Andy Nguyen

Rune Scimitars and Solutions – Strategically delivering products to your users

16 Nov 2020

Have you ever wondered why a product that solves a real problem, may not be getting the attention you think it should get? Rune Scimitars may be the key to finding your answers.

A Rune Scimitar is an item in the video game RuneScape used to slay monsters. While it is a popular item in this game, it can only be used by users that are at or above a level 40 requirement. This requirement means that this item is inaccessible and unusable to all players that are below that level.

Like a Rune Scimitar, products can have different “level requirements” (LR). Understanding your product’s different LR’s will help you evaluate how well a product will initially roll out, and to better determine product cohesion and strategies on evolving a successful product.

An LR is a combination of the following:

  1. A feature from your product
  2. How accessible that feature is to your users
  3. The time it takes for your users to obtain value from a feature. Can your users start using the feature immediately, or is there a time-consuming block in their way (Examples: Long setup times, need to watch a 10 hour video to understand it, need to read a long manual, etc.)?

Notice that an LR does not include how quickly a feature can be delivered, since a feature with a low LR may take longer to make than a feature with a higher LR. It also does not measure the desirability of a product for your user (Like a Rune Scimitar, a product may be popular, but may also be a high LR. However, a low LR may also have high desirability).

A feature with a high demand, that cannot be used by your users, does not provide your users value.

For your products, you will want to deliver features with high return on investment (ROI), that also have low LR. If you see that a high LR feature is in demand, you should strategically deliver on features with lower LR’s that will make your high LR feature usable to your customers.

Make sure your low LR’s, support your high LR’s! A contact page for a website (low LR), improves the chances of a successful email campaign (high LR), but would not help create a useful recommendation engine (also high LR). Whereas features like a wish list and purchase history (low LR’s), would help create a usable recommendation engine (high LR).

Making highly desirable solutions like Rune Scimitars, while thinking about level requirements (usability and time to use), will make you and your users find success.