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Lean Mobile UX Lessons To Keep Your App From Sinking Like The Vasa Ship

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For many months, your entire team has worked their butts off to create an awesome mobile app. Finally, with your team exhausted and excited, it’s showtime! But then, your dream app turns into the ultimate nightmare: Eager customers download the app, use it once and never return.

All the sacrifice and months of hard work — wasted. What went wrong?

Your app has become another victim of the latest trend, joining a whopping 41% of today’s apps that are abandoned after only a single use. This trend has many parallels with the story of the 400-year-old Vasa ship. The most impressive warship of the day, Vasa floundered and sank just one mile into its maiden voyage due to fundamental design issues.

The salvaged Vasa ship in the museum in Stockholm
The salvaged Vasa ship in the museum in Stockholm (Image: Greg Nudelman) (View large version)

In this article, we’ll explore how the lessons from the Vasa ship can help you keep your mobile project from sinking right out of the port.

Create A Clear, Compelling Vision Link

Although the Vasa ship was ultimately a failure, it was unquestionably a magnificent one. The builders dared greatly.

So, before talking about all of the things that went wrong with that project, let’s touch briefly on the one thing that went right: The builders of the ship had a grand vision that told a riveting story of royal conquest and pride.

Even today, 400 years later, their vision is spellbinding. It is expressed in beautiful craftsmanship, the gaily painted mythological statuary, the fearsome armament and the overall appearance of the ship.

Even today, Vasa presents a grand vision.
Even today, Vasa presents a grand vision. (Image: Greg Nudelman) (View large version)

When it comes to vision, your mobile project should be no less compelling.

You must have a clear vision of what you are building — and the benefits the app will provide — before you decide how to design and implement the app.

Fortunately, expressing a vision for a mobile project is fairly simple. You can do it in as little as 20 to 30 minutes, using just a handful of sticky notes to create a storyboard that describes the app’s primary use case.

A good example is the “Be a Hero” storyboard from my book $1 Prototype:

Be a Hero app storyboard from $1 Prototype book
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    September 28th, 2015

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    • AA-Team
      September 28th, 2015

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