10 User Need Traps

10 User Need Traps

#ProductOperations #CustomerResearch #Marketing


Bad product experience is everywhere on the Internet. Some products are useless products at all, some products may not work properly, some products may be too difficult to operate, and some products are actually a "pseudo-demand" product. No one will download and use it at all. In order to create a successful product and avoid some of the mistakes made during the requirements research phase, product managers need to take a look at the following ten user requirements traps.


1. Find needs for creating concepts

A few years ago, a "shared maza" project appeared on the streets of Beijing. A company put a batch of maza at the bus station, and users only need to scan the code to use it for free. As soon as the project was launched, it attracted heated discussions. Some people said that it was hyping the concept of the sharing economy. Because there was no manual supervision, it was possible to sit without scanning the QR code. Moreover, the usage scenarios of this product are also quite strange. Do you want users to use it while waiting for the bus or to use it on the bus? A curious netizen verified the service, and after scanning the QR code on the Maza, it was actually a public account, and there was no need to pay. The company said they surveyed that the per capita public seat in Beijing is only 0.05, so they launched a "shared maza" service. Such a project is typically to create a concept in order to catch up with the capital boom, and to find a data-supported demand for this concept. The actual benefits can be imagined.


2. Understand user needs and product needs

When it comes to product usage, the user is always right. Therefore, the user defines what functions the product needs to do, and the development team should develop the product according to the user's needs.

The requirements document written by the product manager must pass the technical review. In many cases, after analyzing the user requirements, the product manager will often do some technical implementation problems, interactive experience problems and other factors in the process of converting it into a product document. Deleting, this is prone to problems. Of course, the product manager can't make any changes and adjustments at all. It is very easy to make a failed product, a product with no scalability, and a product with many functions that cannot be reused, thus wasting a lot of development resources.

Product managers are responsible for defining the right product. Product managers must deeply understand the needs of the target market and target users, and then strive to combine what is possible with what is ideal to create products that can meet the needs of users.


3. Confuse innovation with creating value

Innovation without a clear goal can only be regarded as a technical solution to a problem. Technology research and development that does not know the needs of users is worthless. Innovation meets customer needs, regardless of the technology that implements it. In other words, the most important ability of a product manager is not imagination, but creativity. Product managers are not there to find a solution, they are there to provide value.

There are a lot of these products on the internet today, and they don't necessarily solve a real problem or provide a better solution than others. It may just be that the product manager thinks that a competitor has made a product, and they have to make another. Maybe they can accept mediocrity. However, product managers have a clear vision and product strategy. Breakthrough products are possible by using your products regularly and being able to come up with innovative solutions to very real problems.


4. Empathy, take your own needs as user needs

When Tencent is making products, there is a saying called "become a fool in 1 second", which is a way to experience the product, the purpose is to eliminate some conclusions or ideas preset by the product manager. If you can't do it, it doesn't matter, you can find other colleagues or security guards, cleaning staff can achieve similar user research purposes. But many people get it wrong, thinking that they can think in a different position, put forward some user opinions, and imagine themselves as target customers. This is very dangerous. This kind of empathy can have many negative consequences. Product managers cannot represent users. They can propose a new user story and see if they can find similar user stories according to the user role division method.

The product manager is already very familiar with the product when designing the product, so when doing a lot of experience, the perspective of observation is already different from that of ordinary users, just like many people have watched suspense and reasoning movies once, and then watch the same movie again. The answer was already known at the time of the movie.

Many product managers not only have strong communication and expression skills, but are also strong in persuading people. It is often easy to regard your own needs as the needs of users. In many cases, product managers may not find the characteristics of target users, or do not fully conduct user research when doing some to B business, or the products they are working on have no competitor's products to refer to. At these times, it is easy to regard your own needs as the needs of users. It's dangerous.


5. Desperately want to do features that are not fulfilled by competitors

Products need to be differentiated, but they cannot be differentiated for the sake of differentiation. Users may choose your product because it has some differentiated features. But that's not necessarily the value the product itself is supposed to provide, or it doesn't represent the full value. Differentiated functions and even technology patents cannot constitute long-term core competitiveness, and competitors always have a way to bypass them.

A good product provides value and is good for the user, rather than providing some functionality to the user. A good product must be clearly positioned, simple to use, and offer a compelling value proposition. Product managers must have a deep understanding of the target market and target users, and product managers must help users solve a real problem.

There are several reasons for not having a clear value proposition, the most common being that the product does not address a sufficiently important problem. Some products may use leading technology or have a good user experience, but these products are not very useful to users. If you can't explain what your product is in a minute in front of your users, you're doing too much.


