Defining Success in Kilometers

I could just be naive, or a direct result of never having gone to business school, but the way I’d like to define the success of this product is not by the usual metrics such as number of page views, unique visits, and signed up members, but rather by the cumulative height of published pages. Hence, the tag line “Success roughly measured in page length”. Yes, seriously |:

success.jpg

There are reasons. Ad banner revenue was strategically tossed out the window from the very beginning because it would put us in a position where we would want a lot of ad impressions generated by page views. Such a business model would not direct our particular product toward a good user experience, in fact it would the opposite. Without ads we’ve been able to design it in a way that tries to limit the number of pages you have to go to and eliminate browser refresh within the main page itself (as much as we can for now). I expect that we will continue and develop with this approach in mind.

It was also important that the product is easily adoptable, fitting nicely into your already cluttered life, with very low barriers to entry and use. If membership was a metric of success then it would get in the way, such as requiring sign-up up front. This is what most other products do out there and it sucks. At Crusher we have the opposite approach. Instead of a big “sign-up now” button we stress that there is “no membership required”. So explore freely to see what it is, use it freely to see if you’d like it, try it out first then sign-up if you think you’d continue to use it.

After we’ve designed and built much of the product I wondered how we can measure its success if we had to. Ultimately, how engaged our users are would be what’s important. Evidence of that takes on many forms, much of which can hardly be measured by the website itself. However, the vertical nature of Crusher would somewhat be telling since an engaged user would likely interact and participate more, thus extending the height of the page. Okay, it isn’t absolutely scientific. But it’s something.

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