Don’t Do What Users Expect

I know. Seems stupid. “Greg, you’re an idiot”, you say. Well, hear me out.

If you’re like me, as you think through what your product needs to deliver next, the first thing you try to answer is,

“What are customers complaining about?”

…and then work to solve those exact problems. While that does help our users a bit, if we’re on our game, we step back and try to answer,

“Why are customer complaining about that?”

That usually gives us a much better solution that not only solves their immediate problem, but also may solve many related problems. We have a chance to meet or even exceed their expectations since the solution is just better.

But what if we took one more step back and asked,

“Is the way customers want to accomplish their goals really the best way?”

…along with,

“Is there a different perspective we could offer that would completely change how fast/better their goals could be accomplished?”

…and quickly finish with,

“…and how can we solve it with new technology that’s just emerging?”

If we did that, I think we could start hearing the kind of customer feedback we all really want…

…not “Neat. That helps my current need”

…not “Cool. That saves me time to accomplish my current goal”

…but we could start hearing,

“Wow. This is incredible. I didn’t even know that was possible!”

I’m starting to think that taking the extra effort to not only understand our users’ goals, but also think of how to accomplish them from a unique perspective that’s different than everyone else in the market, combined with using new, innovative technology, can truly deliver a killer user experience.

What do you think? What products have you used that don’t meet or exceed your expectations because they completely blew you away because you were in awe at how incredible the product was?


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