vb6lives 3 months ago

We've had success with direct communication.

Tell your users to call or email of they have questions or problems. Then personally speak with them.

You will find loads of valuable things you can do for them or find significant pain points to address.

As for sorting signal and noise, you have to find generic solutions if possible. Example: if you have any kind of reports or tables etc you will have people asking you to add, remove, rearrange them. Users will get very upset that their "really important" field isn't available. And you could add this field but then the next person will come along. So give them some options to add, remove, rearrange fields so they can get what they need without coming to you first.

deanalevitt 3 months ago

Asking about their problems or goals is the best. In other words, don't ask about what features they want (you'll figure that out), but ask what their goal is. Research is good, especially in helping you figure out what questions to ask and getting close to the issue, but talking to potential users is unbeatable. I'd highly recommend 4 Steps to the Epiphany for great customer development guidance.

TBonneau 3 months ago

"Who are you users?" would be the first question to ask. That would help on determining what questions to ask next. For example with most SaaS products, Ford's quote "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses" is very applicable, meaning people often a limited by their knowledge and personal experience and can't see solutions beyond those, so if you ask them what they want you won't hear what would make a good product. In other industries it can be pretty straightforward, if you are old enough you would remember questionnaires your parents used to fill in for exchange of free products (I think it was P&G) answering all sort of questions about what products they use in their daily life from soap to dishwashing liquid, what would they want improved, what's their favourite smell and whatever you can think of (that then went to phone and I imagine now online).

So my advice would be, ask who is your user first. Then pick the next question.

mntmoss 3 months ago

By developing a system of pass/fail signals.

A lot of early approaches to feedback involve directly asking potential customers, or existing ones. This gives you vocal feedback, but almost all of it will be of the form "just add this and change that". And while this works in terms of incremental refinement, and can improve an existing successful product, often as not they will not be satisfied if you add this and change that with something that isn't selling - because they are not expressing the underlying issue(it is most likely too complex to grasp without pouring yourself into it, and you have to make it your job to develop that domain knowledge).

Instead look for mechanisms that let you immediately evaluate whether your quality is going up or down: "if we break our performance target that's a failure." "if we take more than two button presses to perform this action that's a failure." You can poll users to ask if this signal is the form of quality they are looking for: they will happily let you know that no, actually, the button presses are not it, it's more important that they have a certain set of views pinned front and center.

A bit of philosophical reasoning goes a long way to develop new signals: You have to spend time pondering what the problem really is and make sure you're building up a principled approach that addresses it in a broad, coherent way that informs the detailed decisions, and then get some confirmation that your principles work for the people you want to reach. Your customers will want to help, but you should expect to bear the brunt of this development effort too.

Many signals of engagement, interactions, purchasing patterns, etc. can be turned into numeric metrics and graphed. These make for good eye candy, but they tend to serve the internals of the business(e.g. cost reduction studies) better than the customers, who will still always proceed through their experience with the pass/fail model: "I didn't understand the documentation, so I gave up."

farcosailas08 3 months ago

Tons of research!

Many many interviews with target users and/or surveys before building MVPs.

After that, user tests to get feedback on the MVP.

It takes a lot of effort to find the right people but it's well worth it!

gitgud 3 months ago

I'm part of a small startup and we've found that most customers are happy to provide feedback and feel like they are helping craft the system with us.

One other thing we noticed is that people don't want to fill out surveys, and you can get much more insight by just sitting next to a person using the system.

As for signal/noise... try to keep the majority of users happy

mjwhansen 3 months ago

I’m giving an attendee talk on this at MicroConf in a few weeks! Y’all should come :)

expopinions 3 months ago

I will once again be a contrarian and suggest that focusing on need mentioned in a previous answer is barking up the wrong tree. To me, as a results driven marketer, that's an ineffective corporate-think mentality.

People buy based on emotions and justify their purchase decisions with logic.

When marketing, always sell to the want, never to the need.

For example: People need shampoo. What they really want is to have shinier, more full bodied, luxurious hair. What do they buy? Of course they buy not just shampoo that will get their hair clean, they buy shampoo marketed to appeal to their want, that promises to deliver the results they desire and make them sexier (at least in their own minds).

To discover wants, do keyword research on your product topic and explore the conversations around those keywords in forums, blogs and in various social media streams, as well as in the pages of the top listings for those keywords in the search engines.

Look for the emotional drivers that people are talking about around your potential product.

Also, simply ask large numbers of people what it is they want in a given product category. Post open ended questions on forums, blogs and in social media and accumulate and correlate the answers you receive.

You'll learn a great deal doing those two things and be better positioned to deliver a winner.

ceoddevelopment 3 months ago

I've had a hard time calbrating a single UI to use. I had endorse a ton of help and none of it endorsed for critique or design, they just started correcting me on shit they made up. It was ludicrous. How do you do it? Just let them be correcting over time. This was about 5 billion different tests, over loops. Cut for flavor not spice if its gonna flap for a judgement call on someghing you didnt experience. We all agreed no church design, fluid philosophy and ternary modes for the whole in case kids were watching while parents consume themselves a la reddit. Painstaking work to be on the disapproved side of it. How does one do it?

effxects 3 months ago

You need to target the right audience with platform limitations, your best bet is Google Ads, Search Ads for short-term growth where SEO is not available for business growth. I write about how to grow a business https://www.growth.services/

  • jdsully 3 months ago

    I fail to see how google ads will get you feedback on what users want. It’s a one way medium. And at its sky high prices it’s going to be an expensive experiment at that.