How we learned that smaller is always better

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At Integrity, we pride ourselves in taking on clients who have business problems they need solved. We love auditing poor workflows and turning them around in a matter of weeks. We drool over redesigns. But what do we do when a company comes to us with a name and not much else?

That's what we're figuring out.

We are currently working with a group of serial entrepreneurs who have provided us with a bucket of hours and not much else in the way of parameters other than to find an idea, a product, a something that they can focus on and grow their business around. Never ones to shy from a challenge, we hit the ground running.

After several months of competitive analyses, market research, user definition, pain point research, workflows, personas, UX maps, feature ideation, timelines and MVP definition we finally arrived at that something. And it wasn't what any of us expected it be.

What we discovered is that smaller is always better. At least, when you're starting from scratch.

As a team, we've already been doing this all along, just without having put actual words to it. The workflow should always be simpler. The navigation should always be shorter. And in this instance, the product should always be smaller.

Yes, we came up with a list of the most ideal users and awesome features, but we realized we would never get that far if we didn't just take the first step. So, we started working backwards.  What is the best foundation we can build for all of the features we want to add on? What is the smallest companion product we can produce that will still make a user's life easier? What is the smallest thing we can launch that's still useful?

Once that lightbulb went off, the task of finding our clients' something suddenly became a lot less daunting. Once we realized we didn't have to do it all and all at once, we were able to overcome option paralysis and actually begin working on our most simply useful features.

And, perhaps most interesting of all, we have found that our client is excited about this iterative approach and more than happy to work closely with us as we hone in on our their best something.

Have you ever had the opportunity to learn a lesson like this right in the middle of a project? What was it? Tell us about it! Integrity is active on Twitter and Facebook, or you can contact the author directly via her personal Twitter.

Image Source: Drew Melton (http://yourjustlucky.com/)

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