An interview with Janice Fraser

About Janice Fraser

Janice is an entrepreneur and interaction designer for web and mobile products. She serves as founder and CEO for LUXr in San Francisco. During her 15 years in Silicon Valley, she has raised capital, founded both successful and failed startups, consulted to both large enterprises and early stage firms. Janice was co-founder of design firm Adaptive Path and served as the company’s first CEO. During her tenure, Adaptive Path tripled in staff and revenues, developed and sold a product to Google, coined the term Ajax, and transformed from a lifestyle partnership to a high-growth firm. Janice has been a guest speaker at many conferences and universities, including  Haas, Kellogg, Stanford, and the Presido Graduate School of Management. 


Main points

  • The Lean Startup movement believes that startup founders are not arrogant people who have a vision they bring to the world. Rather, they are developing customers through continuous exploration of their hypotheses.
  • A startup should start UX research before it’s a startup.
  • Startups who want to be better at design should read Four Steps to the Epiphany and Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development.
  • Startups’ value proposition lies in the intersection of customer needs and business goals.
  • Startups located outside of their target market can conduct both generative and evaluative research remotely.
  • Generative research means long conversations (interviews) with potential customers through a simple Skype (or alike) session.
  • Evaluative research means many things that can be done remotely such as usability testing, A/B testing, etc.
  • Beware of surveys. They are easy to implement and in the same time, very easy to do in a wrong way.
  • Strategically, UX is more important than ever before.
  • The hardest part for a lean startup is noticing when they are making assumptions about human behavior.
  • A balanced product team includes development, business, and user experience components.