Zingography # 13 : Cognitive Behaviour + Data Science ; AB Test Validation Tool

I have been really fascinated by the capability of AB Testing Tool to make Designing Decisions using Data Science.
If you combine Machine Learning & Statistical Science to the same – then Previous Combo becomes more Potent & Effective.

AB Testing can be a tough Art to Master, even the most experienced ones go wrong all the time with their hypothesis & metrics selection.
Hence accepting your own & your colleagues varying opinions + navigating through the same to get most effective Long Term Impacts is they Key for Success.
But one should be honest to the science of AB Testing & how it is designed even if results are not favourable – it’s like a daily routine that should be practiced as it is.

What am here to discuss is the New Art of combining “Cognitive Design Behaviour with Data Science Algorithms” and especially use Spotify’s Playlist Recommendation for the same.

My Current Research Analysis says that Spotify’s Recommendation Engine is one of the best in this space!

Yeah better than Apple‘s iTunes, Alibaba‘s + Amazon’s Return HomePage Pages Recommendations or Similar SKU suggestions, Google‘s Search Engine or Google News Feed, Netflix‘s Similar Shows Features. What makes Spotify shine here is how it has used the Music Preferences Attributes along with Human Emotion Capture Calculations ! They use a unique score assigned to each song preferences & suggest them if your attributes matches the range of moods/preferences! Also their Engine is constantly improving & updating based on bigger cluster preferences. What I appreciate is that they are not using Other Platforms similar data but trusting self engines to contribute. Secondly, it empowers the customers to play with the algorithm to change preferences.

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As per further search, AB Testing plays a very important role in making below decisions:

  • UI Decisions : Button Shape, Contrast colour, Position, Text, Headline, Icons (+ vs Heart), Widget Decisions, Hamburger Menu
  • Page Format – list view vs card view, the information architecture, number of information shared in a single page view
  • Metrics selection & Order Prioritisation for Making recommendations of Playlist
  • Deciding the Weightage of different Key Factors for engine’s Logic – which is the Highlight of Spotify’s Success!

  • Localising + Personalising the Site : https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/success-stories/how-spotify-increased-premium-subscriptions-using-google-optimize-360/
  • Optimising the Keywords Search : When users in Germany searched for “audiobook” and clicked on one of Spotify’s ads, they were either brought to the custom page or to the original page.
  • Creating Culture of Experimentation & Real Time AB Testing Result platform which is most crucial. (They were earlier using Google’s Optimizely for a long time)

Did I ever share the perfect method of conducting an AB Test Experiment :

  1. Define the Problem – To increase conversion, to increase revenue
  2. Come up with a series of ideas to work around the same basis historical data, recent findings, industry insights – This should be a collective + collaborative process wherein everyone should be heard & allowed to explain their logic. Also while prospecting, one has to think about the impact % on success metrics with what confidence, duration, sample size.  Do not hesitate to use AB Testing calculator for same.
  3. Finally one has to prioritise these ideas basis their impact, time + effort + cost and decide on the order of these tests
  4. While designing the test – decide the Hypothesis that by doing so & so the impact shall increase. What is important to note is that while choosing these tests – they have to be such that can be proven only by data results. Also for tests with drastically different options – it can be a short duration test while for closer options, sample size hence duration has to be longer.
  5. So Hypothesis, success metric, options selection are very crucial aspects of the test
  6. Keep observing the performance of key metrics (Primary, Secondary at least) during the tests – no need to take sudden decisions basis this but observe the pattern.
  7. Let the test complete & observe the results – if results are drastically different, you have a clear winner. If test results are negative (do not worry), try with a different hypothesis & options. If test results are closer then decide whether to increase sample size or to discard the test or to go ahead with partial winner (last one not recommended but call can be taken depending on experience/circumstance/influence of other tests).
  8. Keep doing the same for different cases
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New Interests Findings & Relevance

  • Russian Philosophy – How Capitalism & Socialism Thoughts evolved during Cold War & shaped the world. How China kept its Communism intact

Leninism vs Marxism vs Stalinism vs Communism and its after impacts.
My PM Learnings : How the limit of human thought-processes was explored way back & even put into practice – resulting in new ideologies. How different ideas might create excitement & perspectives at the particular time but ultimately the one which is most resilient & inclusive of people with self absorption & growth scope results into longevity.

  • Quantum Physics linked to Spiritualism – Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein

How the infinity unites one & that leads to the discovery of yourself w.r.t. the universe is Beautiful!
My PM Learnings : To have a LARGER THAN LIFE VIEW TOWARDS our daily usage of Products.

