Most people think that User Experience is just finding the best solution for your end users. It's not. UX is about defining the problem that needs to be solved, who it needs to be solved for and how it should be solved. Most startups, however, strive forward without this information and start building something for someone to solve nothing.
Tech startups always have programmers on the team, always ready to get building. Yet a very small percentage have a UX designer on staff. Developing a product with no strategy, no 'why are we making this' and 'who is it for' is a huge startup killer.
The pressure for startups is understandable: Get a product out there, have something built to show and the investment will come. It is true that VCs want something tangible to demo. They also want to see a justifiable need for your product from a definable demographic.
Start with these questions and have a much greater chance of going on to have a long lasting successful product with loyal user base:
- What problem are you trying to solve? (NOT what product are we trying to build)
- Who is the customer?
- Why does your product solve this customer's problem?
- How big a problem is this for the user?
Now the last one is a super important one, and can often be skimmed over. Many things are a frustration, but how big that pain point is can be key to the need of your users and therefore the retention of your customers. Prioritization is key within successful UX, and ensuring the problem is a truly important want for your customer to resolve is vital.
How to Identify a Winner Problem
Are your potential users expressing frustration? Can you see an emotional level of frustration from your potential customers when they talk about this problem?
Are people spending money to avoid or reduce the problem? This might be money on relevant consultants if no tools are available at all, or money on existing software that should, in theory, solve their issue, but is still causing them frustration.
Are your future customers taking action already? Actions definitely speak louder than words. Are people creating their own little hacks to solve the issue? Maybe they are using other software totally not suited to the problem and trying to 'make do' to resolve their problem right now.
Startups, don't forget your UX. Your entire business strategy and successful product depends on it. Get UX help where you need it and ensure you are building a product people need and want.
Get in touch if you want to chat more about your UX strategy.