Designing Successful Products & How to Listen to Your Customers

Designing Successful Products & How to Listen to Your Customers

Held: 12th December 2016

Venue: MakerHive Hong Kong

If you want to accomplish remarkable success on crowdfunding channels, you're going to want to take a page out of Native Union's book. The brand was able to raise more than $900,000 for their new product, and they shared their secrets with the Hong Kong chapter of Hardware Massive.

This two-part speaking engagement featured not only Fabien Nauroy, the head of design at Native Union, who spoke on how to make a great product, but also Jeffrey Broer, the founder of Kophy Ventures, who has years of experience advising startups preparing for the investment stage. 

To View the Second Video Go Here

Key Takeaways

1) What is the biggest problem I can solve for you?

If you’re still in the planning stages of your hardware or startup, this is the question that you need to be asking throughout the various stages of your research. What problem can you solve for your hardware users? You can find this out through interviews, polls, etc. This type of research is crucial, because if you just give your product to someone you know, they won’t be critical enough. You have to get out into the world, and get outside of your normal circle of socialization, to figure out what THEY need and want, rather than what your family or friends say they need or want.

2) How to Get Practical Opinions

You need to get practical opinions on your product. This can be easy. First, get a disposable branding landing page, where you can spend very few dollars to set up a value proposition and then make a buy page for your product, or app, hardware, whatever. This helps you get users to actually use your product, so then you can learn how it fits (or doesn’t fit) their need. Then, start tracking your conversion rates. If your conversion rate is very low, you know that not many people want your product. If your conversion rate is around 5%, you’re onto something. A conversion rate larger, and you know to plow forward, full steam ahead.

You can also gather practical opinions on your product through personal interviews. Record 10-15 questions between yourself and another person. Don’t stick too much to a script, though. Have an off-script conversation about your product. You can also hire someone to conduct the interview for you, so that individual is truly unbiased. Make sure to take good notes during the interview, and keep it casual, so that the person you’re interviewing feels at ease and able to truly share their thoughts.

3) Focus on Functionality

You want to overall focus on the functionality of your product, and how it works for the user. Everything that you do with your product, should be user-centered. This design process will reap success for your startup. From the very minute designs, to the largest decisions, the customer must be at the center of those choices.

4) Base Product Features on Customer Needs

Don’t just make a product feature because you think it’s “cool.” Identify the top needs of your audience, and then find a fix for that need, and then make a feature on your product to fit it. If a feature doesn’t benefit your audience, it’s not needed.

5) Design Thinking

The idea of Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the  designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success, says Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO. This Design Thinking means the you must learn to emphasize with your consumer, define their needs, come up with a creative solution to fit their needs, and then make a prototype that goes along with this. Then, it’s time to test out that prototype with the same audience whose needs you’re trying to address.

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