and maintenance work—so it’s important to make sure everything is effective.
Resist the urge to add more features just because your competitors have them. When a competitor releases a new feature, it’s really hard to understand whether that new feature is widespread or was a response to a single customer request. Do not engage in this feature fight. Instead, focus on making sure your product has the functionality that meets the needs of your core customers. When you expand beyond your current customer focus, do it on purpose. This will help you focus on your features and avoid spray-and-pray feature development.
Related Topics: Here’s why you should use simplicity as a strategy (and three ways to do it)
Make simplicity a core value
If you choose to make simplicity a core business value, you need to get your entire team focused on that approach. Here are some tips on how to build simplicity into your product development process:
- cross-pollination — Product managers need to spend more time with each team, not just the engineers. You need to work with the designers, the user experience team and the user research team, as well as the customers and the customer facing teams. Commercial product managers should plan to spend more time with these teams than on development. They need to think about business issues and experiences before delving into the technical aspects. User experience should be your top priority when developing a product. This means thinking about how users will interact with your product and designing it to be intuitive and easy to use.
- Create an initiative overview — Every new initiative needs an initial overview. Then create a “back of box” statement. This is something that would fit on a slide in a presentation. Think of it like a board game box. Here’s what’s in the box, a simple explanation of the game, and who would like it. The same also applies to products. This includes what problem it solves, who is taking care of it, what its value is, and whether customers will pay for it. Dig even deeper into the ideal customer profile, type of users, customer journey involved, etc. in the Who Cares category. This planning process prioritizes the customer experience before engaging in deep conversations about the technology. It simplifies the process of determining how the final product will look when delivered. This approach ensures that the technology is at the service of the solution and not the other way around.
- Roadmap Reporting — The third tip for simplification is the internal reporting of the roadmap status. Rather than simply using a red or green light feature roadmap to show the status, start with the different personas affected and how the new feature will impact them and their business. This helps change the conversation What functions are developed How Customers are helped in ways that will change their lives.
- Regular team presentations – Encourage your product teams to think simplicity first. Find a forum for your product teams to embrace and demonstrate the simplicity of their products and processes. Asking each product manager to come up with something they simplify encourages idea sharing across the team and keeps simplicity front and center.
- Simplicity as an ongoing activity – Simplicity can have a huge impact on the success of any product. By keeping things simple and focusing on the user experience, companies can improve adoption, reduce costs, and increase security. When it comes to identity and access management solutions, simplicity is especially important to improve customer retention and reduce the risk of vulnerabilities.
However, keep in mind that simplification is not a short-term project or a six-month activity. It’s an ongoing mindset. It has to be embedded in everything an organization does.
Related Topics: 5 Ways to Promote Simplicity and Boost Efficiency