"You’re Almost Always Wrong About Your Users"
Gut instincts will only get you so far!
Once you’ve launched your mobile app, website or a SaaS product into a new market, you’ll need to understand who visits your website, how they access it and what they do when there.
From Microsoft’s colossal failures of Vista and Zune to Coca Cola’s New Coke or even choosing the modal popup for email marketing on your website, product failures and debacles only emphasizes that studying user behavior matters and helps to gain you the decision-making power.
Accurate user-behavior insights require due diligence to understand your customers, their interests and desires to give you a solid foundation on which to build great products.
Fundamental Principles of User Behavior
In today’s competitive market, errors of judgement in product engineering and development can be fatal and consumers are unforgiving. So how do you as a startup ISV or SMB make sure that you play the right strokes and not get bowled out. There’s no denying that the more you know about your users, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart choices about your website, mobile app or SaaS application development. Here are 5 overarching aspects in user behavior that hold relevant for entire spectrum, from mobile apps to websites to SaaS service or products.
The Product Should Be Useful And Solve An Existing Problem
Every product must have a purpose! Does it solve an existing real-world problem than most other services? It should help user accomplish task faster, deliver a personalized and relevant experience and wow them everywhere each time they interact with the product.
People are lazy and choose the path of least resistance so you must show the value of your product upfront quickly. If your product, website or mobile is not able to solve a pain-point, help people do something better or even add value to your customer’s life, it’s less likely to succeed. Think Netflix, Amazon Prime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Pixlr, Buzzsumo, Basecamp, Asana or Slack, each helps their user address a pain-point and solve existing problem better than they were being solved.
User Interaction, Usability Testing & Analytics – Decoding Why They Do What They Do
For users, the product and experience are the same. Every interaction matters and has the potential to make the product smarter. Therefore, understanding user interactions is really helpful when you’re in the initial stages of the product lifecycle stage, entering a new market or are a startup ISV because it reflects the needs and interests of users.
Therefore, usability testing together with analytics helps you understand your app/ website’s users, identify trends and patterns of your users to get the big picture. While analytics gives you information on how people are using your website, mobile app or SaaS based product, usability testing teaches you the experience, that users have while trying to achieve their goals on your product. Tools like usabilityhub, MixPanel, Localytics, CleverTap are a great way to monitor popular usability metrics that include Load Time, Bounce Rate, Navigation, Sessions, Session Length, and checkout abandonments and analyze interactions across the consumer path.
Collect User Feedback:
No matter what you’ve planned, you’re almost always wrong about your customers because people often behave in unexpected ways. People don’t have the patience and if the answers are not apparent, they will either give up or look elsewhere. Aggregate customer feedback from multiple sources – whether digital analytics data, offline data, CRM data, campaign data, or third-party data for comprehensive feedback offer a comprehensive view.
For instance, Google noticed that people were quickly running out of storage on their phones and were unaware that Google Photos could help them free up space. So, with customers feedback they moved the ‘Free My Space’ feature buried deep in settings to a more prominent spot on the app, thus increasing the usage of the app and also driving more installs.
With shorter attention span, the pursuit to attract and retain attention demands even more efforts. Especially in the initial product life cycle stage when you don’t have enough data, a great way to understand the mindset of customers is to collect user feedback to get an insight into how they’re using your app, website or service.
So, how do you get users to do what you want them to do?
No matter how much effort you put into an amazing new app or a slick landing page, you may still face low retention and fewer user engagement just because you failed to interpret their behavior, grab their attention, influence decisions, and gradually make your service/ product a habit.
Successful products require that you know your audience’s user behavior and invest time to create memorable experiences. So, when people understand and use your product enough, they share their positive reviews with others and they become your brand advocates, that’s a huge win.