Find the “Why”, or lose your user.
What’s the point in creating a product nobody wants to use? At the heart of a successful product lies the satisfaction of its users. Research is the foundation needed to build a product that meets the needs of your end-users.
“ Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.”
What do your users really want?
You can’t design a product unless you know what your users want. When Platform45 does user research, we’re digging into the specific needs and motivations of the people who will be using your product. The real people using your product, not the developers or designers. Understanding what your user wants and why they want it is the quest. We do this through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies, allowing you to truly ‘understand’ your users and ultimately, build something smart, understandable, relevant and powerful.
We’ve mentioned before that we build software following the agile philosophy and scrum frameworks. This means that we consistently test our product feature deployments after every sprint with real users. The research never stops because that is when the potential for a truly relevant product stops. We leverage real research early on in the process and stick to a schedule of interviews and evaluations, regularly assessing the data and feedback received through every incremental release, then applying those learnings to follow up features and release plans.
Where do we find our testers?
Our testers are typically sourced from our client's mailing list of potential or existing customers. However, we can make use of third-party recruitment firms that specialise in finding suitable testers. The goal is to get your product into the hands of users to test as soon as possible to adapt and iterate if necessary.
We want honest feedback
Once the testers arrive, it is essential to make them feel comfortable and introduce them to the process, reassuring them that we are testing the product, and not them. People are quick to clam up when they feel as though they are being judged, but thinking out loud is an integral part of the process. While it may be awkward at the beginning of the session, spontaneous verbal responses are the only way we can guarantee authentic, no-holds-barred feedback on the product. We then collate all our notes from the interviews and identify patterns, taking the most common problems and adapting the product user-story and flow.
We don’t take it personally if our testers don’t enjoy the user experience. That is how the most successful software is developed. Through feedback.