(From UX Salon’s Dec 20 2105 Skype interview with Tomer Sharon, link here.)
In preparing to write his new book, Validating Product Ideas through Lean User Research (order it at rosenfeldmedia), Tomer interviewed some 200 top startup folks to find out how they make product decisions and how they utilized user input to improve their products
He discovered 3 commonalities:
- They asked themselves good questions (yay!)
- They understood the priorities for answering those questions (great!)
- BUT they didn’t know how to answer those questions (whaaa?)
Virtually none of them had even considered any form of user validation testing or other form of user research
At best, they pitched their product to their friends and families and asked the frightening trio of non-helpful questions:
- Would you use it?
- Would you buy it?
- How much would you pay for it?
Lean user research isn’t usually done by actual researchers but by startup folks who don’t know what they are doing–that’s why Tomer wrote the book
Tomer focused on indirect user research–methods such as remote research–knowing that his audience wouldn’t effectively research in person since they don’t know how to mediate sessions etc
From his interviews, Tomer selected the most pervasive questions and wrote a chapter to answer each of them, with product managers and startup founders as his primary target audience
Tomer identified 3 main categories of questions
- What do users need?
- How do they solve the problem now?
- What is their current workflow to solve their problems?
- Do people want the product? (not the same question as above!)
- How do you evaluate your designs to make sure they solve for the questions above?
Homer hopes the book will be a resource for his audience to use over a period of time to answer specific questions
About Tomer Sharon (from uxsalon.com):
Tomer is Head of User Experience at WeWork in New York City leading a team that designs work and living spaces, communities, and services around the world. Formerly a senior user experience researcher at Google Search, Tomer is the author of the book, “Validating Product Ideas through Lean User Research” (2016) and author of, “It’s Our Research: Getting stakeholder buy-in for user experience research projects” (2012). He founded and led The Israeli Chapter of the User Experience Professionals’ Association and has been preaching and teaching UX at Google’s LaunchPad program, a bootcamp for early-stage startups around the world, in conferences, and at Treehouse and General Assembly. Tomer holds a master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. He is @tsharon on Twitter and Instagram.