  • Ancient Scriptures linked to Neuroscience & Psychology – 

My PM Learnings : How it is possible to explore the amazing transient models plus it has already been explored in depth of research. If one can be a good student & learn to adapt to different times as a customised solution – it can result into something Great!

  • Cognitive Science Linked to Design Models & Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning involving Cryptography/Coding/Rubiks Cube

My PM Learnings : How different perspectives can lead to some unique models for consumer thought process mapping using basic thoughts. Here’s one list of such principles :  https://fs.blog/general-thinking-concepts/

  • Animation : There are different types like 2D, 3D (which is most popular with CUG, etc.), Whiteboard, Stop Motion (My Fav), Cutout, Sand, FlipBook, 

My PM Learnings : How to use different perspectives of people into creating different illusions & visualisations

  • Drone Photography : Different places where it has been used to shoot a completely new perspective!

My PM Learnings : To think out of box & how same stuff can look so different!

  • Luxury Behavioural science with Globalisation playing an important Role

My PM Learnings : It’s important to understand how people from a different Geo-Political- Social Background can have a completely different take on expectation of services & offerings.

  • Origin of Human Race (Sapiens) – Initiated to Central Asia & how spread to Eurasia regions! How Civilisations Kicked Off? How GOT is linked 

My PM Learnings : Its so important to know the history behind your product & idea so as to do complete justice to the same.

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Zingography 11 : Cognitive Abilities in PM

Cognitive Science involves linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience and anthropology. My learning & experience says that if we are able to include Cognitive Science into our Product Management Process – they results shall be much more refined, Long term & closest to objective.

Cognitive Science has to include multiple stakeholders views from :

  • Customers perspective
  • Team management perspective
  • Leadership & changing Business Landscape perspective

Am quite sure of developing successful models around the same for different PM Cycle stages & this is my effort for the same.

Below are the key PM Stages & recommended Models for the same :

  1. Business Strategy Roadmap based on Market Research & Secondary Research Data Insights — Model 1 (Leadership Management + Market Analysis – BCG Matrix, PLC, 7S Framework, Value Chain)
  2. Need Gap Analysis Identification — Model 2 (STP + 5Porters Forces)
  3. Recommendation Solutions & Prioritisation of Features (New & Enhancements) – Model 3 (Phase Gate Model/ Spider Mapping Technique ; High & Low Impact)
  4. User Persona Identification – Model 4 (Demography & Behaviour (Tech & Products) Mapping)
  5. Roadmapping + Project Management – Model 5 (Gantt Chart)
  6. BRD/ PRD – Model 6 (Process Note, Unified Modelling Language)
  7. MVP Approach – Model 7 (User – Action – Story ; Pain – Gain)
  8. User Journeys/Scenarios mapping – Model 8 (Decision Tree)
  9. Designing-> with quick dipsticks & quick changes around suggestions Model 9 : Neurological Emotional Branding + Decision of buying

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10. Development/Middleware – Library & its adaptations for agile expansion
11. UAT all scenarios/Hackathon (Model 10) /CUG – AB Testing Hypothesis linked to Data          Mining & Big Data Analysis…. Statistics & its variance test analysis! Frequentist vs              Bayesian ..
12. Success Metrics formulation (Model 11) Data visualisation /K Nearest neighbours/              Regression/Clustering ; Random Forests; Time series/sequence; text mining!
13. Launch & Optimise
14. Team Management Model

Disclaimer : My suggestions are based on my experience, research, interactions with other companies & my own theories/understandings on this space. Am quite confident of their inter-relationship with each other.

Some Books I recommend in this regard are :

  • Design of everyday Life
  • Sapiens
  • Art of Deduction
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  • Cognitive Science
  • Psychology of Persuasion
  • Infographica

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 10 – PM ToolKit

Please consider every PM to be a works-person, who needs tools apart from their skills to do a good job out of a situation!

Every worksmith/ carpenter/ chef, etc. is incomplete without their toolbox so its important as a Product Manager to be sure of your own sharpened tools basis your experience, intuition, comfort/compatibility, etc.

