August 08, 2018

What we learned from testing hotel websites on real guests


How do you know that customers are reacting well to your product? How do you know it’s driving value? And how do you know when it’s time to make a change?

These are the questions faced by any B2B (business-to-business) provider. In the days before SaaS (software-as-a-service) was the dominant model for selling, B2B software companies would work towards a predetermined release cycle, announcing changes in bulk big releases - for example, ‘Windows 2.0’ - or smaller ‘dot releases’ - for example, ‘Photoshop 19.1’.

These days, consumers increasingly expect products and services to react almost in real time to their needs and frustrations. These evolving expectations are mirrored by changing practices in product and development teams, where the Agile approach of ‘plan-develop-test-learn’ enables developers to get small changes, such as bug fixes, in the hands of customers as soon as they’re ready rather than waiting for a big release. It’s common to see product teams ‘shipping’ new features and fixes every six days rather than every six months. The theory goes that you’re far more likely to provide value to your users if you’re constantly iterating your product and learning from user behavior than if you save all your updates for a bulk change once a year.

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