How to use user interviews and product analytics

google play store app search keyword

Combining product analytics and person interviews for product improvement will not be precisely a novel strategy, however what I’ve discovered is that selecting when to make use of which methodology, and how one can make sense of all the info you get, could be the true key to success.

Beneath are a few of my finest practices on wielding these two instruments collectively, with slightly added steerage on avoiding frequent misfires.

Why use each person interviews and product analytics?

To get into how one can stability product analytics with person suggestions, I’ll begin with a bit extra on why I, wonky Mixpanel man, believes each are essential.

It’s a product staff’s job to know buyer ache factors and establish alternatives to unravel them, and the 2 data-gathering strategies we’re speaking about typically assist in these processes in several—and complementary—methods. Consumer interviews are finest for deep-diving into an issue with a buyer. You get to ask questions and observe each their responses and their actions. Product analytics, however, is  person behavioral patterns in combination.

Each strategies can establish indicators for what issues exist in a buyer journey, whereas analytics can assist you resolve which issues to prioritize and interviews are uniquely suited to collect concepts of why one thing is an issue for a person.

The “circulate state” of person interviews and analytics for solution-building

The identical form of mixture of person interviews and analytics used to get your product drawback speculation can typically lead you to an answer speculation. From there, if you wish to seize a fast sense of whether or not the answer speculation is directionally appropriate earlier than you truly construct the answer, person interviews are your pal. Very often, our design staff members would construct a fast Figma prototype with 1-3 choices and get some customers to stroll by way of the prototype whereas doing duties.

It’s not sustainable to depend on product analytics at this stage; you’d nonetheless need to construct some variation of an MVP, which regularly takes extra time than Figma prototypes and calls.

However analytics come within the subsequent stage. Let’s say that you just’ve rolled out an answer speculation into your reside product and wish to know whether or not that has solved the issue you had been seeking to clear up. Once more, it’s a must to depend on analytics to get that combination view.

In a phrase: Consumer interviews present you what customers say they’ll do (and what they expertise), however product analytics seize what customers truly do.

So, you want each. First one, after which the opposite, after which the opposite once more… and so forth.

What to be careful for when utilizing each strategies

Alright, alright, you get it: Together with each person interviews and product analytics collectively is necessary. However what are a number of the ways in which folks get issues fallacious?

Setting your self up for evaluation paralysis

A problem I typically see prospects run into stems from one thing I’ve been typically responsible of as a product lead: pulling in too many metrics and making a number of pivots on a specific metric to make my choices.

It’s tempting to slice and cube the info in that “good” approach, or to substitute one metric for an additional once you’re not getting the readability you thought you’d get.

As I discussed above, you do want a number of metrics to make strategic choices. However be cognizant of pulling too many in. (Simply how many relies on your required final result—I’m comfortable to speak.)

To keep away from evaluation paralysis when utilizing each person interviews and product analytics, be clear about which strategy offers you one of the best perception for every stage of your product-centered drawback fixing. (The chart above will assist.)

  • What drawback? Give attention to person interviews and validate with analytics.
  • What’s the precedence? Use product analytics to find out which issues recognized by customers are skilled by probably the most quantity of customers, prioritize from there.
  • Why is it an issue? It is a qualitative (however necessary) step, validated by deep person interviews.
  • What’s the attainable answer? Once more, you’ll want qualitative suggestions from customers to establish potential options, except you wish to construct out MVPs.
  • Did the replace clear up the issue? After you construct, the one solution to combination the person response is thru product analytics.

Specializing in self-importance metrics

Need to make sure that your person analysis or analytics come again to point out zero issues in your product? One (not advisable) approach I’ve seen product managers guarantee this occurs is by fixating on metrics that make them look actually good—versus metrics tied to precise buyer worth. There’s a identified phrase for these measurements, from demand advertising and marketing to product analytics: self-importance metrics.

For instance: Yelp would possibly get excited concerning the variety of app downloads, however simply getting a bunch of app downloads doesn’t make for a real worth trade. As a substitute, Yelp wants to mix that metric with the variety of activations, the variety of opinions left, reservations made, and so forth. (Keep in mind after I stated product analytics allow you to take an combination view? The identical goes for portray an even bigger image throughout metrics.)

The excellent news is you possibly can give attention to actionable metrics from each person interviews and product analytics. The dangerous information is it’s straightforward to resort to self-importance metrics in each approaches, too. To keep away from self-importance metrics in person interviews, open-ended questions work nicely. To keep away from them in analytics, give attention to the prioritization of your problem-solving and whether or not or not your adjustments solved the issue.

Getting led to counterproductive metrics

Whereas self-importance metrics could be a assemble of a product staff (of which they need to know higher to keep away from), there’s additionally no scarcity of mirage metrics that your interview or analytics information can lead you to for those who’re not vigilant.

Story time: Throughout British rule in India, the British authorities was nervous about what number of cobras in Delhi. Naturally, they began providing a bounty for useless cobras.

On the outset, it appeared like a hit: An enormous quantity of venomous snakes had been killed. However what the British authorities didn’t understand is that folks had began breeding cobras so as to acquire the reward. This system was scrapped as soon as they discovered, however then the cobra inhabitants elevated dramatically because the breeders began setting their snakes free.

It is a basic instance of getting the correct intention, however having a first-blush have a look at an issue speculation, answer speculation, and early ensuing information result in the fallacious metric. It created misaligned incentives, which in flip created the fallacious final result.

Choosing the right metrics, aligned with incentives and outcomes, is hard. However I like to recommend maintaining two issues in thoughts:

  1. Ensure you’re not fascinated with too many metrics collectively (see evaluation paralysis above).
  2. Vet out the “second order” results of the metrics you select by way of interviews and analytics for those who can. Make certain, just like the cobra impact, you aren’t setting your self up with misaligned incentives.

Bringing all of it along with a spotlight metric

One of the crucial necessary items of bringing collectively each person interviews and product analytics is to select a spotlight metric which you can maintain coming again to.

There’s a cause most groups name this the North Star metric: It’s the metric that’s purported to be predictive of your organization’s long-term success. It’s the metric that aligns completely different groups alongside each the strategic and tactical entrance. And (bringing this all again to the start) it’s the metric that captures the true worth your prospects are getting from the product.

For Netflix and YouTube, it may very well be time spent watching movies. For Dropbox and Google Drive, it may very well be the variety of recordsdata saved.

For Mixpanel, it’s the variety of studying actions (like a segmentation) {that a} person runs every week. We tweak and make fixes, but when an replace doesn’t feed into that focus metric, it doesn’t matter whether or not we acquired validation from person interviews or analytics.

All of that’s to say: Should you’re nervous about balancing person interviews and product analytics, err on the facet of bringing your measurement again to the worth your product provides your prospects.

That strategy will make sure you’re using each instruments in one of the best methods attainable and avoiding a lot of pitfalls, from self-importance metrics to untimely celebrations.

Leave a Reply