E25: Mike LaVigne, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Clue – Interview

May 24, 2016


Mike LaVigne breathes design. Before co-Foundering Clue, Mike worked with some leading design firms (Frog Design, Fjord). Mike is currently head of product at Clue, which is a period and fertility tracking app. How Mike thinks about design is brilliant. I learned a lot and I think you will too.

Here are some questions Mike answers:

How does Mike think about designing the app for woman? What’s his thought process?
How many men use the app?
How did they get initial traction?
Where do they want to take Clue over the next 5 years?


Dave Kruse: Hey Everyone, welcome to another episode of Flyover Labs with Dave Kruse from Madison, Wisconsin, and today we are lucky enough to have Mike LaVigne with us and Mike is a master designer. He is a Co-Founder and Head of Product at Clue, which is a period and fertility tracking app which has millions of users, and Mike will definitely fill in some details there and before Clue, Mike was with some pretty big design firms, Frog Design and Fjord. So, Mike has a quite a deep background in design, and what’s also cool is that Mike lives in Berlin, he is doing this Podcast from South Africa, but grew up in Michigan right next to Wisconsin. So, it’s a good story. So, Mike thanks for coming on the show.

Mike LaVigne: Happy to be here, thanks for the invitation.

Dave Kruse: Definitely, I brought on Mike because he has quite a background design and he has an app that’s used by millions of people across the world, so I am just curious how he put together, you know, the app and the design, just his thought process, and so first, will start off a little bit about intro on what’s Clue, the app, and a little bit more Mike’s background, and then will get more into how Mike thinks about design, will get in his head a little bit, so Mike, let’s start off with your background, can you just give us a brief overview.

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, sure, so I started I’m not sure how far back you want to go, but I started studying architecture actually, so I graduated from a small farming town Chelsea, Michigan, which is near Ann Arbor, Michigan and I started with architecture for about a year and a half and then I switched for Fine Art and Graphic Design. So, I went to Kendall in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and studied Fine Art, so that was kind of really traditional basics and then switched to Graphic Design and then started getting into digital media almost right away because it was right around the very early 90s when it started to emerge like interactive CD-ROMs and then the internet started to happen, and so I started really getting in early, just as I started getting into my career after graduating, and I switched to doing more design strategy and then product strategy, so I have been doing design and product strategy since the internet happened, so really helping companies figure out what to do with technology and how to do it, helping them figure out what’s next for them and that really started to shape my career and I would say, I finally got around, I was participating in the dot-com boom in San Francisco helping companies figure out what to do for the first time and how to transition into digital media and then to connected services on the internet and then after now that it’s matured, I’m helping companies just figure out what to do next, so design strategy and service strategy had a very kind of corporate level doing lot of work with Fortune 500 companies. I have also worked and lived in Shanghai for about a year and a half and so I had the opportunity to work with some pretty big brands in China, South Korea, and Japan which was fun, and yeah, a lot of the work I would say I have done over the past 10 years has been based more on that service design strategy.

Dave Kruse: How is your experience in Shanghai, is different designing for that population than here in the States?

Mike LaVigne: It is. It is a completely different landscape over there, both from a technology perspective and also the behaviors around technology are quite a bit different. If you look at how people use technology in Japan and South Korea, it’s maybe more similar. China is quite different and all of those markets, those developed markets in Asia are extremely different from either the US or Europe. US and Europe and quite similar in behaviors around technology. One of the things that I think is unique about those markets is that it’s like stepping into Alice in Wonderland, so over in the US and Europe, where you are used to seeing a certain service landscape, you know, a Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, things like this, in China, most of those services are banned or they are not supported or they are discouraged and so the government has supported its own development of services and that’s what I mean by the Alice in Wonderland affect. So, if you are looking at the market, over there instead of say Facebook messenger, you have a service called WeChat and people use that service instead and then it operates very differently too, so they have service integrations on WeChat, so you can actually play games, so if you can imagine that there is a text based interface by which you can play games and they are much more advanced, the text based interfaces over there are much more advanced, so I would say there is a lot of differences. They have started to get more similar, the phones, the hardware was different, and people have just different behaviors over there, so yeah, it is different, it is definitely different, and it was really interesting to learn about a lot of the research that I was doing over there started with what I would call cultural immersion, so really trying to understand how those behaviors are different and how they’re the same so that things could be designed in a way that is very relevant for those audiences.

