Questions Tell the Truth.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thanks, sean dreilinger for the photo
When you first interact with a product, what are the questions you wish you could ask?

Last night, my husband attempted to put together a baby crib.  I'm sure the questions came first in his head, stuff like, "really, this much foam that breaks apart all over the floor I vacuumed?"  Then he began to verbalize the questions.  "So, this really looks like two of the same side...isn't there supposed to be one left and one right side?"  While the experience was frustrating, and we do in fact have two left sides instead of one left and one right after all, it occurred to me that each of his questions revealed something about the user experience with this product.

So, here's an online or offline activity application for a new product launch:
Ship the product and offline journal or online study instructions to respondents in the manner that it would be shipped.  If folks would typically buy the product in a store, have them head to the store to pick it up.  Have them record each question that occurs to them, even if it is rhetorical, at each stage of the process, from purchase (or even at first experiencing any available marketing) to disposal (if relevant.)  Each of the questions they ask should point to something that needs work.
Mining CRM or social media data for questions that folks are asking about your product could do the same thing.

We're used to asking questions.  Instead, sometimes we need to listen to the questions being asked.

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