6 Go-To Solutions for an Easy Adoption of Your Product
Developers enjoy playful solutions and trying new approaches. Nowadays, time is essential, everyone wants to spend quality time with their family or through hobbies. Acquiring new skills or discovering knowledge is expected to be quick, easy, and free.
To control your product adoption in the digital world, you must consider the ease of use and speed of integration with which your product serves the developer audience. Users will decide if a product is a fit for them, and all of their decisions are driven by time and/or cost. To spread your product digitally, you can create tools or developer portals just for developers. Which can increase your sales, lower support costs, and widen your market reach.
These metrics will help you make data-driven decisions about which direction to take. Without considering such a path, understanding your customers' wants, needs, and behavior is pure guesswork. Measuring these metrics brings you undeniable data to support your decisions and think about innovation. Focus on improving your developer experience—the experience using your product by the target audience of developers.
Examples of poor developer experience
- Your support is overwhelmed by customer requests.
- You have an excellent product for developers, but it is unclear how to leverage it for their use case.
- Developers need someone to communicate with via email or phone. For example, to get an API key or, even worse, documentation.
Examples of good developer experience
- Developers can create solutions on their own thanks to your documentation, FAQ, and guides.
- Your documentation drives developers through the Quick Start Guide, demonstrating their use cases and advanced principles to implement anything they need.
- Developers don't have to reach out to anyone to find the correct documentation and can quickly get everything they need to implement their use case.
#1: Benefits and value
Explaining the value and benefits (rather than the features) to your customers is always difficult, but it's worth it. The quicker these two get across, the faster you’ve gained a new client.
Correctly describing your product means your potential customers will be interested in it and want to know more about it. And that, quite literally, increases your chance of scoring a customer.
- Create a headline and tagline to describe the product as accurately as possible.
- Compare your product with other solutions, analyze your competition.
- Explain the main benefits of using this product in an easy-to-understand and well-structured way.
- Provide metrics that demonstrate the ease of use and integration process of your product.
- Your developer portal describes values for a different target audience than it should.
- You offer an overwhelming list of solutions without pointing to any specific one..
- Your developer portal describes the value it has for developers.
- Graphic illustrations show the differences between the standard solution and yours, including your benefits and values.
- You offer a way to jump-start the development quickly.
#2: Quick Start Guide
To start developing your product, developers need a guide that leads them through the initial discovery phase. They must evaluate the ease of use and estimate the time necessary to implement a solution for this product.
The Quick Start Guide should be one of the most essential resources on the developer portal and needs to be discoverable easily. The contents of the guide explain how to integrate your product and ideally helps developers with effort estimation to complete their use case—the core of your product. The guide also promotes best practices the developer might follow and clearly pushes the technologies needed to accomplish their goal.
A correctly composed guide will highlight how easy it is to reach a production-ready outcome with minimal effort. This gives you a market advantage: developers will pick your product over your competitors.
- The hero section of your developer portal should contain a call to action which leads to the Quick Start Guide. It's the fastest way to lead developers to the necessary resources.
- Use standard abbreviations, and provide a glossary in case you use any specific ones.
- Include code snippets for the most popular programming languages your target audience works with.
- Link to relevant tools (SDKs) from the Quick Start guide so they can be used to implement your solution even faster.
- Consider using short videos to explain the basic principles of your solution to developers.
- The Quick Start Guide doesn't contain any production-ready code snippets.
- Code snippets are deprecated or dysfunctional in a chosen language.
- You don't have a Copy to clipboard button for code snippets.
- Your guide contains abbreviations that you use only internally.
- You assume developers already know their way around everything.
- The Quick Start Guide is short, well organized, and easy to understand.
- The guide contains short videos introducing basic principles.
- You have an outline for easy navigation through the article.
- The guide contains screenshots or snippets from real-world scenarios to lead developers step by step.
- You have links to tools that make the integration easier.
- Link to more advanced guides at the end of the Quick Start Guide to help developers implement advanced features.
- Explain everything in detail and link to relevant resources to help everyone easily understand your practices.
#3: Setup & Installation
Developers generally need some initial setup before using your product or API. To mitigate any surprises arising during this step, make sure to include detailed information about any prerequisites or necessary installation steps your product might have.
You can lose a potential customer simply because they don't know how to install specific libraries or drivers; just because they can’t get it to work on their machine.
- Prepare a list of prerequisites to install the latest versions compatible with your product.
- A list of resources leads to solutions to common problems that developers typically encounter along the way.
- Support multiple installation options that lead different types of developers towards the same goal.
