Building a Successful Product: Why User Experience Mattersby@ritikamehta
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Building a Successful Product: Why User Experience Matters

by Ritika MehtaMarch 16th, 2023
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When building the first prototype of WorkMap, I only cared about sharing it with everyone as soon as possible. The outcome was lower than expected because some customers didn’t even reach the final onboarding step. “As a brand and a product, making your customers feel like they’re winning in life does a few things’
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What your customer will remember is how they felt while using the product rather than how unique/different it was.

“If you really want to stand apart, give your customers the greatest experience and satisfaction.”

I usually do shopping from an app where I’m a premium member and I get benefits like free delivery on all the orders, the first one to get access to hot sales, throughout-the-year discounts, best customer service, birthday month special offers & much more. Each time I buy anything from there feels like I’m “winning in life”.

That experience left such a long-lasting positive impression on me just by getting things faster and cheaper, even for a brief moment.

“As a brand and a product, making your customers feel like they’re winning in life does a few things. When people feel that way, they want to brag about it.”

That’s what I did. I told everyone how amazing it was and they should join it too.

Isn’t it the best feeling when all you do is provide the world-class best experience for your users and they do marketing for you — organic, enthusiastic endorsements?

But most of the founders I worked with consider it not as important. In fact, going back to the time I was building the first prototype of WorkMap, I only cared about sharing it with everyone as soon as possible.

Although my primary goal was to ensure that I was constructing it correctly and that it was something my target audience required, my customer interview revealed unexpected insights and incorporating my assumptions resulted in a completely different product. So, the only way to try it out was to build a prototype and test the water.

The outcome was lower than expected because some customers didn’t even reach the final onboarding step, they didn’t want to spend a lot of time setting up, and they wanted quick access. I wanted to get as many insights by asking them questions about the problem and the product.

But they didn’t even want to go through the “get access” step and fill out the form, they didn’t want to wait in line to get approval. All these limited my growth, and reach at the initial stage.

So, after quickly discussing it with some initial users, I focused on two things:

  • Not adding any more features, just polishing the core ones.
  • Reduce the time it takes them to set up or get to know the product, but also map the user journey. I wanted them to at least try before leaving.

Every product, for survival, depends on delivering personalised in-product experiences. So, here are some things you can try.

Learn what frustrates the users most

For us our product means everything but that’s not the concern of the customer. That’s why it’s said, “Keep the customers first”.

Building a great product experience means you need to be customer-centric. It’s like knowing what goes inside their life and designing the product that fits their lifestyle. Because they probably won’t have time for you.

So, know what could frustrate a user, it can be emailing the team to cancel the subscription or deleting the account, having to wait for a customer service response, not being able to see the exact price, etc.

You can know more by collecting and soliciting customer feedback by engaging with them or interviewing them. Instead of looking just at the transaction part of the user journey, try to go beyond and document the complete journey to satisfaction.

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While working with a startup, which I only joined because I was personally looking for that kind of product & I was excited to build itwe spent around 40% of the budget improving the product through customer experience. Because when I was asked to try out the product it took me 15 mins to set up. I felt frustrated. It made me think about how many people might have dropped out even before trying the product.

So, if you’re building something try to keep product experience as the best customer acquisition and retention strategy, this will increase their satisfaction and grow your business fast + enabling competitive advantage.

Turn your GTM from product to customers

The subscription industry has changed the customer acquisition model which allows the buyer to experience the product and provide us with relevant data which further helps personalize that experience.

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With this approach, you need to design the free trial process, freemium offer, and onboarding, convert them to customers, and ultimately decide whether a freemium or free trial is the best option for your company or not.

Offer them freemium products or free trials to understand how they use the product, explore and navigate so that you can deliver a personalised in-product customer experience.

Now, building engagement with the content in the right way is the key. In fact, each and every department has to align with the customer-led go-to-market strategy. Create content, and design the product, all in a way to fulfill customer requirements and give them ultimate satisfaction.

It’s all about what happens in the product

It’s good to always think about how to get more users but what about the existing ones?

Most of the time, I enjoy working as a product advisor because I get to work with teams with the primary focus on customer lifecycle framework rather than product lifecycle or any marketing funnel. We use in-product behavior to deliver the relevant experience to each customer which helps us build a customer base, acquire, retain, and grow over time. That being said companies, should carefully design the journey toward satisfaction and they should do so in the shortest time possible.

Lastly, don’t let your customers figure out how to use the product efficiently, show them upfront how the product can save time, and money and get the results they want.

Amplify the sense of winning across your user experience. With a busy mind, it’s hard for users to themselves feel or understand the emotions or it may take some time for them to be deliberately aware of it. This time you can send them a timely notification with something like a winning streak, congratulating them, or a fist bump emoji 👊.

Thanks for reading.

Also published here.