A simple, easy and fast way to find out the real needs of users

An easy way to find out the needs of your users.

Sorry for the clickbait headline, I couldn t help myself.

We need six weeks to research, do a lot of user surveys and observations. Too much data. Valuable information takes time and is expensive. Right?

Maybe. But not necessarily.

I have conducted hundreds of user surveys across different sectors, countries and many markets. For months I kept diaries, monitored users, and listened to countless support calls.

But I always return to the simplest research methods, I ask the question “why” (“why”) five times.

  1. Why are you buying a drill?

Drill a hole in the wall

  1. Why would you drill a hole?

To hang a picture

  1. Why would you hang a picture?

To decorate the daughter s room

  1. Why do you need to decorate your daughter s room?

Because my wife has to give birth in two weeks

(I could ask the question again, but I think we all know the answer)

We could stop at creating a product that makes holes in the walls, but the real value for the client is that we help them decorate the room quickly.

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Creating a product and building a business around it is a gap in the market, an opportunity that gives rise to innovation.

Drills are commoditized goods (generally available consumer goods). As well as wall fittings. As you descend the WHY ladder, you have more options. Selling a fully stocked set of children s furniture and fittings is something that many new parents might want to buy.

Try this method for your product. Ask your users. The answers you receive may surprise you.

True understanding of the problem and true innovation comes when you quickly find the source of the user s needs.

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