Product’s Role in User Research – In a world of agile and lean development processes, it’s important to understand how product managers can participate actively in the user research activities for their products. The following areas are an opportunity to learn what is needed for creating ideal products:
- Get aligned with the researchers: Make sure the researcher understands your vision for the area you will be researching and for the use of the outcomes.
- Designing the research questions: It’s important to make sure that the things you are curious about are included in the types of answers you want to receive at the end of the research.
- Persona Clarity: Make sure your researcher (and you) have well-defined criteria for the personas you want to research. Do you need younger, older, white-collar, blue-collar, male, female types of users?
- Be available to exploration beyond what you envision: Allow your researcher(s) to have some open questions that will allow users to hoit on possible gold nuggets you haven’t thought about.
- Make connections for followup: Not only are your research participants a benefit to you now but also as you evolve the product. Perhaps they will be willing to beta test your solution or refer others to future research.
Finally, you will want to squeeze as much value out of the research results as possible. Be sure to not miss the review session with the researchers and ask as many questions as you can think of. Also, it will be helpful to discuss other future research opportunities as you progress with your ideas.