Web apps must sell one of these...

Written by on Jul 24 2012

In the startup community you quite often hear, “You must empower your users,” and, “Give them emotional value.” But what do these actually mean?

“Empower your user” means explaining how they should inject your app into their workflow, and how using your app will give them “emotional value.” This might include showing them a better workflow using your application, or explaining how this new app can fit into their current workflow. It must be easy for them to adopt; we’re going for an ah-ha moment here. Kathy Sierra says, “Make your users feel like they’re kicking ass.”

  • I signed up for KissMetrics, but I want to know how to use their product to the fullest potential. I want a better workflow, they give it to me, showing this workflow in small easy steps.
  • LessProjects is development methodology agnostic, so users want to know how to take the app and inject it into their current existing workflow. We do this by not forcing the user into a workflow that can’t be molded into their current workflow.

“Emotional value” is when a user realizes they’re getting one of the following benefits from using your application.

  • Saving stress by using a better workflow. Basecamp and GitHub do this.
  • Saving stress by creating a workflow that matches what they already do or wish they could do. LessAccounting.com does this by getting rid of all the accounting crap that small business owners don’t need.
  • Saving money —this can be apart of “saving stress”. Or your app might just be a cheaper alternative to something they already use.
  • Being apart of a community – Making your users feel like they’re part of something special and unique. Dribbble.com does this by making their users feel cooler for being apart of their “club.” Some people try to accomplish this with signup applications and invite access only. Github has crossed into having this as a value proposition as well. Having two value proposition is rare.

So if you do things all correctly and “Empower your user” and make them feel “emotional value” you MIGHT just have a chance get them to put in billing information.


Hi I'm Allan,

I wrote the article you're reading... I'm one of the co-founders of LessEverything. I love my family more than breathing and I love creating videos about our family adventures.

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