Dave Kruse: Interesting, and do you think it helped you become a better designer overall?

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, I think anytime that as a designer you have the opportunity to stretch yourself into a new area, it gives you a new perspectives. You learn about maybe some behaviors that are existing in these new markets that you haven’t been exposed to before and you get ideas that you can bring back into other places. So, I would say that there has been a pretty heavy influence from the Asian market and how they use technology, they were, I would say much more advanced than mobile technology for a long time, and so a lot of inspiration can be drawn from those markets and then brought back into the US and European markets. also there are other markets that were very advanced before some of the markets in US and Europe, like Finland was definitely far ahead in mobile technology, in terms of what people were able to do with them and that is partly due to our government adopted technologies, smaller countries have an easier time upgrading their technology base, so that everybody is using the same thing and makes it easier for companies to innovate as well. So, yeah, I would say though, anytime did you have a chance to do work and draw inspiration from other places, it’s a great opportunity.

Dave Kruse: That makes sense, and how did you end up in Berlin. Is that because of Clue or…?

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, I wanted to live in Berlin, really.

Dave Kruse: Okay.

Mike LaVigne: I think, partly, I was really looking for something meaningful to do, before I moved here, the last thing I was doing is working at Frog.

Dave Kruse: Okay.

Mike LaVigne: And I decided…

Dave Kruse: What year was that?

Mike LaVigne: That was, I think 2009 is when I left Frog.

Dave Kruse: Okay.

Mike LaVigne: And I was in Shanghai in 2008, then I came back to San Francisco in 2009, and was working and doing the same type of work that I have been doing before mostly in Fortune 500 companies in product strategies, and I started to just have an interest in finding more meaningful work, and so I decided to just take a break, so I stopped working for a while, started talking to people, looking for what opportunities where out there. I was really interested in working on something that was related to standability and did not find what I was looking for, most of the opportunities that I found were in the consulting space still that was just because that is what my network was I think mostly and then I decided if I was going to do something new, I wanted to try it in Europe, so I found an opportunity to be at Fjord, the consultancy Fjord, and decided to make a move to Berlin. I visited a couple times, really liked Berlin as the city, it is very creative city, lots going on all the time, pretty intense amount of creativity in the city, and decided that that was the good place to be, so I made the move, worked at Fjord there for about a year and then met who are now my co-founders at Clue, and met them by way of a ___ 16:10___ project at Fjord, they were interested in, they had already had the idea. Ida Tin is the CEO and she had the original idea, Hans Raffauf is her partner both personally and professionally, and I met them through their ___16:29___ project and just at that point really had the light bulb go off for me that actually what I was interested in doing was not consultancy work anymore, and I was really interested in doing something that was more on the product side, so more developing a product and owning the product and really shaping it over a longer period of time, and the funny story of that is, is that I was thinking, I wasn’t the right fit to this project, this company, because it was about women’s health and I felt that I hadn’t done design work for really long time of that point either, it had been about 15 years that I actually made something. I had never made an app before and never designed an app. I hadn’t done interaction design, so I’ve really been focused on product strategy, design strategy, more of a thinking side of a design, and for those two reasons, I was not a woman and I hadn’t been doing design work for so long that I decided that I wasn’t interested and I told them that, we talked about it, and said actually could you introduce me to some other places instead, and so, I actually by way of my Co-Founder’s met a couple of startups, I wasn’t so interested in the other ones that I had met and eventually, I came to terms rather, with becoming a designer again and that’s how I joined actually.

Dave Kruse: Did they have much of an app or they raised money when you joined them or, at that point, what year was that, was that 2010 or 2011 …, what year was that about when you joined officially?

Mike LaVigne: That have should been probably around 2011 – 2012, somewhere there, can’t remember exactly.

Dave Kruse: That’s fine.

Mike LaVigne: We founded the company in …, I don’t have the dates straight in my head, …., I’m sorry, what was the question?

