We write a lot about value-driven prioritization of software requirements. It’s easy (when defining requirements) to forget that we have to sell the product before anyone gets any value from it. With internal use software for large companies (like enterprise software, intranets, erp systems), “sell it” means “get high user adoption rates.” High user rates are key to getting ROI when process-improvement is one of the targets of the software.
Closing the sale means creating the perception of value. Creating actual value does not assure that someone will believe that there is value prior to actually using the software. Sustaining a perception of value over time (or across multiple customers) requires that there be actual value underneath the perceived value. A reasonable way to think about perceived value is to think about it as desireability.
Kathy Sierra posted a while ago on her blog, Creating Passionate Users, ten ways to make products more desirable.
Her list, which has more detail in her post:
- Pay attention to style.
- Pay attention to the emotional appeal.
- Show it in action…with real people.
- Don’t use pictures of generic shiny happy people that have become cliches.
- Make sure it’s clear to prospective users how this helps them kick ass.
- Appeal to as many senses as possible.
- Make it meaningful.
- Make it justifiable, so the user doesn’t have to feel guilty.
- Support a community of users.
- Never underestimate the power of fun.
When marketing the product, follow Kathy’s advice above