I also have now worked for 8+ years in different Products domain starting with Data, OTT, E-commerce, Retail Channels (B2B + B2C), Media, Food, Jewellery, FMCG, FinTech, Travel/OTA, AdTech, Transportation (Cabs/Trucks), etc.
And from my own & other PMs experience – let me share a list which I find is useful for one & all. These are compiled basis checking with other industries & PMs as well :

  1. Research Tools : SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, TypeForm
  2. Current Situation + Need Gap Analysis : Porter’s Frameworks – SWOT, 4P, STP, 5 Porter’s Force
  3. Project Management : Asana, Jira, Trello
  4. Team Management : Slack, Basecamp
  5. MVP & Road-mapping : Asana, Aha, ProdPad,
  6. Spec Writing : Word, DropBox Paper, GitHub
  7. User Scenarios Mapping : Excel, Smaply/StoriesonBoard
  8. Designing : Invision, Iconjar
  9. Coding/ Development : GitHub
  10. UX : Prototype,io, Axure
  11. Team screen sharing + feedback incorporation : Zeplin, Intercom
  12. AB Testing : VWO, Wasabi
  13. Analytics – Front End : Google Analytics, Firebase
  14. Analytics – Middle ware : Moengage, Clevertap, Appsflyer
  15. Analytics – Back End : SQL, ML Tools
  16. Campaign Management : Adobe 360
  17. Targeted Campaigns : Targetting
  18. Revenue + P&L Management : MS Excel Macro

Apart From this – the must have ingredient almost like Oiling is 5-6 hours of Reading, Networking, Experimenting, Failing, Sharing, etc.

All The Best : Let the Magic Begin!

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ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 8

Today I wish to compare the startup spaces in Indian & European Context. Those who read this should know that I share this majorly for my own clarity & perspective and if it helps others then great!

Recently, I have been focussing on 3 main things apart from my daily work & travel :

  • Reading a lot about new skill sets essential for PM especially like Deep Learning, Data Mining
  • Linking it with my current Work & Profile as well as Future Roles that I wish to do
  • Collaborating it with other PMs in different sectors/industries/companies

And there are some Key Insights regarding Different Geographical Consumer Tech companies that I have concluded :

  • Focus in Indian Companies (Startups as well as Big Ones) is to scale
  • Focus in European Companies is to understand the consumer behaviour first & sync all departments of technology, data, customer service towards that ONE Customer Proposition/their USP which will help them Succeed while focussing less or almost nothing on others
  • In US Companies, they go for massive funding & their aim is that – once establishing a prototype (more or less that with a short term vision)
  • SEA are replicating Chinese models more or less in terms of consumer personas as well as Tech Propositions
  • MENA regions are going like Indian Conglomerates – slow & cautious for the models that are already well proven for success

Let me also talk about a few skills which are becoming redundant as in they are understood that you will have when you apply for Product Roles :

  • Digital Marketing
  • Product Design & Strategy
  • KPI Metrics Management
  • Project Management
  • P&L Ownership
  • Business Development
  • Hiring & Training

These are the new skills towards which you need to show inclination & an aptitude for – please remember that though these may seem new worlds, their nuances are based in subjects well introduced to us. So let me give the picture complete for better understanding :

  • Machine Learning/AI/Deep Learning : Maths, Statistics, Computer Science for Coding
  • Blockchain : Telecom, Communications, System/Server Integration
  • AR/VR : Electronics, Robotics, Graphic Designing
  • 3D Printing : Biotechnology, Engineering Drawing

Personally I enjoy first 3 a lot & keep looking how it can be valuable in my current scope of work!

ZINGOGRAPHY : TECH/PRODUCT/UX/STARTUP UPDATE # 7.5

Sharing my list of most useful Apps (based on popularity, experience, usefulness) :

  • WhatsApp
  • Gmail
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Amazon
  • Google Maps
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Last two are my least favourite of all – they are just latching around for lack of options!

Will add more in due course.

 

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There shall be changes in coming years but one has to adapt the learnings from the top performing apps.

Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 6

Sometimes you are just out of ideas for simple reasons like you have been back from a vacation & too lazy to pick up strings again or things @ work are moving slower than expected or for even simpler reason that its too hot & humid outside to let you breathe freely 🙂

However, still leaving those reason behind – trying to push through the world we all Love to create & thrive in “Product-O-Tech” sharing some recent thoughts.

Google I/O was great, some excellent points covered :

  • Google Assistant on iPhone
  • Android Go
  • Google Lens
  • Google Home
  • Google Daydream
  • Google Seurat
  • Android O
  • Google Jobs
  • Google new AI chip for cloud storage
  • VR Headset
  • Google Transactions
  • 360 video on big screen
  • notification dots
  • more shared experiences in VR
  • Instant apps for everybody
  • Android controlling car

Seems Mr. Pichai is doing his Job well by pushing the agenda of Google Ventures while keeping the Google Main business – Search going up.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mr. Zuckerberg also happened to give quite an impressive speech at Harvard & encouraging some interesting concepts on social equality, dream realisation, youth empowerment – this guy has to be Indian 😉 he talks a lot of Drama seriously.