Dave Kruse: You know, what type of stage where they at, did they have a mobile app, or did they raise money by then, or…?

Mike LaVigne: I think they had enough funding just to get the ball rolling, usually in the Angel Investments stage and they had been working with some people around designing the interaction model, so they had things on paper, but they didn’t have a prototype yet, so when they came in, they had, you know, big sack of A4s and they had __18:57__ on them, wire frames and they had the general idea of what the future should be, but there really wasn’t a strategy behind it, design strategy, they hadn’t really shaped the product yet.

Dave Kruse: Gotcha, and for the audience, if they don’t know, can you describe, what is the Clue app a little bit more

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, sure. So, Clue is an app that’s designed to help people track their menstrual cycle and everything related to their health, that is tied to that, so it helps somebody track symptoms, so they can see, for example, when the bleeding happens at certain times of the month, when new changes occur, when the pains are happening, symptoms like that are associated with PMS as well as other things like hair loss, acne, other body pains, migraine headaches, sex drive changes, so really everything around the female system and what Clue does is help people find correlations in their cycle, so they can start to learn about their own cycle and the reason that they go through, they could set reminders for themselves so that they can be alerted at when PMS symptoms may be coming up, when the period might be coming up, also when they are more likely to get pregnant if they have unprotected sex, or when its focused for a window, so when the fertility begins and ends, and what Clue does is it really helps somebody learn about their cycle and then be aware of their cycle that Clue alerts them, of the changes that are possibly coming for their cycles, so that they can just plan their life around it more effectively.

Dave Kruse: And do you have women who, you know, they are trying to get pregnant, use it, I’m guessing it’s one big user base, and there is also people who are trying to be healthier, who is kind of the typical user base?

Mike LaVigne: You know, one of the strange things about the approach, that is very common with Clue, is that we don’t focus on user segments, so what I have tried to do with the design strategy has been more to look at, the risks of our population as possible and to look for the commonalities between all of those people, and so for example, the commonalities that exist between people who are trying to get pregnant, people who are trying to avoid getting pregnant, people who are trying to learn about their cycle, they just need to know where in the cycle they are, and they need to know what is going on in their body at a particular moment. If somebody can see when their fertile window is, they can either have sex, unprotected sex, or not have unprotected sex, depending on what their goal is, and so we focused on that as far as a broad used case, so it is the used case that really connects everybody together to all of the insights about their cycle, and yeah, we do have a lot of people that use it when they are trying to get pregnant and as well for a lot of other things, lot of people, probably the most feedbacks that we get, we got actually a lot of people writing in saying like, yeah, I got pregnant, thank you but also we get a lot of people who are very eventful identifying that they might have a medical problem.

Dave Kruse: Really?

Mike LaVigne: One of the things that has been, yeah, Clue is designed for that for sure, because one of the things that has been interesting to hear over the course that Clue has been out for about 2 years now is that the people who had been tracking regularly in consistency, they are able to see patterns and changes more quickly, and by that, if they see a dramatic change, they can identify more quickly and they can go and talk to their doctor about it, and we have who are quite regular, but not frequent actually, but we have people write to us regularly and let us know that they diagnosed a medical emergency by themselves like an ectopic pregnancy and if that is diagnosed early enough, it is not an emergency, it has to be diagnosed quickly, and so those are some of the things, part of the thing that is interesting for me about this and Clue is that it is going to be designed for rapid entry as part of the strategy. People when they write to us, they say, thank you, your Clue has been so easy to use that I have been much more consistent in my tracking and because I was consistent in my tracking, I discovered this problem, so the usability actually helped them solve their medical problem for themselves.

Dave Kruse: interesting.

Mike LaVigne: And I think that is somewhat unique to our category, because we are in health, of course, so we will provide those benefits by nature, but the fact that users are drawing a conclusion to say that I tried using apps before, I stopped using them because they weren’t easy to use, so I kept using Clue, I clearly get a message out, therefore, people who were focused on making apps easy to use have to have some kind of benefit to users and that you make them easy to use, that benefit you are trying to provide is amplified, and I feel very fortunate to be and we are working in a field where we are providing, you know, benefits to so many people and that they identify that by themselves.

