In the Ads market, web internal platform that enables users to create segments of audience based on different targeting criterias to later on adding them to campaigns in their booking systems in order to target people.
Product Manager thinks that users need a way to get segment overlaps with the aim to find common properties among segments.
I had a meeting with the 2 PMs of the project where they presented the business requirements for this feature. They seemed to be very confident about what users needed. Also, they were talking about how the user flow should look like and the options that should be available in the interface.
They were planning the roadmap and how to fit this feature into the development sprints in the next quarter.
I challenged their assumptions to focus not on ‘how it should look’ but ‘what we should build’. Were they sure about the users’ needs? Why did users need segment overlapping? To what end? Was it the only need users had related to segments?
I encouraged them to find out the answer to those questions in order to make informed decisions before any further plan. We made a list of our assumptions and decided to validate them before moving forward.
I planned a questionnaire to send to all countries that were using segments. The survey consisted of open questions as to not lead the users’ answers.
The strategy for the user research was to ask: what (to focus the development effort on something that users really need), why (to understand why users need that), what they will do after (to find out the whole user journey) and an example of a business case where they would be using it (to measure the effect and also to help with prioritisation).
We found out that users were not especially interested in getting the overlapping of the segments and there were other important needs that they were missing in the platform.
Prioritising Users Needs
We ended up having a bunch of needs and we needed to prioritise them by importance and country.
To that end, I planned a Card sorting using Optimal Workshop. Basically, users had the list of features and a list of cards ordered by importance (1 - 18). The task was to order the features according to the importance they had in their markets whereas it was based on potential profit, performance or because it would speed up their workflow.
Outcome & Takeaways
At the end, we got the results and we found out that they were some similarities between countries, so this research findings actually helped the PMs to define the roadmap for the upcoming months.
By validating assumptions we saved a lot of time and money to the company as we avoided developing some features that users didn’t need.
We uncovered new user needs by doing user research and it facilitated to make inform decisions and helped to plan and prioritise design and development work in the agile environment.