However good our ideas are, we do have to admit that we have no proof - that is the hard part. If you don’t admit that uncertainty is at its maximum at the beginning, you’re going to go off and implement something that nobody wants.
The first step is to figure out whether the problem you are trying to solve is a real one that actually needs solving.
Your best option is to adress potential users directly, focusing on getting qualitative validation of your product idea. At this stage, you want to ask open-ended questions and listen and learn from user responses.
Start with a smaller number of representative users and verify that the problem exists for them. Later, we will carry out more sophisticated experiments on users on a greater scale by trying to provoke and validate wanted behavior in users.
Your initial learnings at this stage will provide confidence to move your idea forward – or teach you that you will need to pivot your iedea as come to understand the real underlying problems.
Asking for opinions, you get opinions. People have opinions on everything, and those opinions doesn’t necessarily reflect what people are actually doing in the real world.
Questions like “Would you…” or “Do you think…” are not ideal ways to start a customer discovery interview.
It’s better to ask for facts.
Questions like “When was the last time you googled…” or “Tell me about a time when you…” shows whether they thought about the proble before you triggered them. If you ask “Would you” or “Do you think”, people will very likely answer positively – with their opinions.
The following question openers help respondents refer to a concrete instance:
You want to aim for collecting facts and concrete instances when you ask.
You do not want to focus on the solution. Taking a starting point in the solution – a future implementation of the idea you have ind mind – will be framing the conversation around what you think is important. Not what is important for your potential users.
Asking whether a particular feature would solve a user problem might give you positive acknowledgements in return. However, asking about a particular feature will not answer whether that feature would solve the user’s most important problem.
Blog publicly about what you're doing
Survey specific performed behaviors and habits in potential customers
Gauge interest from prospects with whom you have no prior contact
Before testing commitment, test comprehension.
Personally deliver your service to test product satisfaction
Interview and observe users while working in their own environment
Fundraise for product development or production
Obtain input to a project from a large group of undefined people
Listen in on customer service to understand user problems firsthand
Arrange a live event to gauge customer interest
Pretend to provide a product or feature without actually developing it
Verify that manual implementations exist for what you plan to automate
Seek out where prospects gather for informal face-to-face validation
If you cannot find five, your market is too small or too hard to reach
Test what users recall after just brief exposure
Ask a group of selected participants about their opinions and preferences
Discover what frustrations and problems users are actively looking to solve
Iterate your product with customers on-site
Dive into the frustrations and praise of your own or competing apps
Conduct many unmoderated tests fast and in parallel
Sell your future feature before implementing it
Use pre-defined questions to discover alignments and trade-offs