Ask DN: How do you validate your product design decisions for new features?

almost 8 years ago from , Designer

I am wondering if we could share how we all validate that the solutions we are implementing are actually ones that users want and that they are actually solving the problem.

This would be for features or products that have not been made yet. Not ones that you've already made and are making better with iteration.

What's your process?


  • Joshua Crowley, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    Something simple I've just started trying - phone calls. I've compiled a list of our 300 most active and longest playing customers. I try and book two to three 15 minute phone calls each week. I gauge their experience with the product thus far and pitch any emerging features to them to get their take. I try and qualify their feedback with our data and prototypes.

    2 points
    • Josh Lee, almost 8 years ago

      Gotcha. Thanks for replying.

      So do you ever go back and talk to the same people and show them the solution to see if it worked?

      0 points
  • Andrew Tolentino, almost 8 years ago

    Are you talking about when we're discovering new features or products to implement? Hopefully I answer the right question!

    The process I currently use is based on the collaboration of ideas validated by a lot of user testing. We come up with ideas based on data, pain points of our users, and previously poorly designed, outdated features.

    Solutions to problems are shaped by design studios, which use the minds of our designers, engineers, marketers, copy, and anyone else who would like to join in. We come up with how a product should feel, what the voice of our copy is, basic wires, or extra features to the product in a short span of time to get as many ideas as possible to solve our problem.

    From then, designers pick and choose solutions based on our design studios. We make prototypes and user test the shit out of our ideas. We validate what works or what could be better and iterate on a first version that we can complete. We also understand that not every solution will work, and we might have to go back to the drawing board. All in all, we make prototypes and ship products to learn from, not every product is perfect.

    I think this is a work in progress in terms of our process, but right now, this works!

    0 points
  • Josh Lee, almost 8 years ago

    Ha, given the lack of discussion I am led to believe that A.) No one has a process and we are all winging it. B.) Maybe we have a process but discussing it laborious and not sexy. C.) No one saw this or cares to respond, which is totally fine.

    Both A and B are concerning. C is expected.

    0 points
    • Matt Smadner, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

      I use the shit out of usertesting.com. I run A/B tests though optimizely and review impact and interaction thought omniatre taggging and short run analytics gathering though crazy egg. Its allot of tools but each of them serves a specific purpose.

      I am trying to get my team as a whole to take more risks by prototyping and validating those with user testing. We built a framework that we can build prototypes and push them to a production product in a few short steps. This has drastically shortened our time to market for new features. It also helps that I have an analytics team of about 15 people to help us validate everything. But I think with some minimal effort allot of the designers could decipher the data them selves. The analytics team just makes everything allot faster.

      Does that help?

      0 points