Let's face this: Launching something new has always been a hit-or-miss proposition, whether it's a new start-up, a new product, or a new feature in an existing product. Some statistics also show that one of the biggest reasons a startup fails is due to a lack of market needs or a lack of product-market fit.

As the founder, you might think that the product you build is such a great innovation. We understand that you may feel like you have the intuition—the magic touch—to solve problems.

Build a customer-centric product

But, the reality is that none of us are mind readers. What we think is best and most useful for us might be perceived differently by others. We create products for customers. So when you want to create something for others, in this case, your customers, you need to discover their point of view. 

Stop guessing start testing
Source: https://liviaholanda.medium.com/10-steps-to-start-doing-user-research-3d68dfc5960e

It’s always better to talk, ask, and gain real insight from them, instead of making assumptions. At the beginning, it can be as simple as explaining to your target customers what your business will do to see their reaction.

What to test?

Depending on your goal, there are a number of tests you can run along the way. To determine whether your idea is worth moving to the next level in the form of a product, you may, for example, do a concept test. Then, after creating a prototype for a new product or adding a new feature, you can also run a usability test to determine whether users find it useful and easy to use.

When to test?

Will my new business work? 
Should I redesign my current app? 
Will this new feature satisfy users? 

You won't know the real answer until you start testing it, no matter what stage your business is in. Therefore, whenever you are unsure or want to demonstrate the effectiveness of your idea or the product you have made, run a test. 

Test your idea or conduct research to see if your intended audience actually needs it. Verify the functionality of your new feature. Check to see if your app is easy for users to use, etc.

How to test?

Begin your product journey with customer discovery

The lean start-up approach guru, Steve Blank, insists that before anyone begins to build a product, they have to complete a stage called ‘customer discovery’, or a round of interviews with prospective customers. 

It is necessary to avoid failure caused by false starts, where you’re too eager to launch your product out there, before surely knowing what people's real problems and needs are. So take some time to really go out and have a conversation with those whose problems you offer to solve. 

People from different backgrounds can have different behaviours while using a digital product.The first thing you should map out is defining the customers’ problems.

Source: https://www.hotjar.com/blog/user-behavior/

Who could you help?
What do those people have in common? (demographics, values, etc)
What are the issues they experience?
How’s their cultural background?
Which segments aren’t being targeted by competitors?

Also, you should do a competitor analysis. See what competitors have offered as the solutions, to understand what has been done and how your solutions can be better than that. conduct a competitive analysis, including user testing of existing solutions, to understand the strengths and shortcomings of rival products. 

Develop your solutions & conduct a concept testing

Let’s say you have identified the problems, according to the customers’ point of view, and come up with a cool idea on how to solve it after a series of brainstorming. Then it’s time to start developing and prototyping the solution.

You might want to do concept testing, which involves presenting your solutions to potential users, watching how they respond, and gaining their feedback. Product teams investigate a product idea or concept's viability and assess how it would perform in the market during concept testing.

Stop guessing start testing
Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2021/11/concept-testing-part-of-product-design/

There are a number of ways to do concept testing, such as presentations, conducting a survey to customers, or creating the wireframes of a digital product. By assessing how clients react to the idea, concept testing can help teams decide whether to move on to the next stage of development.

Test your product with user testing

Now that you have built your website or app, or probably have added new features to your product, you still need to do user testing or usability testing.  With this test, real users who perform particular tasks under actual conditions test the user interface and functionality of a product.

The goal of this test is to assess the usability of the website or app and determine whether it is ready to be released to the general public. Even after your website or app is released, you must continue to evaluate and enhance it in order for it to get better and provide a better user experience.

Stop guessing start testing
Spotify’s old interface with the hamburger bar icon


Source: https://hjnilsson.com/2016/05/05/spotify-is-ditching-the-hamburger-menu/

For instance, the music streaming service Spotify put much effort on boosting customer engagement and retention in 2016. They believed that the navigation of the app was one of the obstacles preventing them from achieving their objectives.

At that time, Spotify wondered whether customers were having trouble locating the features they wanted because the iOS app's navigation was hidden behind a "hamburger" icon (three horizontal lines in the corner of the screen). 

Stop guessing start testing
After Spotify ditching the hamburger barSource: https://hjnilsson.com/2016/05/05/spotify-is-ditching-the-hamburger-menu/

Spotify found that after thorough testing with both new and existing users, those who had access to a more obvious tab bar menu ended up clicking 9% more in overall and 30% more on actual menu items. The test's findings convinced Spotify to make the change since it will improve user experience.

Again, when developing a product, you should never rely solely on instinct. At whatever stage your business is at, you will never know the real answer until you start testing it. Stop guessing, start testing. 

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