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How to Empower Your Users So You Can Create a Great Product

How to Empower Your Users So You Can Create a Great Product

Product people often feel stuck in the middle. They’re supposed to have all the answers. However, nobody, not even the product people, can know the future. They also know that users suffer from several problems which range from fake certainty about the solution to not even knowing what they want. Instead of designing for the users, product people and the team can collaborate with empowered users and create a great product together.

Johanna Rothman
PRO

August 25, 2021
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  5. How to Empower Your User s So You Can Create

    a Great Product Johanna Rothma n @johannarothma n www.jrothman.com
  6. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman The Future is Hard to

    See • Product people are supposed to know what the customers nee d • Customers don’t know what they need until they see somethin g • Want != Nee d • I might want a sports ca r • I need a minivan 6
  7. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Many Product Problems • Solutions

    before problem s • Leads to fake certainty about the proble m • Insuf fi cient experimentation interes t • Missing organization strateg y • Need to identify ideal customers and problems the org solves for the m • Missing product strategy for this produc t • Missing the problems to solve for these customer s • Customers (buyers) differ from users 7
  8. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Traditional view: Build products for

    users 8
  9. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Alternative view : Collaborate with

    customers & users 9
  10. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Cooperation vs. Collaboration • Cooperate:

    help or support others to achieve a common goa l • Assembly lin e • Collaborate: work together, often at the same tim e • Orchestra 10
  11. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Prerequisites for Successful Collaboration •

    Willing to state problems before solution s • Everyone involved wants to collaborate 11
  12. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Collaboration Alternatives • You might

    have heard of these already : • Paper prototypes • Watch user s • Listen to customers/user s • Change your question s • Work with the user s • Create more experiments 12
  13. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Change Your Questions • Who

    are our ideal users ? • What problems do they have that we want to solve now ? • What outcomes can we expect (bene fi ts) ? • Release-speci fi c question s • Which users are we targeting with this release ? • What bene fi ts can they expect? 13
  14. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Why Not Ask Users What

    They Want ? Many people don’t know what they want . They don’t know how they want you to solve the problem . Until you show them something. 14
  15. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Start With Paper Prototypes •

    Paper, not wireframe s • Much more dif fi cult when we are disperse d • People react to the work fl ow, not the content when it’s clearly a prototyp e • More likely to discover the problems as you discuss the prototype 15
  16. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Ways to Collaborate with Paper

    Prototypes • Prepare all in advance, walk through togethe r • Prepare initial state, develop remaining togethe r • Start with known problems, draw togethe r • Facilitator (less collaborative ) • Mobbing, where people rotate through the actual drawing 16 More cooperative More collaborative
  17. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Watch Users (with Consent!) •

    Product manager (removed from the day-to-day team) asks users questions and might watch the m • Product owner watches users for current product and prototyp e • Team can watch users in same two way s • Requires : • Suf fi cient visual and aural fi delit y • Look for where people trip over the work or workarounds 17 More cooperative More collaborative
  18. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Internal Data Gathering • Who

    does the product person speak with internally ? • Support, Training, other user-focused peopl e • Senior managers who want this produc t • Current product tea m • Customer s • Users 18 More cooperative More collaborative
  19. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Beware of the “Telephone” Game

    19
  20. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman The Clari fi cation “Telephone”

    Game 20
  21. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Delays of the Product Telephone

    Game 21
  22. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman When can the team speak

    with (some) users? 22
  23. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Modify Internal Questions • Many

    orgs ask for a business case and RO I • Assumes the changes are correc t • You can never predict RO I • Instead : • “How will the business bene fi t from these changes? ” • Might have new/different users, customer s • “How will we know that what we propose is effective? ” • Experiment to disprove and prune the possibilities 23
  24. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Possible Bene fi ts •

    Increase revenu e • Acquire new customer s • Time to acquire new custome r • More revenue per custome r • Time to customer revenu e • Decrease wast e • Mean time to recover from a proble m • User cost/waste to work in the current wa y • User retention (user “stickiness” ) • User upsel l • Referral to others 24
  25. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Work With Users (Side-by-Side) •

    Team works with the user s • Feel the wor k • Feel the frustratio n • Lab example, running between two machine s • Describing the problem wasn’t enoug h • The team had to feel the problems 25
  26. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Create Experiments • Small, safe-to-fail

    experiments with users you trus t • Write down your hypothesi s • Write down the data you need to know if the hypothesis is correct. Create a system to measure that data . • Decide on how long the experiment should run (timebox ) • Measure the result s • After you gather the results, what does the data tell you ? • Decide: Continue, change, stop the experiment? 26
  27. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman An Experiment Example • Sales

    said, “We have tons of possible sales riding on this feature! ” • Team said, “We’ll put up a page to collect signups. How many signups do you expect? ” • “Thousands over three days. ” • “Let’s see if we get 100 over a week. ” • They got 99. Didn’t do the feature then 27
  28. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Collaborate With Your Users? •

    Paper prototype s • Watch how the user work s • Work with the user to understand and feel their pai n • Change your question s • Experiment to prune the feature tree 28
  29. © 2021 Johanna Rothman @johannarothman Let’s Stay in Touch •

    Pragmatic Manager: • www.jrothman.com/ pragmaticmanage r • Please link with me on LinkedIn 29
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