What connects Net Promoter Score, mobile, beauty and mathematics?
We loved reading SC Moatti’s new bestselling book, ‘mobilized: an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology‘. For her work at Facebook, Trulia and Nokia, SC has been called “a genius at making mobile products people love.” Her book provides:
- Proven approaches to become mobile-first
- The three all-encompassing rules all great mobile products follow
- In-depth case studies from Facebook, Uber, Tinder, Slack, Pandora and others.
Here are some excerpts from the book:
Tools mobile companies use to learn
Companies that get really serious about learning do so in context. They focus on impact. They don’t care how much effort it takes to reach their goal. They care about having more people use them so they can learn faster and get even better. They also realize that what worked a month ago no longer works today. What was enough in a given context no longer is in a different environment.
Real estate marketplace Trulia, for instance, relies on a metric called Net Promoter Score, or NPS, to measure impact. NPS is a widespread metric in mobile. It asks users a simple question—“How likely are you to recommend Trulia to a friend?”—and captures their answer on a scale of 1 to 10 (1: not at all likely, 10: very likely). If the rating is anything below 8, it assumes that users are not satisfied.
The higher its NPS, the more likely users are to recommend Trulia to friends, so the more people will use it.
In fact, growth hacker guru Sean Ellis, who helped companies like Dropbox and Eventbrite go from zero to IPO, talks about the need to constantly reverse engineer a product in order to make it a must-have experience.
“Use NPS to understand what users might like and what they might be disappointed with,” he says. “If you don’t nail the first experience of a user, there’s usually no second experience. And then, the ongoing experience is what referrals are based on, so it’s pretty critical.”
Then, the success of a new mobile product often hinges on how it is rolled out. Some companies release very gradually, first to a randomly selected 1 percent of its users, then 5 percent, and only then to all users. Others set up sandboxes where they can get things right first, before making a new offering available to all when it’s finally ready.
Mobile messenger Viber, for instance, releases new features in its smaller markets first, then in its larger ones. While it isn’t widely used in the US, over 100 million people around the world use Viber every month to communicate for free with friends and family. The company was acquired in 2014 by Japanese Internet giant Rakuten for close to $1 billion.
What mobile, beauty and mathematics have in common
Billions of people already have a personal device of their own: their smartphone. And, as is the case with the iPhone, people pull it out on average 110 times a day. So every mobile designer has an impossible mission: they have to delight billions of people 110 times a day with something they can only touch or talk to. How do they do that? When it comes to mobile products, beauty appears through efficiency, using the so-called Birkhoff formula and Thumb Test.
George David Birkhoff was a mathematician known for his work on differential equations. He published a mathematical theory of beauty in 1933 in his book Aesthetic Measure, which is still used today by professionals who research, design, and assess products and services for their usability. His formula reads as follow:
M = O/C. M is a measure of beauty, O of simplicity, and C of complexity. Simply put, what the formula says is that beauty (M) increases with simplicity (O) and decreases with complexity (C.)
To learn more about the formula for mobile success, including how to apply it to your own company, read SC Moatti’s book, mobilized: an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology or visit scmoatti.com.