Build Better Products

A Modern Approach to Building Successful User-Centered Products

By Laura Klein

  • Build Better Products Cover
  • It’s easier than ever to build a new product. But developing a great product that people actually want to buy and use is another story. Build Better Products is a hands-on, step-by-step guide that helps teams incorporate strategy, empathy, design, and analytics into their development process. You’ll learn to develop products and features that improve your business’s bottom line while dramatically improving customer experience.

    If you’re wondering what a creative product manager should be doing, just open this book. Bonus: Laura Klein is hilarious.

    Alex Cowan, faculty, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

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    • BBP001: Figure I.1
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    Table of Contents

    Part I: Goal
    Chapter 1: Defining a Better Business Need

    Part II: Empathy
    Chapter 2: Understand Your User Better
    Chapter 3: Do Better Research
    Chapter 4: Listen Better

    Part III: Creation
    Chapter 5: Have Better Ideas
    Chapter 6: Prioritize Better
    Chapter 7: Design Better
    Chapter 8: Create Better User Behavior

    Part IV: Validation
    Chapter 9: Identify Assumptions Better
    Chapter 10: Validate Assumptions Better

    Part V: Measurement
    Chapter 11: Measure Better
    Chapter 12: Build a Better Team

    Part VI: Iteration

    Foreword

    No one makes bad products on purpose, and yet we have so many of them in our lives. There are certainly plenty of fancy books with copious advice on “how to do it right,” but somehow they have little impact on the world. Much of the problem is the faith that authors have that there is a magic way to do things, and all we need to do is describe the magic. But product teams and software projects are magic resistant. They require something more to improve how they function.

    The good news is… the book you have in your hands right now! It sheds the pretense so common in books on design and product management, instead favoring clear advice, straightforward lessons, and exercises you can do easily with your team. Laura Klein has wisely put the focus on you and your world, and she sets up her lessons in a fashion that makes them simple to apply. The star of every chapter is an exercise, and this is no accident. These techniques spark conversation, insights, and improved understanding— three powerful forces to have on your side. The sooner you start to apply her wisdom to your situation, the faster your ability to build better products will rise.

    —Scott Berkun, author of Making Things Happen

    Testimonials

    This book should be mandatory reading for anybody making product decisions.

    Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup

    If you’re looking to build a better product (and who isn’t?), Klein is here to help. Build Better Products is your go-to guide for relevant frameworks, useful exercises, and actionable expert advice.

    Anne Raimondi, SVP of Marketing, Zendesk, and lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business

    We all know that most products fail, but few books offer a prescriptive way to avoid this grim reality. Use Laura’s book to guide your product teams toward a successful end run.

    Jaime Levy, author, UX Strategy

    If you’re wondering what a creative product manager should be doing, just open this book. Bonus: Laura Klein is hilarious.

    Alex Cowan, faculty, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

    Laura Klein brings together empathetic design thinking and tough business/market analysis to help us build better products

    Rich Mironov, author of The Art of Product Management

    If you’re still not building products that make people’s’ lives better after reading this book, there’s really no one to blame but you. This book is that practical and actionable.

    Cindy Alvarez, Director of UX at Yammer (Microsoft) and author of Lean Customer Development

    Even experienced product designers will benefit from Laura’s clear, correct methods and advice. Read this book and give your current process a tune-up.

    Marcus Gosling, VP Product, LTSE

    Laura Klein’s new techniques for understanding customers work for both startups and big companies. And following her own advice, she shows us how to do it, and doesn’t just tell.

    Ken Norton, Partner, GV