Dave Kruse: Yeah, sounds like you did a pretty good job about design, because that is the main process of a feedback you get from users, and yeah, so let’s talk a little bit more about design, since that’s one of the reason I wanted you on the show, and so how, when you said that they need like feedback, they need to see the benefits from using the app, like how do you get that especially, you know, I can see over the long term getting that feedback, but, you know, you really have to hook things, like how little time do you need to hook somebody to actually start using the app on a regular basis and then how do you provide like the kind of more immediate benefit or do you?

Mike LaVigne: Well, yeah, the first time somebody receives the benefit is during the set up process and that was something the changes that we made when we redesigned the setup process for Clue is that as somebody is going through the set up process, they actually discover, say for example, you are going through the setup process and you are asked to enter when was your last period, how long is your typical cycle, and through that, just those two needed information, we know where exactly you are, so we give that feedback directly to the user, hey, next period looks like it is going to start in, you know, 8 days and so we provide that benefit, we try to demonstrate that right away and then they answer a few more questions, we can tell them, for example, when they say how long their typical cycle is, we can alert them immediately based on signs in temperature, if that is within typical ranges, there is typically a lot of anxiety around women’s health, it is like, am I normal, am I healthy, and what we try to do is that at early stage even in the setup process, let people know that actually, yeah, everything is okay, because most of the time, everything is okay, and it has a tremendous relieving effects, so that when somebody actually then starts using the app, they have already released some of their anxiety and they feel more at peace and so they are not wondering that they are not carrying that anxiety forward into the next month, we have already given them that answer.

Dave Kruse: Interesting.

Mike LaVigne: And so likely that the benefit comes quite early as soon and as they open up they only get the main screen at Clue, they see where they are on their cycle, they see visually, they see a graphical representation of their cycle, from beginning to end, and there is a dot that indicates “you are here,” so it’s the map of their typical cycle and they could see where they are and so with that benefit, hopefully, we’ve hooked them right away, the other part that we hooked people with is that when they start doing the tracking, they see how easy it is to use. Some of the moments of truth come when they setup their own reminders, you know, some of the reminders are setup by default, for example, to have an alert when the next period is coming, and as soon as they get that reminder and they have that moment of, ah, I’m glad I know that, you know, that’s a good moment and a lot of people I would say the primary case is the period prediction and probably after that is the PMS prediction, then we also have about 100 pages of medically referenced text in Clue that covered everything, every part of the cycle in women’s health, and we are always putting more in, we have some more that is going to be coming up pretty soon, that allows somebody to learn really in depth about what’s going on in their body, probably things that they haven’t heard or had information, really thorough and well sourced information, if they were a kid and were going to school, because if people were taught this when they were kids, but of course, if you taught them in middle school when you are in 8th grade, all of that is going to go way overtime, because you also don’t have this much real world reference point for it, and here, now here is you real world reference point, you are planning your week, you can see where you are at in your cycle, if you want to know information about what this part of your cycle is about, you can actually read pages of text inside the Clue about that.

Dave Kruse: That was good, you sold me, I wish I was a woman, you need to make the Clue for men, I don’t know what would be, but that is interesting, so speaking more about design, like what’s kind of that value benefit thinking, how you know you need to create that benefit immediately, was that part of the initial app, and you know, kind of take us back to when they brought up their idea, like, what goes through your head, and like, how you are going to start, there is a lot pieces that put together, how do you kind of approach that? Something like that…

