Recently, I’ve trying to think of how the work I’m doing at MSN Hotmail effects the company and the users. It’s an odd position to be in, working at the 2nd largest company in the world (market cap) and the largest free email provider (over 150 million users — fun fact: in one day Hotmail signs up as many users as Friendster has in total). As a result, I’ve been asking myself these two questions about my work:
- How does this make the users’ lives eaiser?
- How does this improve our top and bottom line?
They address the two things that matter in having a succesful service and furthermore, the better you enable your users to be more productive, the greater they trust you and feel that you’re putting some worth into them. The worst user experience someone from a free service can have is feel marginalized by the fact it’s free.