Trial and Error Ė Your best friend and worst enemy!

Published on Apr 29, 2013 by Jamie Munro

I've recently had my eyes open, mostly since becoming a parent.† My oldest kids are now 3; they are right at the stage of wanting to do everything for themselves.† Itís important to let them!† Kids learn through trial and error, so why†shouldn't†I?


†If you learn one thing today, I hope itís this life lesson.† If you donít ever try, you wonít ever succeed!† I personally donít want to be putting my kidsí shoes on forever, it hurts my back.† I want them to be able to do it for themselves.† The more independent my kids are, the more free time I have.† Anyone with kids will truly respect how important free time isÖ

Here are some of my thoughts on how to effectively to trial and error and of course I learned these things through trial and error!

Keep it simple (stupid)


Iím sure†we've†all heard of the KISS acronym, itís probably the most important aspect of trial and error.† Donít†over-complicate†what you are trying to do.

Itís probably safe to assume that you donít know everything and donít know exactly what people will like.† So instead of spending an abundant amount of time trying to guess Ė just try something and get it out there.

If people donít like it, its ok, donít take it personally.† You just learned something very important.† Take what you learned and adjust your approach.

I've seen money thrown away by not following this rule.

Iterate, iterate, iterate


This works well with the previous point.† Just start with something simple.† Find out what people like and dislike.† Iterate on your idea in small chunks.† Games do this all the time Ė itís actually a concept of user retention!

Donít repeat yourself


Another often used acronym Ė DRY Ė is another important term with trial and error.† If your attempt failed, donít make the same mistake again.

Donít limit yourself


This is something I learned recently from a good friend of mine.† Why should we spend hours discussing, documenting,†diagramming† designing something?† Who am I to say (or you) which approach is the right approach?† Why not try both Ė after all Ė this is about trial and error.† By using the previous points, you should take all approaches into consideration and find a way to easily execute them all.

Analytics being such a hot topic now-a-days will help you answer the question of how I should approach the feature because I just tried X different ways and scenario Y was a clear winner of what people liked.

Summary


Iím sure the list could go on and on, but rather than spending an abundant amount of time, Iíll start here and just get it out there and see if people like the topic and want to read more about it in the future!

Tags: Theory | trial and error | success | failure

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