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Ask users for their problems, not solutions or opinions

·2 mins
  • You want to solve X.
  • You have ideas about how to solve X.
  • Lets say you have ideas A, B and C.
  • Your hunch is, that idea A is the perfect solution.

  • Now, just to confirm this with users, you run a round of user research to test A.
  • User research reveals that A solves X very well.
  • However, users did not care about X.
  • They did not need a solution for X.
  • X was never a problem that needed solving.
  • Users actually needed a solution for Y.

  • But the way users tell you about Y is via a passing remark.
  • May be a comment about what they tend to do at home.
  • If you listened closely, you’ll pick it up.
  • You’ll ask the user more about what they meant.
  • You’ll discover the underlying reason behind X. Y might be the reason.

  • Now you home onto Y. Because user research worked.
  • You’ll still try ideas D, E and F (with E being your favourite, this time).
  • And validate them with user research.
  • But the most valuable outcome is already here.
  • You were solving the wrong problem. Users told you so.

  • And users might like idea F, with all their heart. Or they might present idea G.
  • Don’t listen to them.
  • It’s just opinions. Your own opinion is as valid as theirs.
  • Focus on solving Y.
  • Just gain clarity around Y as you talk to more users.
  • That’s why, ask users for their problems, not solutions or opinions.