Last updated: 21st April 2023
Reading time: About 4 minutes
Building a product nobody wants can waste time, resources, and a massive blow to morale. This scenario can be avoided with proper research and development using data and feedback from the market. However, the process of seeking feedback is not so straightforward, and the results can be ambiguous and misleading. This blog post explores the most effective ways to produce meaningful feedback while revising product development.
The best way to acquire feedback and maximise its potential is by building products with minimal usable features. This approach is called a minimum viable product (MVP). MVP is regarded as a product development strategy that aims to build products, applications, or services using the least amount of effort possible while still obtaining valuable insights from users. The primary goal is to make something good enough with the minimum number of features that works for a select group of people. This group of people is the initial target audience for the MVP.
Once the MVP is released to select users, the development team must keep track of how the audience interacts with the product. The team should always be open to suggestions and comments from early users as they will have genuine feedback. If the MVP is performing badly in the market or failing to meet the target audience's needs, the development team can quickly pivot or adjust the product to make it more viable.
Working with MVPs is an efficient way to avoid wasting time and effort on something that may fail. First, however, proper research on the target audience is needed to build an initial MVP that satisfies user needs. And the best way to ensure that the MVP satisfies user needs is by being your own customer.
Building something for yourself can boost product quality while providing insights that can be used to innovate and create something fresh. When building something for yourself, you already have a clear understanding of user problems, and by default, you'll know exactly what to build. More importantly, you'll know what features can or cannot be eliminated, as well as those that can make the product stand out in the market.
Another important aspect of building for yourself is that it enables you to test the product before releasing it to the target audience. This way, the first piece of feedback on the product will come from the creator. The creator's feedback can be either positive or negative. If positive, then the creator believes the product will be useful to the users. If negative, the creator could pivot or go back to the drawing board. Just be careful not to fall so deeply in love with your product that finding critical feedback becomes difficult and that you struggle to find areas to improve upon. Instead, remain objective and open-minded and remember the aesthetics will come later.
Once the MVP is ascertained to be viable, the next step is to gather feedback from the target audience. Feedback gathering can be difficult, especially if the wrong feedback or the wrong people are selected. To avoid this, creators must choose a target audience wisely. Creators must take the time to research and understand the users' behaviour, demographic, and requirements. This information can be gathered by conducting surveys, user interviews, and focus groups, among others.
One of the most popular ways to gather user feedback is through surveys. Online survey tools make it easy for creators to customise and distribute surveys to better understand user opinions, usage patterns, and preferences for the MVP. Surveys are cost-effective and don't require physical presence or specific tools. However, crafting a good survey requires skill and expertise to ensure that it doesn't influence or manipulate the responses.
Designers can use interviews and focus groups to gather valuable feedback from users in a more personal setting. These methods allow for face-to-face interactions, which often result in more in-depth feedback. Additionally, the in-person interactions can lead to new dialogue and questions that were not initially considered, as a result of the natural flow and rapport that is built.
To create a product that people actually need, it's important to start by developing a minimum viable product (MVP) with only essential features. Carefully selecting a target audience and collecting feedback through surveys, interviews, and focus groups after launch is crucial and should be ongoing. Additionally, it's a great idea to build the product for yourself first before releasing the MVP to the market.
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