- Follow best practices of installation methods to make them easy for developers to understand.
- If you don't currently support a solution someone else does, provide a link to it.
- Offer virtualization options, such as Docker or similar, that are ready to go in just a few minutes.
- Your tools (SDKs) are outdated for the latest tools or platforms.
- Developers have to build the source code of the tool themselves.
- You use your private repositories, which developers must first configure.
- You support multiple installation methods for all the most important platforms of your target audience, or you offer an alternative.
- Describe possibilities of any potential problem solving during this step.
- You utilize widely used platforms to distribute your tools.
#4: Hello World
The easiest way for developers to try out your product is by practically experimenting with what it can do on its own. To achieve this, you want to highlight your product's primary use case by leading any developer to a relevant tutorial that helps them quickly start experimenting.
Seamless integration leads to fewer support tasks and reduced communication on both sides, improving your cost-to-time ratio.
- Prepare code snippets for developers in multiple programming languages. Make sure they are ready to use, using best practices, and with as little code as possible to accomplish the goal.
- If you provide an API, include a sandbox environment that developers can use to simulate a real scenario seamlessly.
- If you provide interactivity, create a small playground, where developers can test the behavior of your product.
- You can prepare production-ready starter projects that contain your product's most popular use cases. Installable easily using Docker, developers can quickly experiment and change the code to see how the product works.
- The code base for Hello World is overcomplicated.
- Developers need to install third-party tools to accomplish Hello World.
- Developers are not able to complete the basic use case without assistance.
- You provide tools that are outdated with respect to the functionality of your product.
- Make it as easy as possible for developers to get started with your product, including easy access to the sandbox environment, so they can try out all the features and quickly see that your product is straightforward.
- Keep your code snippets, starter projects, and development tools up to date.
- You honor the developer-first approach by offering quick ways to start development.
The quality of your community directly correlates to the trust that your product has. Like a community, trust has to be built and maintained, which requires extra attention.
If the community around your product is large and high quality, you are more likely to acquire new customers.
- Support problem solving and original solutions in your community.
- Reward product ambassadors and help them become even better.
- Focus on your users, value them, and improve your resources based on their feedback to increase the quality of your product.
- Create a warm and welcoming environment for your users.
- You do not treat your users in a welcoming way. Instead, you consider their problems or questions a burden.
- Your customers' requests are handled slowly.
- You build a community just for PR.
- Create a partnership network by awarding your ambassadors.
- Show the product roadmap to engage your customers and collect feedback.
- Communicate any essential changes as soon as possible.
Tip: Check out AhoyConnect, the Community Data Intelligence Platform
AhoyConnect is a community analytics platform that combines data from multiple sources to provide real-time actionable insights. These insights allow you to track how your community is growing, understand its overall health, and measure its impact on your business.
#6: Discovering Solutions
Not everything is as easy as it looks. You will often have to solve your customers' problems or answer their questions as they come up. There should be an active place where your audience can ask a question and get an answer, or request assistance with solving a problem.
The faster a developer finds a solution, the less effort is required on your side, saving you money and transforming a user into your client.
- Create a dedicated community channel where users can ask questions. For example, Slack or Discord.
- Use an existing platform for specific questions from your audience. For instance, the Stackoverflow tag is a great way to track and respond to developers' problems and help them achieve their goals.
- Create a FAQ section to answer the most common questions.
- You don't answer questions in your community.
- You don't improve your resources based on community issues and feedback.
- You have a dedicated person to manage and support your community.
- Developers can find answers and solutions to their problems on their own.
Improving your processes is continuous work, and it might be challenging to find the proper way specifically for your target audience. You can, however, introduce gradual changes slowly to reach better results. You may have specific requirements, and some recommendations may differ in your case. Still, in the end, one vital metric speaks for all: Time to First Hello World (TTFHW)—the time from the very beginning to successfully running a Hello World example. Give developers a head start.
The quicker your users learn your product inside out, experiment with it, and discover what it’s capable of, the quicker you acquire new customers. No developer wants to spend time on unnecessary work, efficiency is key.
- More resources lead to less confusion.
- Detailed explanation leads to faster implementation and fewer support requirements.
- Faster implementation by your customer leads to a shorter sales cycle, and fewer support requirements lead to cost savings.
If you’re considering taking concrete steps, whether it’s based on these recommendations or not, but you’re still unsure or need further guidance, definitely reach out to me. We can discuss your particular needs and specific recommendations for your use case and find a way forward together.
Check out our case studies to see practical examples of what we've built.