Mike LaVigne: Well, I could say, probably the funny part of the story, which is, I started to talk about a little bit already, which is I hadn’t done design work for 15 years, and I have never designed an app, you know, Clue is still the only app I ever designed, you know, except for you know, just some little projects on the side or something, but what really happened was I had to simplify the problem dramatically, because my skill, my ability to solve the complex problem, I wasn’t there, the skill wasn’t there, I hadn’t exercised it for so long, so the first thing that I did was just really radically simplify the problem that I was trying to solve, and so it was really, I came up with two design principles to focus on initially, now we have more, but initially it was just make it fast from the interaction perspective and happy from a design perspective, and the reason for those two is that if we were an app that was going to collect data, and it was manual data entry, it had to be fast, you know, it really, really, had to be fast. We would succeed or fail based on how easy to use, and how fast the data entry was, and so the target was actually for a used case that was less than 10 seconds which we got to, and actually in just typical use, you know, when we clock people on it, if all you are trying to do is get your period date, typical use is just about 6 seconds and we start to use an app, you see, it takes, you know, not a super short period of time, you launch the app, you navigate to a screen, you tap on a button, you tap on another button, and basically at Clue that’s when you are done, you can exit Clue and then you, you know, enter a piece of data, if you want to enter more data, of course then it takes more time, so from the early, early, design really focused on fast. The second part of that was focused on, after doing a lot of interviews and talking to people from just as if from a research perspective, of being part of what I do, and how I inform my client, just talking to people, you know, in more of an in-context or one-on-one interview talking about all, how do they feel, probably what are the concerns that they have, really trying to understand the ultra landscape, of what’s going on for somebody related to their health and it was very clear that there is just a lot of anxiety and despite it, the way you could relieve the anxiety was just not to reflect it, but to provide an happy place for somebody to be, so when they watch Clue, we are not reflecting back the anxiety or reflecting back the concern, we provide a very science-based approach, so the information that we provide is very mutual, it’s not emotional, but the design is emotional, and it’s essentially emotional and it is a happy design, and we did that on purpose to provide a counter balance with the anxiety that people normally have. Part of the way that I made sure that we were actually hitting that was through the kind I think what I would best describe is usability texting, so if somebody would open up the app and they smile, I knew I knew I was doing right and if they laugh and a lot of moment where if somebody is using Clue, they can actually laugh, because there is a lot of icon reviewing and it is like sense of humor to it, so if somebody is tracking sex for example, they tap on sex, the thing that they see is this, you know, figure that is reclined in a sexy way, you know a suggested way, and all of those I have used for the icons came from the people that, rather they did not all come from them, but they were all validated, by the people who were doing the testing with, so if they didn’t smile or if it didn’t get an emotional reaction, it kept going, and kept refining those and really that is what has been fundamental to create this experience that people have when they use Clue is that it’s very fast and it is just a nice experience and are basically happy when they use it, and that is how I constraint and then I started using the feature set as much as possible, so that I didn’t get myself into trouble with the interaction model, so there wasn’t __34:14___, because again, I hadn’t done that before, I was really afraid of creating a mess for myself and of more out of doubt, I also had some good collaborators, I had some support from friends who kept talking to me through the rougher moments, on my lack of confidence, and it worked out, it definitely worked out.

Dave Kruse: So, how do you design for happy, I mean you mentioned like you know some of the icons can make people laugh, is it also the colors, or is it more, like you said, just trying to make people laugh, what’s your thought process on it.

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, it was, definitely, I mean, if you think of happy things, you think of parties, circus.

Dave Kruse: Circus, yes…

Mike LaVigne: You know, you think of toys right, and so really if you draw inspiration from those things, the kids are just by nature, a lot of times happy, so you could look at the things that they interact with too, but really the things that was drawn to were primary shapes, so Clue is mostly circles and squares with dominant interaction elements, they have perfect circles and perfect squares that has this easiness to it, right, and has this geometrics similarity to it. It is not complicated, it is very basic shapes and then the color pallet is really wild, right, very bright colors, very saturated colors, and just try to use those to the best advantage to create that mood and then along with the iconography, but I would say the iconography is the really big part of it if you stripped off the icons and just put text in there, you are still left then with the colors, and work was filled with basic geometric forms and the combination of those and just the quickness of using it, it feels light, it doesn’t feel heavy when you are using it, it gets out of the way, it is, I think, all of the things that contributes to that happiness.

Dave Kruse: Yeah, that make sense and you guys have a number of men used app as well, is that right?

