Product teams are often on a constantly iterative process, trying to develop and deliver products that address core needs in a customer’s user journey. However, in the process to push out products, teams might make some mistakes. Here are some product team mistakes that must be avoided.
Not differentiating the consumer from the user
On the surface, you might be thinking – what’s the difference? However, it’s important to remember that a consumer is someone who PURCHASES your product – but a user UTILIZES it. For example, let’s say you’re making filing software for hospitals. Here, the consumers are probably the members of the board that have the final say in the purchase process, but the users are those that use it on a daily basis - doctors, nurses and other staff. One of the biggest product team mistakes is prioritizing impressing the consumer over addressing the pain points of their users.
To avoid this, it is absolutely essential to understand whom you’re making the product for and their pain points before developing a product. Gathering continuous user feedback is critical during the development of the product. It is also important to test the product with real users so that you understand how they interact with it.
Not involving all the stakeholders
As we discussed previously, it is crucial to gather continuous user feedback while developing the product. However, it is equally important to keep your stakeholders in the loop for multiple reasons:
Gain buy-in and support: Stakeholders are typically decision-makers in an organization and can provide critical support and resources for the user research process. By involving stakeholders from the beginning, you can ensure that they understand the importance of user research and are more likely to support and fund it.
Avoid surprises: Sharing user research findings and insights with stakeholders can help avoid surprises later in the product development process. If stakeholders are aware of user needs, pain points, and preferences early on, they can help ensure that the final product meets those needs.
Foster collaboration: Involving stakeholders in the user research process can create a collaborative environment where everyone is working towards the same goal. By involving stakeholders in the research process, you can tap into their expertise and ensure that the final product meets both user needs and business goals.
Improve decision-making: User research can provide valuable insights that can inform business decisions. By sharing those insights with stakeholders, you can ensure that decisions are based on data rather than assumptions or opinions.
Overall, keeping stakeholders in the loop when conducting user research can help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals, and that the final product meets both user needs and business goals.
User research platforms like Affect UX can help you tag the relevant people in the team, and easily share and collaborate insights and reports with them so as to make better product decisions that are centred around users.
Wanting to build everything everywhere all at once
Michelle Yeoh might have a winner on her hands with this latest release – but not so much product developers who follow the same mantra. When creating a product, it’s not always necessary to build the perfect version – just the most functional version. A seamless minimum viable product that addresses the most basic needs of the customers is always preferable to a product that has all the bells and whistles but cannot pass basic usability tests.
To build a complex product with multiple features, conduct rapid user research frequently while building each new feature. This way, you get the time you need to develop each feature before its release and stop yourself from getting too overwhelmed by managing too many feature releases at once.
Not taking bias seriously
As humans, we often tend to have tunnel vision. Our experiences form the basis of our thoughts and assumptions, often impacting all aspects of our lives. However, assumptions, especially in research, can often lead to biased, incorrect results. Bias in user research can come from both the researchers as well as respondents.
Here are some ways in which bias can impact product development:
False assumptions: Bias in user research can lead to false assumptions about user behavior, preferences, and needs. This can lead to products that don't meet user needs and don't perform well in the market.
Limited perspectives: Bias can limit the perspectives and experiences represented in user research. This can lead to products that don't meet the needs of diverse users and may not be inclusive.
Missed opportunities: Bias can also lead to missed opportunities to identify and solve user needs. This can result in products that don't fully address user pain points or that miss out on important features or functionality.
Poor decision-making: If user research is biased, it can lead to poor decision-making in product development. This can result in products that don't meet user needs, are not user-friendly, or that fail to meet business goals.
Overall, bias in user research is one of the biggest product team mistakes and can have a significant impact on product development. It can lead to products that don't meet user needs, are not inclusive, and fail to meet business goals. To ensure that user research is unbiased, it's important to use diverse research methods, involve a range of participants, and be aware of potential biases and work to mitigate them.
With Affect UX’s proprietary Facial Coding and Eye Tracking technology, you can get unbiased insights into how your users really feel about the product. You can also get a deeper understanding of how your users interact with your product and identify areas of interest, as well as friction points. All of this can help you build a product that your users will love.