User insights are an invaluable resource for gaining insight into what users want from your business, how they experience your product or service, and what they need and desire. These insights offer real, informed feedback from those who use your product.
Put simply, user insights are your users’ truth. Other than helping you know what makes your users tick, they can also act as the catalyst for product innovation.
When businesses effectively use these insights, they can create better products and services that meet user expectations at every step of the way, helping them deliver superior user experiences and have real impact on business revenue.
Read on to learn more about how observing user behavior may be the key to making better product decisions.
1. Establish a Regular Feedback Loop Involving Users
More than 80% of all new products fail. Companies spend millions developing these products, yet so many of them fail. Why? One reason is that businesses still rely on guesswork and past data while building products.
By checking in regularly with users, you can avoid guesswork, focus on understanding what your users need, and build products that deliver value and that your users love to use. Establishing a regular feedback loop with your users minimizes the risk of failure and helps businesses make informed and data-backed decisions.
Even if that initial feedback is negative, it contains actionable insight that can help you make incremental changes and improve your product over time.
In 2007, Microsoft became blinded by its vision and ignored the benefits of gathering user insights. Microsoft launched Vista with a lot of hype, but the product failed to meet user expectations and received plenty of criticism upon launch.
Users complained about several issues – from lack of backward compatibility, to longer load times, to high system requirements, and even creating performance issues. Microsoft could have avoided this by investing in user research and focusing on the needs of its users.
2. User Insights Helps You Solve Real Problems for Your Users
Users can tell you their problems, but they can’t always tell you the best solution to solve those problems. We have all heard the famous quote from Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
The quote sums it all up. Users can’t always tell you the best solution to implement. However, they do know that they have a problem, which presents an opportunity ripe for innovation or disruption. And that’s where nuanced user insights can help.
Once you start gathering and leveraging deep user insights, you’ll find it easy to distinguish between what your users want and what they need. This, in turn, can help you come up with a better solution that is tailored to the needs of your users.
This deep understanding of your users allows you to create great products that not only serve your users’ needs but will also speak to their emotions and motivations.
3. User Insights Help You Make Objective Prioritization
There are so many good ideas, but just because an idea is good does not mean it will become successful. Why? Because an idea can be objectively great, but it may not be great for your users.
Google Wave is an example of this – it was released in 2010, with a lot of interest from the tech community. But within three months of its launch, it was declared a legacy product before being finally deleted in 2012.
What went wrong? Well, Wave was intended as a real-time collaborative platform – that brings all the functions from email to instant messaging to social networking together. But users did not like this mishmash of functions. Google could have avoided this mistake by doing an objective evaluation based on user insights.
This goes on to show that even successful products need to keep user feedback at the center of their product development Remember the voice and behavior of your current users are indispensable in understanding if your idea will meet your target user needs. By leveraging behavioral insights on your product or similar ones in the market you can objectively pick the ideas which are of real value to your users.
This way you can take friction and noise out of this process and pick the ideas that will drive growth and loyalty.
4. User Insights Reduce Friction
Have you ever faced a situation where your sales team is requesting one feature while your customer success team is requesting another one? We all have. When it comes to product features, every department has a different requirement. So how do you, as a product manager, prioritize?
The answer lies with your users. By knowing your users better than they know themselves, you understand their pain points and struggles, their motivations and goals. This will help you prioritize the feature that would add maximum value to your users.
In order to understand your users, you will need access to deep user insights. Wondering how to collect user insights? Well, the best way to get this golden information is through user interviews, user surveys, usability tests etc. Remember meaningful insights come from having deep and meaningful interactions with your users.
In short, reliable feature prioritization should start with user insights. Though it is easy for product managers to get lost in the features’ request, it is important to remember that it is the users who determine the fate of your product. So, listening to your actual users’ real words is not just good, but critical to the success of your product.
Collecting user feedback and generating meaningful insights from it is a crucial task. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t have a streamlined way to collect user feedback, and as a result, a lot of this intel gets lost. But remember fragmented user feedback can hurt your product’s success. Building products without a validated market fit or blindly prioritizing product features without leveraging deep user insights will not just cost you money but will also hurt your brand image adversely.
Armed with actionable user insights, you can work on improving your user experience, reduce friction and take data-backed product decisions, resulting in real impact on revenue. To learn more about how AffectUX can help you with this, get in touch with us to see our platform in action.