Mike LaVigne: Yes we do. I cannot remember what the numbers are, but we have a lot of our Facebook likes are from men, of very large percentage. We sometimes get emos from people on our support channel contacting us about asking questions and are very obviously guys and they might be using it to track themselves, they might be using it in cooperation with their partner, because several times, a good number of times we’ve heard that the women in a relationship is not tracking herself, she does not want to use the app to track herself and so that is the partners, the male partners’ contribution to their relationship, is that he is just tracking for her, so we have also people who are just using Clue to track themselves regardless whether or not they have a cycle, so yeah we have a very wide range of people, we also have designed it intentionally from the beginning to not reinforce stereotypes related to gender, so one of the things that gave us very early success, it has a very contemporary design and it’s not referencing butterflies, pink, flower, glitter, green board, unicorns right, which most of the apps before we were out in the market were doing. They were mostly designed for little girls and based on people population, way more of the population that had a cycle that are, you know, in the past 13s before they start having their periods, massive junk of the population and it tells me why so many of those early apps were designed only for teenagers or for to look for teenagers, so we took away that aesthetic, a little girl aesthetic, it is stereotypical of what girls like and we designed it in a very neutral way, so that Clue could be used by anybody regardless of how they identify, from a gender perspective or how they felt about themselves, right, from a gender perspective, so that you could just use the app.

Dave Kruse: That’s smart, and, so how do you, now when you want to make changes to the app, for design, user experience, how do you make those decisions, do you make them based on analytics, based on watching people, like it sounds like, you do a lot, or just ask your users, how do you test that, do you test that on a small group of users, and how does that work?

Mike Lavigne: Yeah, I think, different problems are solved differently, so different types of data, yeah, most of the data ___39:35___ which is the observation of people using it, qualitative feedback from the market, we had a beta testing code that would send, new features to visual prototypes to people in person, it could be from our process to get a feedback; my backgrounds, part of what I bring to Clue is user research, a very different set of tools, very quick tools also, I think it is important to know that you can’t take a fast tool to enter any question, and the better you are at selecting that tool the answer to your question, the more efficiently you can get an answer, so part of what we try not to get stuck in is just, you know, so much user feedback that we just never make a decision, right, so we would rely on a lot of our common sense or experience, we have a lot of very experienced people on the team, I am not doing any of the design anymore, I suppose I have some other direction of collaborating with people and setting the direction, but we really have a very experienced team and we rely on their collected intelligence for making a lot of those decisions, where we feel that we need feedback, sometimes we don’t, you know, feel like we need feedback for confident of the decisions that we make and we are a lot better and really the best feedback comes from the app actually and it’s new features and the changes that we make actually being out in the hands of millions of people, that is the best way to get the feedback, you know, we know then whether or not it is working or not. It is difficult to get a sample size large enough, otherwise, you could do AB testing, but it’s often times, you don’t need to slow yourself down by doing that, if you have a good team making good decisions and then you can rapidly earn something …… especially not what you market. It was really about making smart decisions and hit market innovations and then you make, you are able to get feedback and then you make your answer to those.

Dave Kruse: You know, that make sense, and I know we’re kind of running out of time here, but I have a couple more questions, and one question around that was, do you have an example of where, yeah, in the recent past you, you know, you implemented a new feature and then how, you know, how did you know that was working. Do you set essentially goals at a time and make sure that you are hitting those goals, I mean, I suppose every single new idea is going to have pretty different goals whether it is interactions, number of clicks, or how do you lay out the program for implementing a new feature?

Mike LaVigne: We have been working on the new feature at the very beginning, anybody who wants to participate in the team contribute ideas, so we get the whole, and we are going to kick off meeting with anybody at the company, or if anybody has an idea they want to contribute, we can all pack into a room and we talk about it and usually the people who have ideas are the ones who show up and we talk about it, and part of that meeting is actually setting the goals, so how are we going to measure the success of this feature, and usually it comes down to a few geometrics that might be, you know, our people using it obviously, is it working quickly enough, is it in-depth enough, you know, are we spending…, it might be something that we want them to spend time with, like we want them to read that text that we put into Clue, but we need to figure out what are the few geometrics, usually it’s just one, sometimes it might be two, and I will measure those and sometimes the thing that we have to measure is qualitative and if that is what it is, then we alter the feedback, so it’s really picking, I think, part of the challenge is really narrowing down and taking the best possible measures of success and do know if we will get it right, maybe it gets out in the market, you find that, actually that when you think that you thought you were so careful picking was actually the wrong metrics and you figured that out, you know, something fails, and you just let go of the metric, you know, we are good but the feature isn’t doing well.. we are getting a lot of complaints on it, so then you take a small set of feedbacks and you get a rating of the feature based on that, so that is a basic constant learning process where we just have to be keep paying attention and be constantly improving.