Microsoft has also shown some serious plans for their AI & Surface laptops which tells they are in no mood to give in!

How does this whole calculate down – The serious Big companies are definitely going to push the agenda towards a more internet & tech empowered World – AI, AR/VR, IOT, Cloud, Big Data Solutions are going to rule the world.
But what they want all the time to make themselves relevant is understanding consumer behaviour around existing & new Tech, to take the adaptations deeper & make them acceptable for every market.

For me – that’s a bigger innovation to how to convince a consumer it is meant for you & help you to lead a better life coz then you have changed their lives forever.
And perhaps NO its not always correct for the Tech guys to take all the credit, time the Business People who actually make the ground ready & work for a quick launch & a quicker feedback, adaptations to get their due !
DEVIL LIES IN DETAIL 🙂

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Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 5

I have chosen a subject very close to my heart & mind since long …

“SUSTAINABLE CREATIVITY…”

I personally feel Creativity is great & has to be nurtured.. esp for the corporate space where one is chasing numbers, KPIs, KRAs & hardly has time to think consumers..

So one has to think Creative & Scale while at work or else in my humble opinion you are just not adding value!

I understand the importance of Business Philosophies, Business Visions, Business Leadership Styles with the exposure so far & lately have been reading a lot upon them.

But somewhere my mind tells me that only when one is creating something new & is able to convince internal, external stakeholders for the same does one take one’s company forward and via that the whole society/generation forward.

Let me give some example, Gandhi for all the controversial discussions around creating an emotional blackmail/socialism model was at least able to create something called AHIMSA that is being re-called by the global generations much later.. even if it is debated which is the whole purpose!

Similarly Invention of Electricity, Revolutions, Renaissance have seemed to be extremely tough brainstorming times but have been successful in pushing the society forward..

Since Ancient times, every Kingdom also has tried to nurture the art, dance, creativity, etc. for the free flow of ideas, thoughts, talents, etc. across geographies, caste, creed, religion but without beating the overall purpose of the Preamble, Constitution or Administration! So Welfare & growth of people first however give them a source of relief, outwardness, dream for a better lifestyle.

Even in our Indian Society –  we have the majority who is inspired by the Bollywood & its glamour which is not great always…  but point is anything new, disruptive always catches the eye & makes people inspired, think, talk, maybe even act upon (sadly the last one is toughest yet most critical).

I also feel, in a country like India with a population of 1.3 Billion & life dazzling, bazzling through roads & streets or now digitally on mobile phones – ideas emerge by the micro second, many repeat, many overlapping, many spoken, many hidden, majority waste 😉 a lot waiting to be implemented..

My personal Bias is towards the Rural Youth as I feel they see the root cause & really wish to resolve it – just need to be guided & supported to resolve it…

If somehow a Design Lab can connect with this Rural Thinking Lab – we have a SURE SHOT WINNER in hand ! Godrej has been able to develop one, time shall tell what kind of products & solutions come out of it.

Amen! GodSpeed!

Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 4

Its my 4th Update in 2 months but its not too late to admit that I do not consider myself a techie or a geek! I love having a life without gadgets or electricity for that matter – amidst pure nature & seeking, providing organic life with the basics.

However, Alas, we are in 21st Century which is moving fast & needs solutions/answers even faster – so people like me try & ploy our minds/education into providing.

I do feel that I think consumers & that is my greatest strength plus since I understand technology of mobile + telecom + e-commerce – I am able to answer a lot of queries. Having said that, I have to read zillion articles/GIFs/Infographics/Apps/Websites to be updated on what’s happening across the world by the unit of a millionth of a second!

So today I will be sharing some of my favourite App Designs but before that I want to make a point about how designs evolve.

Dictionary definition of Design is : “a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made.

Another definition is : “to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.”

Basically, Design can start from a dream or a word or a thought or a breath of air to be translated into ppt/excel/drawing board/software/camera/blueprint/magazine/ newspaper/ mobile app/ website, etc.

And that’s what makes design so generic yet so special!

And here’s to SUSTAINABLE CREATIVITY!!

Coming back to some of my favorite designs : (Do give your comments)

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