2. 💪 Action Points — How much effort does your require from me?

How many “green dots” does your product require to deliver a benefit?

The second element in the description of an is the number of action points.

To give a bit of context for those who’ve never played a turn-based , action points are the cost of using something. Every time you want to shoot your bow, slash an enemy with your sword, or cast a spell, you consume actions points.

Since you only have a limited amount of action points each turn, you must be careful about using them strategically.

It follows that, ceteris paribus, items that require fewer action points to do the same thing are more valuable — a sword that would require half as many action points could be used twice more often in the same round, with the possibility of dealing twice the damage.

Some items don’t require any action points: for example, shields and armours just do their job passively, without requiring any action from the player. In a sense, they “automate” the job they do, requiring no direct effort from the user.

How does that translate to your product?

Since people have only a limited amount of energy, you can simply take into account the effort required to use your product. Ideally, you want your product to require as little effort as possible (assuming people do not derive pleasure or value from the effort itself) to provide the most value.

For an app, that could be UI/ improvements that make getting value out of the app require fewer clicks.

Note that you can look at it through the lens of attention (another limited resource that your product will deplete) rather than that of effort.

More generally, can you find a quantitative way of measuring how much effort your product requires to deliver its benefits? It could be a number of clicks, but it could also be the amount of time it takes to get there, or reach the “aha moment.”

How might we…

  • How might we quantify the amount of effort required to get a result from our product?
  • How might we make the product require less effort from the user to get the same benefit?
  • How might we find a better trade-off than what’s on the market? For example, could we provide a bit less value, but require a lot less effort? What about provide a lot more value, even it requires a bit more effort?
  • How might we entirely get rid off the “action points” and make the product require no effort whatsoever, by automating something that used to take action points?

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