Let your users help you identify new product design opportunities

Are you looking for new ways to make your users say “wow”? Do you have a lot of ideas for new products or services but you don't know where to start? Speak to them. Knowing their needs can help you make the right choices.

Paolo Tripodi

Paolo Tripodi

Designer

Whether you are a startup anxious to launch the first version of the product or a more mature company looking for new innovation opportunities, you surely have many possibilities on the table but do not know where to concentrate your efforts.

At Moze, we work alongside our customers to build their digital products and we have learned that interviewing users to understand their needs and the motivations that drive them to choose a product can be decisive for reorganising ideas and guiding the team in the right direction.

“Upgrade your user, not your product. Don’t build better cameras, build better photographers.” — Kathy Sierra

In this article, we want to provide some useful tips for helping you interpret the experience of your users effectively and use this knowledge to innovate.

Let’s start from the end

To understand in practice how useful it can be to look at the needs and motivations of your users, let’s imagine that we have already talked to many of them.

Now that we have listened to all the users that we had decided to interview, as a result of their contribution we can:

  • Understand how closely their needs come to our initial assumptions for the development of a new product or service
  • Find out what motivations bring users closer to or push them away from the solution we had thought of
  • Discover the channels used by users to find out about new solutions similar to ours
  • Get to know the alternatives to our solution considered by users

Using this knowledge, we can:

  • Make an informed decision about the design of the product or service
  • Direct the communication and marketing strategy 
  • Identify new areas of investigation 

EXAMPLE – Identifying opportunities for investing the new budget 

We helped an Italian ethical finance magazine to make the transformation from mainly paper to full digital media. A year after this change, the customer approached us to analyse the readers’ experience. 

Many useful elements emerged from the interviews, including:

  • The reasons that drive users to read the magazine
  • What role the magazine plays in their reading experience
  • What elements pull readers in or push them away
  • What other newspapers they read and which of these are associated with the magazine

Knowing this information helped the customer to choose which of the improvements already on the table should be made to the magazine and stimulated the creation of new projects.

How to interpret the user experience

Using our traffic analysis dashboard, we can find out the demographic attributes of our users and understand how they interact with our website or digital product.

This information is very useful for understanding who our users are and what they do with our interface.

On the other hand, knowing that our users connect mainly from a specific device and how often they access certain screens tells us nothing of why, in the beginning, they choose to interact with our product, and above all what purpose they are trying to achieve using it. 

When put together, these different types of information can provide us with a complete picture of our users’ experience and help us to measure our assumptions and understand in which direction to innovate.


Jobs-to-be-done: how to find out more about needs and motivations

Jobs-to-be-done is a theory conceived by Clayton Christensen (1952-2020), considered one of the greatest thinkers on innovation.

In short, the Jobs-to-be-done approach suggests that we segment the market based on people’s needs, rather than based on the attributes of our product or our users.

“Job” refers to the progress that the user is trying to achieve using a specific product, starting from the situation in which a need arises. 

“People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, but a hole a quarter-inch wide.” — Theodore Levitt

In other words, the Job is the purpose that the user is trying to achieve, not the specific product they choose to use to achieve it.

In brief 

  • Looking at the traffic analysis data allows to understand who our users are and what they do with the interface of our product, but not why this is chosen. 
  • Interviewing users, on the other hand, helps us to find out the reason for their behaviour and to understand what purposes they are trying to achieve when using our product.
  • Combining these two approaches can help us measure our assumptions and make effective decisions.

This post was originally published on Talent Garden blog.





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