Dave Kruse: Interesting, and how many users do you have, I mean, there are different ways of measuring that, I guess you have active users, do you know?

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, we have over 4 million active.

Dave Kruse: Wow, wow, I mean, the more analytics you must have, I would think the platform keeps getting more valuable as you can analyze all those different events everyone is entering and that’s pretty good.

Mike Lavigne: Yeah, a big part of what we are doing is we are collaborating academic institutions, universities to push forward advances in female health, so we are working with universities and researchers at Stanford University in California, Columbia University in New York, Oxford University in UK, Washington University, so we have all of these collaborators that are looking at the data from different perspectives to look for inputs about how we can push forward female health, it is a big part of what we are doing, definitely.

Dave Kruse: That’s exciting. Interesting, that’s a good idea. Because lot of that research actually just stays in papers and so if you guys immediately start using that research and put into the public, that’s pretty valuable.

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, I think, what we are hoping to do is put it back directly, feedback, into active users, they open up the app and they have some insight about their health that is a result of some real scientific research.

Dave Kruse: Interesting.

Mike LaVigne: Not based on some kind of poofy marketing kind of stuff, and then also looking for how we extend that benefit out into the world and even different users, right, because there are things that just benefit everybody once it’s out, and so part of that level of those operations that we have will be publishing and trying to make that publishing happen in more of a mainstream context.

Dave Kruse: That’s great, that’s why you need the male app too. I guess the males do use it, but at least for me, and it is all about me, no just kidding, well let’s see, I have one more question and I’m debating between a couple, so not sure how to end it exactly. I guess we will go with, well, I’ll let you chose, so one question could be, you know, how has kind of your design thinking changed since you have been at Clue, has there been things that have made you a better designer, and why is that, or what do you see for the future of Clue, where do you want to take the app and where I talked about something on the research but there is anything else as far as new features or new capabilities.

Mike LaVigne: Yeah, we have got, I think, part of what we have been doing over in terms of the feature is, part of what we have been doing is trying to establish what we believe are the most important foundations, you know, of the experience, and you feel that those foundations are in now, and the next step for us is to start innovating and deepening, so one is to innovate and create new features that hopefully then start to shift what the category means to people and then the second area is really deepening and making those existing foundations that we have in the app more meaningful and better. I think that people will start to…, a very different experience what the app is capable over the next, say, 6 to 12 months, it should be a significant difference coming up, in a good way, and a lot of it, I think, people have been, there’s a lot of __47:58__ that we will be filling finally some more innovated stuff, yeah, that’s coming up, and I would say to answer the first question, I would say that an app that’s successful out in the market, some bigger change, develop a strategy or the design or maybe me also, it’s just really going in for the long haul, it’s been 3 years now, we are very close to our community of users, they are very close to us in terms of the feedback and the amount of communication that we have with them and it has had a profound impact on the Clue app and we really hope the best dialogue continues and continues to deepen, and I would say that probably has the biggest impact on us.

Dave Kruse: That’s great. It sounds like you have a wonderful community of users, that’s powerful and special.

Mike Lavigne: Yeah, it is…

Dave Kruse: Yeah. I guess we should probably end it. I definitely appreciate you coming on and this is very interesting and it’s great what you are doing for women in the world and appreciate what you are doing and it’s really interesting to hear how you come at design, so, I know, I learned a lot, and hopefully everyone else would have learned a lot too, so definitely appreciate it Mike.

Mike Lavigne: Yeah, thanks for the good questions too, it’s fun talking.

Dave Kruse: Alright, great, and hope you enjoy the rest of the time in South Africa and thanks everyone for listening and will see you next time on Flyover Labs. Thanks Mike. Thanks everyone.

Mike Lavigne: Yeah, bye bye…