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Using Discovery Methods to Create Products that People Actually Want

Too often, we make things that are we think are beautiful and user-friendly, but they fall flat when they are released into the world. How do we ensure we don’t waste time creating products and features that no one wants to use? As a UX designer, I’ve worked with various cross-functional product teams and tried many different ways over the years to help teams build less features while creating more business value. In this talk which I gave at a ProductTank San Francisco event, I shared a few of my favorite qualitative methods to use during early product discovery.

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Using Discovery Methods to Create Products that People Actually Want

  1. 1. Using Discovery Methods to Create Products that PeopleActually Want Jenny Shirey | November 12, 2019 | ProductTank SF
  2. 2. Have you ever made a product or feature that no one wanted?
  3. 3. Let’s play a guessing game…
  4. 4. Hypothesis: small business owners will want to connect their Facebook business profile to their business account
  5. 5. Hypothesis: small business owners will want to connect their Facebook business profile to their business account Didn’t build it
  6. 6. Hypothesis: Technical users like unobtrusive docs (design A) more than a click-through intro to the system (design B) Design A: unobtrusive docs Design B: click-through intro
  7. 7. Hypothesis: Technical users like unobtrusive docs (design A) more than a click-through intro to the system (design B) Design A: unobtrusive docs Design B: click-through intro Winner!
  8. 8. Hypothesis: A smaller text box will increase number of finished reviews Control (100%) 75% height 50% height
  9. 9. Hypothesis: A smaller text box will increase number of finished reviews Control (100%) 75% height 50% height No difference! Didn’t build it
  10. 10. We are not our users!
  11. 11. “It is from getting to know people, and digging with each of them into their underlying needs, that we get the insights necessary to inspire great products.” –Marty Cagan
  12. 12. How can Product Discovery help us understand what users want?
  13. 13. Answering four key questions
  14. 14. Will they use it? Value
  15. 15. Will they use it? Can they use it? Value Usability
  16. 16. Will they use it? Can they use it? Can we build it? Value Usability Feasibility
  17. 17. Will they use it? Can they use it? Can we build it? Can we support it? Value Usability Feasibility Viability for the business
  18. 18. Product Discovery process
  19. 19. 1. Frame Product Discovery process
  20. 20. 1. Frame 2. Understand Product Discovery process
  21. 21. 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision Product Discovery process
  22. 22. 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision 4. Focus Product Discovery process
  23. 23. Trash it! 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision 4. Focus Product Discovery process
  24. 24. Trash it! Build or 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision 4. Focus Product Discovery process
  25. 25. 3 methods my teams have found most useful Frame Understand Envision Focus
  26. 26. Method 1: Opportunity Canvas 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision 4. Focus
  27. 27. https://www.jpattonassociates.com/opportunity-canvas/
  28. 28. Problems + solutions Target users Workarounds (“solutions today”) User value User + business metrics Adoption strategy Rough budget
  29. 29. • Find out what you know / don’t know • Get the team on same page before you start Why?
  30. 30. How? • Time box: less than 1 hour • Use your best guesses • “Problem” might be opportunity
  31. 31. Watch out for… • Going into in-depth conversations • Targeting “everyone”—the more specific the user, the better! • Doing this instead of talking with users
  32. 32. Method 2: 
 Interview summary sheets 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision 4. Focus
  33. 33. About Things they do QuotesEmotions & beliefs
  34. 34. Why? • Quickly synthesize learnings from user interviews • Get out of your head / computer - make visible to all
  35. 35. How? • Write sticky notes during interview • Place, THEN discuss • Do as a group, right away while fresh
  36. 36. Watch out for… • Multi-tasking and not writing sticky notes • Too much talking • Not leaving time after the interview for it • Remote participants (include them with online tools)
  37. 37. Method 3: Crazy Eights 1. Frame 2. Understand 3. Envision 4. Focus
  38. 38. https://www.thesprintbook.com/
  39. 39. “Our first idea is never our best… except sometimes.” –Jeff Patton
  40. 40. Why? • Come up with as many ideas as possible! • Build off other team members’ ideas
  41. 41. How? • Start with a pain point or opportunity for a specific user • Create 8 sketches (1 8.5x11” sheet of paper) in 5 minutes • Quantity over quality: work as quickly as possible! • Briefly explain your sketches afterward • “Visualize the vote”: have team members silently star the ideas they like best
  42. 42. Watch out for… • Too much time / detail on one sketch • Team members critiquing during the presentation
  43. 43. Some methods I’ve used… Opportunity canvas Learn/ask sheets 1. Frame Interview summary sheets Journey maps Synthesis sheets 2. Understand Crazy Eights Concept testing Bodystorming 3. Envision Cost/value mapping Synthesis statement Pirate metrics Fake door test 4. Focus
  44. 44. … there are many more! The most important thing is to find out what your users want and need.
  45. 45. Thank you! www.jennyshirey.com | @seejennydesign

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