A 'guide to truly understanding users' that you should do first to make your product successful



The advice we often hear when developing technology products such as apps and web services is to 'listen to the user,' but many of the recommended ways to interact with the user are unscientific and

confirmation bias. It is full of. Mike Adams, who has failed to start up twice in the last 10 years, spells out 'what he really needs to understand users' from his own experience.

The Founder's Guide to Actually Understanding Users | by Mike Adams | Dec, 2020 | mgadams
https://mgadams.com/the-founders-guide-to-actually-understanding-users-c68feaecac44

Adams, who launched three startups in 10 years, failed in the first startup and raised $ 11.5 million (about 1.2 billion yen) in the second startup but sold it because it could not sustain operation I was forced to run a third startup as of 2020. When Adams looked back on his last two failures to make his third startup successful, he ran into the problem of 'insufficient way to understand users.'

So Adams established the following four steps as 'a way to understand users.'

◆ Step 1: Generative user survey
The method of observing the behavior and desires of existing customers and generating ideas for potential products is called 'generative research.'

In generative research, information is extracted by asking users questions, but at this time, there are tips on how to ask questions. For example, Adams asked users the following questions when gathering information about 'how prospective users create and share information about video meetings.'

・ What is the user's current method of creating materials and sharing information after a video meeting?
・ How important is the documented information and how accurate is it in sharing?
・ How do you understand the accuracy of the information obtained?
What happens if the information is inaccurate
・ How long are conversations that do not require documenting or information sharing?
・ What kind of conversation is important for documentation and information sharing?

While asking questions, he said that hypothetical questions such as 'What if?' Should be avoided. Also, questions such as 'Do you use these products?' And 'What do you think of these possibilities?' Are biased and are not recommended as they can waste time making the wrong product. .. In other words, all you need to do is pull out information about how the user is actually behaving.

This method is called ' The Mom Test ' devised by writer Rob Fitzpatrick. Even a mother who wants to answer a question with 'yes' to protect her child can't lie.




Also, when asking a user a question, getting permission to record the conversation and take notes is useful for designing and engineering the right product.

◆ Step 2: Evaluate user tests



After listening closely to the target user, it's time to see if the user evaluates the 'solution' that the product offers. In order to evaluate the solution, a test using a prototype should be performed, and although the prototype used for this test is best close to the actual product, mockups and design proposals are also OK.

The purpose of this test is to qualitatively analyze two things:

1. 1. Whether the user understands the solution offered by the product
2. Whether users are pleased that the product will break through the user's status quo

This step can take months or even years, so many development teams skip this step or go to the engineering stage without thorough testing. However, Adams says that the success of a product depends on taking this step and finding and acquiring the first customer.

◆ Step 3: Usability test



Even if the development team can propose a breakthrough solution, the product will not succeed unless the user understands how to use it. For this reason, it is important to test usability during product construction.

A typical usability test is to build a test environment that allows users to monitor how they operate the product, and have the user actually touch the product to explain 'what they are looking at'. is. This makes usability issues obvious when users get stuck in using the product. At this time, it is recommended to ask 'what do you think will happen next', 'what is happening', and 'is there a difference between what is expected and what is actually happening'.

◆ Step 4: Continue to investigate



Adams says it's best to repeat generative research or evaluation testing as new features are added, even after the results of the initial tests have been incorporated into the product.

It is also recommended that you continue to learn from existing users and at the same time collect information from new users and work with the two groups. This allows developers to improve the 'first-user user experience' based on the voices of new users, and gain insights from the voices of existing users 'only after a few weeks to months.' Because it can be done. Adams says many startups set up regular feedback sessions to understand what their users are enjoying and annoyed by to enable continuous research and discovery.

in Note, Posted by logq_fa