How many times have you heard this said while you're building a product:
Listen, a few customers have requested this already, a number of us here love this feature. Let's just build this and see how well it does. Analytics will tell us if this is a keeper or not. This is the quickest way to learn if people like the feature.
One of our good friends and loyal customers who IPO'd last year (can't mention their name unfortunately) took this very approach: Build it, launch it, and see how well it does. When I asked him how well this approach worked out for him, three things were apparent:
- They spend a LOT of money building the new functionality and changes.
- They pulled a lot off new functionality down and never use it.
- The spend a lot of time developing and testing new functionality.
'What if you could test out an idea without implementing it, from a mockup or a wireframe?' I asked."After all, why do you have to implement stuff that customers won't use if they can tell you ahead of time?"
'Oh, you mean like a focus group? That's too much time and effort," he said.
'No, I mean quickly mocking something up and asking customers a question about it."
People really get stuck when it comes to testing things before building them. Engineers, product managers, and designers just want to build stuff to solve problems then release it. However, a few key decision makers doesn't adequately represent thousands of would-be customers. If you're building a product for customers (not just for yourself), you've got to test your assumptions early on with your potential users.
Testing Your Assumptions
At ZURB, we're huge proponents of testing any assumptions we might have before we implement a change or the new feature in a product. It's in our DNA. We saw that there was a hole in the market as far as tools go for this very problem. We built Verify to help ourselves, as well as many others who are building products, test assumptions before implementing features.
One side of the problem is having a tool that you can upload your concepts into, attach a question, and test out those assumptions. The other side is having an experienced set of passionate people that can give you great feedback about the changes and updates you're thinking of implementing. These are the types of people that have had enough of sucky sites on the web and want to improving the web as a whole.
Helping Others Test Assumptions
We are excited to launch our own service called Enroll to build a community that helps make the web a better place by giving those building products honest and actionable feedback.
As you can see from these screenshots, everyone who signs up for Enroll will be able to track the quick 5 second tests they've taken through their own dashboard as well as earn different badges as rewards for tasks completed.
If you are excited about helping big brands solve their product problems then you're the right type of person to give Enroll a shot. We're looking forward to hearing how all of you like Enroll. You can sign up now by following the link below. As always — feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Sign Up To Help Improve the Web