Hardware UX: Build that First Trigger

I've discussed this with many entrepreneurs already. I feel it's worth putting it down on paper.

Many of the hardware startups today are building consumer electronics that help improving consumers' life, especially in the connected health sector.

However, one has to understand that if the end goal takes time to realize – or worse, it takes time and consumers' determined behavioral changes to realize – then it's all the more important to build the First Trigger.

What is the First Trigger?

The First Trigger is basically an immediate feedback to the consumers that is intuitively correlated to the end goal of using the product but it gives an emotional satisfaction right off the bat.

A good example would be Fitbit (again).

The First Trigger for most Fitbit users are not actual weight loss or health improvement. That takes time and discipline. Rather, it's the ranking of the steps walked in your Fitbit social network. By checking the daily ranking change in steps walked against friends, users get satisfaction immediately way before the weight loss or health improvement comes. It's this First Trigger that matters the most in the product design of Fitbit.

This First Trigger is the most important element in the UX of your products. Luckily it's mostly done in softwares, whether in the form of social networks or apps. It means you could test for engagement, iterate and improve. 

However noble your goal is in changing people's life with your products, do take time to brainstorm about it with your co-founders to design that First Trigger. It'd be the best thing that you will have done for your consumers, and therefore the best thing you will have done for your company.

Good defense, but better offense

Does elevator pitch work in hardware startups?