I’ve spent a bit of time this fall seeking feedback on the products on which I work. That experience has taught me that getting feedback from the people who use your products can be invaluable.
Feedback answers questions and often raises more questions at the same time. A lot of the effectiveness of feedback depends a great deal on how you collect the feedback and what you do with it.
I’m still learning the best way to seek out feedback and use it my product management activities, so I thought I’d share some resources that I found helpful to guide my ongoing efforts to understand the people who buy and use my products and to effectively use that information.
Hopefully these resources help you as well.
Product Ownership Challenges
While we’re talking about feedback, I want to make sure I’m writing about topics you are interested in. To help me hone in on your topics of interest, please tell me about your biggest product ownership challenges.
Researching User Research
PM Insider surveyed product people from more than 100 tech organizations across the United States about their user research demands and practice. Some of their findings include:
- Usability testing, interviewing, and surveying appear to be the three most commonly practiced user research methods today. (I’ve used two of the three this fall)
- Product managers don’t share the results of their user research as much as they should, missing out on the opportunity to build stronger shared understanding.
- Product people in business to consumer (B2C) organizations do more user research and understand their users better than product people do in business to business (B2B) organizations.
- We found some indications that Bay Area tech organizations and product people value user research more than their colleagues do in other geographies.
Don’t (just) listen to your customers
Even though interviews, surveys and usability testing are the three most commonly used user research methods doesn’t mean that they are the most effective. People don’t always actually do what they say they will do. You need to supplement your interviews and surveys with actual data based on behavior.
Strategies for Effectively Handling Customer Feedback
You certainly want to be effective when you collect feedback from the people who use your product. You also want to make sure you handle that feedback effectively. Product plan held a webinar recently where they described how they handle customer feedback.
Why Good UI/UX is Vital for the Success of Your Product
A key aspect of addressing customer and user feedback is ensuring your product has a good user experience and user interface. Those terms often get thrown around alot in conjunction with each other, but they are not the same thing.
UX is User Experience which is simply the feeling grabbed by a user. This term encompasses the end-user’s interaction with the services and products of a company. On the other hand UI stands for User Interface refers to the combination of the elements and approaches used for the creation of the desired UX.
How to Manage Stakeholder Expectations for Your Product
One of the reasons you seek feedback is to clear up the uncertainties that exist around your product. The presence of those uncertainties and the need to do some work to clear them up means that you often face the delicate balancing act of managing your stakeholder’s expectations.
You want them to be optimistic about your product so that they’ll support your efforts, but you don’t want those expectations to be so out of whack that they are really disappointed when you find out your product isn’t as successful as everyone had hoped.
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Talk to you next week,
Kent J. McDonald