Building a Product with Purpose: Lessons from our journey turned Into a business
As two tech and product enthusiasts, my co-founder and I wanted to create a business that truly mattered. We didn't want to fall into the trap of creating technology for technology's sake and then struggling to find a market and a product that made sense. Instead, we wanted to build something that aligned with our experiences in the digital world and created real value for users and businesses alike.
In this article, I'll dive into the lessons we learned from our journey and explore how we were able to build a product with purpose.
The Importance of User Research
We had previous experiences with failing to create products that truly resonated with users and businesses. We identified three key elements that led to these failures:
Strong Unvalidated Assumptions: We had strong assumptions about the market and users that turned out to be completely false. We didn't test these assumptions enough, which led to misguided product development.
Lack of Research: We made important decisions based on individual opinions and ignored the research. There was no business requirement for research, which meant it was easy to overlook.
Misaligned Goals: We didn't align our user research goals with our business goals.
We spent too much time on unimportant topics and not enough on crucial ones. We also did the mistake not consider Research as an activity that should serve a business.
In contrast to the academic setting, the goal of User Research in a business context is not to simply gain knowledge, but rather to minimize the risks associated with the product or service being developed.
To avoid making the same mistakes, we made sure that user research was a top priority from the very beginning of our new venture. We knew that we needed to deeply understand our users' needs and desires, as well as the market we were entering.
Our User Research Process:
We developed a tailored user research process that consisted of several steps:
Define Research Goals: We started by defining our research goals, making sure they were aligned with our business goals.
Recruit Participants: We recruited participants who represented our target audience, ensuring that we had a diverse range of personas and backgrounds.
Conduct Interviews: We conducted interviews, asking open-ended questions and encouraging participants to share real life experiences, leading us to story map our customer journey by persona.
Analyze Data: We analyzed the data using Ween.ai looking for patterns and themes that emerged from the interviews.
Share insights and important user quotes all along the way to create alignement, trust empathy on the findings. Usually I conducted interviews and shared with Leonardo (the CTO) those important moments.
Synthesize Findings: We synthesized our findings, distilling the most important insights and presenting them to the team. These insights were a treasure trove when we hired our first Product Designer.
Iterate: We used the insights from our research to inform our product development process, iterating on features and designs and testing as well ideas as we did with problems.
Building a product with purpose requires a deep understanding of your users and the market you're entering. By prioritizing user research and developing a research process, we avoided some mistakes but for sure we still had biases, made mistakes and concluded too fast on some assumptions.