6. Promote without thinking clearly, wrong causality

A good product must be used by users first. If users have not used it yet, it will be hard to promote it in a hurry, and it will be difficult to succeed in the end. This is not to say that promotion is not important, but that you may get the causal relationship wrong at the demand stage, and no matter how much promotion you do, it may not help. For example, a company that operates express cabinets plans to subsidize 100 million yuan for a large-scale marketing campaign to promote its express cabinet business and allow more couriers to use their products. I believe that many people in first-tier big cities have experienced the express cabinet business, and many communities or office buildings have express cabinets. After having the express cabinet, the courier can directly put the express in the express cabinet, and the system will send a text message to remind the recipient, which greatly saves the delivery time. After preliminary data analysis, the company believes that the current cabinet vacancy rate is high and the turnover rate is relatively low, and there are still many couriers in the tens of millions of courier groups who have not used express cabinet products. More couriers use the product. Here is the mistake of causality confusion.

First of all, the express cabinet business is nothing new for couriers; secondly, the courier needs to pay for the use of express cabinets, not free delivery. Therefore, the correct description of this phenomenon is "the courier saw the express cabinet of a certain company, but did not use it for some reason." The correct way should be to find the reason, whether it is the high cost of using the express cabinet or the problem of the product function of the express cabinet.

On the contrary, the way to do marketing is to get the causal relationship wrong and think "because the courier doesn't use the product, so we do a marketing campaign to get the courier to use the courier cabinet", which is like "I work very tired every day, so I need to Sleep more", it seems that sleep can really relieve fatigue, but the real reason should be thinking about what you do every day to get tired.

If the causal relationship is mistaken in the requirements stage, then many product features will not solve the fundamental problem.


7. Catch up with competitors and treat increased demand as an optimized product

You go to any start-up internet company now, and their employees are almost all working crazy overtime, and every product team is racing like crazy, hoping to be a little better than the competition. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of entrepreneurial spirit, but if a product team hopes to outshine the competition with a bunch of new features that end up getting customers to download or buy it, it’s doing it wrong.

A product adds new features that may not contribute as much to the value of the product. You can try:

A sales consultant might tell you: "Users love product A, and users really need to do something like product A."
An operations manager might say, "We need to add X and Y capabilities now because our competitors are crushing us."
Your boss may say, "Look at how good the experience of other products is, and look at our product is very simple, there is no function."
When discussing product requirements in a company meeting, we often hear similar product demand suggestions, and more often we follow competitors, rather than based on our own user needs, product positioning, product data, product research and development capabilities and other factors. to consider.

Product managers may have a long list of requirements at work, and they are all these kinds of problems. They are not solving potential problems (such as product usability or product value), they may just add some features, just complete a certain problem. personal KPIs. Adding features often increases problems, because adding features tends to increase the complexity of the product, making the product less usable and easier to use. Excellent product teams continuously improve products and pay more attention to user experience and user value.


8. The difference between a perfect product and a releaseable product

Product managers cannot pursue product perfection too much, nor can they plan a super big function. They should pay attention to product version planning and product release rhythm control.

Google once put forward a concept of "forever beta version", which means that it is suggested that everyone should not pursue a perfect product. Because most Internet products are "operational" products, not "delivery" products like traditional software, even if your company develops products with the most complete functions and the best experience, if the time window is missed , user habits have changed, or your company does not have good product distribution and sales channels, or your company does not provide reasonable support for subsequent product operations, then this product will not be able to gain the influence you hoped for.


9. Emphasize innovation beyond user value

A good product is best at giving users what they want, rather than trying to change their behavior. Don't try to easily lead the user's needs. The rapid development of technology brings many opportunities for innovation, but if innovation lacks focus, the joint efforts of development teams may be in vain, and may even be reinventing the wheel.

For product managers, success depends on your ability to deliver what users want, not on who is more innovative. There are many products on the market with simple user experience and traditional marketing campaigns, but they can be successful, on the contrary, many innovative products are mostly short-lived. The reason is whether the product provides user value, not whether the product is innovative.


10. End with product launch

Some product managers look at competitors with an "I have this" mentality, and end with product releases, thinking that if they launch a product with the most complete features, they can win users. In fact, the success criteria of a product is not to be released on time, not to be fully functional, not to get good reviews from the media, and not to have a lot of new users sign up. While these are all good things, these accomplishments don't meet the end goal—customers get better with your product.

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