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What is the best way to get feedback to validate problems?

5 Answers
Puja Hait
Puja Hait
Google Group Product ManagerSeptember 14

I would say there is no substitute to real user data.  

User research is table-stakes. But in my experience, not always representative of "actual" usage, so don't overindex on specifics. Rather validate if the problem statement is indeed important for the user segments. Because if it is, then they might be more patient with your iterations towards solving their needs. Else they are very likely to abandon very early on and never return. A good way to test is whether they are willing to pay for the solution.

Paper mocks UXR is helpful once you have narrowed themes and want to develop MVP scope. 

Then go build MVP and ship to a small user segment to learn and iterate. This step is the journey. 

Scale up only when you see hockey sticks for atleast one feature. Also retention loops should be naturally showing up by then.

3908 Views
Ashka Vakil
Ashka Vakil
strongDM Sr. Director, Product ManagementMay 3

Getting feedback is a great way to validate the problem and make sure you are tackling a pervasive problem. Make sure you have a clear and concise articulation of the problem and who your target audience is. There are many different ways to get feedback; listing a few here.

  1. Conduct a survey - This is a great way to get feedback quickly from a large group of your target persona. It is very easy to create a survey using google forms, survey monkey, and Intercom to validate the problem. When creating a survey, make sure it is easy and quick for someone to respond to the survey. You can add incentives like gift cards or raffle drawn to get more folks to respond. While surveys can help you reach your target persona with minimum effort, employing surveys by themselves is not very effective at validating problems. You should combine surveys with 1-1 interviews.

  2. Conduct interviews - Interviews are a great way to get personalized feedback from your target audience. You can conduct interviews online or in person; depending on who your target audience is. Some of the scrappy ways I have reached out to my target audience to get interviews is via LinkedIn inMail, DMs on Twitter and even setting up a table at a cafeteria.

  3. Prototype Testing - Create a prototype of the solution and use that to validate the problem and solution with the target audience. Platforms like UserTesting and sagetap can be used to conduct testing.

  4. Social Media - You can gather feedback on problems by running polls or posting questions on social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, and relevant Facebook groups, public Slack, Discord to name a few. You can also publish a blog on Medium with the thought leadership to get feedback.

  5. Competitive Research - Reviewing competitive product's collateral - data sheet, solution brief, case studies

  6. Current Customers - If you have a product already that has customers and a set of target personas, you can leverage existing customer relationships to get feedback about the problem.

  7. For Enterprise products, you can get validation at relevant tech conferences as well as by reading analyst reports. You can also pay for analyst time and get a conversation with them to get validation for your problem, market size, etc.

Using a multi-pronged approach to gather feedback is important to get a good understanding of your target persona's pain points and needs.

411 Views
Hiral Shah
Hiral Shah
DocuSign Director of Product ManagementMarch 31

There are a lot of ways to gather feedback about a problem and build conviction around them, and all of them involve talking to your potential target customers. For this partnering with a designer/user researcher helps a ton. In our company, we think of PMs, Designers and Engineering Lead as three legs of the same stool so everyone is talking to customers to learn about their needs. If you are an early-stage startup you have to do this yourself. You should incorporate several of the below methods while validating

  1. Conducting 1-1 user research: Understand the depth of the pain point 
  2. Focus groups: Focus groups are a great way to gather feedback from a diverse group of people. You can organize a group of people who fit your target audience and facilitate a discussion around the problem you are trying to solve.
  3. Surveys: Surveys are efficient ways to collect feedback from a large audience
  4. Solicit feedback from friends through social media
  5. Run some landing page tests: Here you are giving a landing page to talk about the product you building and create an email list or waitlist. You are not building the product yet. 

497 Views
Pavan Kumar
Pavan Kumar
Gainsight Group Product ManagerJune 29

Obtaining feedback to validate problems and challenges is crucial for product development.

Here are some methods I usually employ for gathering feedback and validating assumptions:

  1. User Interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with potential users or target customers. Ask open-ended questions to understand their pain points, challenges, and needs. Probe deeper to uncover specific problems they face and evaluate whether your product idea addresses those issues.

  2. Surveys and Questionnaires: Design surveys or questionnaires to gather feedback at scale. Use tools like online survey platforms to reach a wider audience. Craft targeted questions to validate assumptions, gauge interest, and understand the relevance of your product idea to potential users.

  3. Prototyping and User Testing: Create prototypes or minimum viable products (MVPs) to gather hands-on feedback. Conduct user testing sessions where participants interact with your prototype and provide feedback on its usability, features, and overall experience. Observing user behavior and gathering real-time feedback can help validate assumptions and identify areas for improvement.

  4. Focus Groups: Organize focus groups with a small group of individuals who represent your target audience. Facilitate discussions around their pain points, challenges, and needs related to the problem your product aims to solve. Encourage open dialogue and note their feedback, insights, and suggestions.

  5. Online Communities and Forums: Engage with online communities, forums, or social media groups where your target audience congregates. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and seek feedback. These platforms provide opportunities to interact directly with potential users, gain insights, and validate assumptions.

  6. Early Adopter / Beta Programs: Offer a limited release or early access program to a select group of users who are willing to provide feedback and insights. This allows you to gather feedback from users who are genuinely interested in your product and are more likely to provide valuable insights.

  7. Analytics and User Behavior Tracking: Implement analytics tools within your product to collect quantitative data on user behavior, usage patterns, and engagement metrics. Analyzing this data can provide insights into user preferences, pain points, and areas of improvement.

It's essential to listen actively, keep an open mind, and critically evaluate the feedback received. Look for common themes or patterns that emerge from multiple sources of feedback, and use the insights gained to iterate and refine your product idea accordingly.

372 Views
Sharad Goel
Sharad Goel
Homebase VP Product & DesignAugust 3

Talk to your customers. You should have a rhythm where every week/2 weeks you're talking to X customers. This will help you continuously evolve and solidify your understanding of the problems to solve.

427 Views
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