Fuel Cycle

User Research for Product Managers

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No matter what type of product you manage, consumer experience plays a crucial role in the product development process. Product experience management involves a deep dive into the customer journey from awareness to purchase and beyond. Product management aims to understand consumer needs and behavior patterns at all stages of the sales pipeline using data. User research can help PX managers determine the best product features, pricing, positioning, and more.

It’s nearly impossible to produce successful products without understanding what customers truly care about. So, how do you capture the data you need to bring a product to market? With a well-crafted study following the Kano Model, it’s simple to measure consumer wants and needs. The Kano method can help product teams measure satisfaction, prioritize what features and design elements to include in a development roadmap, and use customer feedback to move forward.

User Research Method: The Kano Model

The Kano Model is a set of ideas and techniques that product managers use to determine customers’ satisfaction with specific product features. Using this model, PX teams can answer questions like: How do we measure satisfaction? How do we choose what features will lead to satisfaction? How do we go beyond satisfaction? With the Kano Model, teams can collect the data required to answer such questions.

The Kano Method involves three main parts. By creating a study that operates under these premises, product managers can determine which features lead to more satisfied customers and use the data to prioritize those features to surprise and delight your target market.

1. Dimensions

Dimensions are the measures of satisfaction and functionality of your product. The satisfaction scale ranges from “frustrated” to “delighted,” while the functionality scale ranges from “none” to “best.” Once dimensions are fleshed out, product managers can dive into the “features” segment of the Kano Method.

2. Features

Under the features segment, The Kano method breaks features into four distinct buckets: performance, must-be, attractive, and indifferent. Performance refers to how well a feature works, must-be is defined as consumer “must-haves,” attractive involves components that users weren’t expecting, and indifferent is for when consumers do not care one way or the other about a feature.

3. Dimensions + Features

Now that dimensions and features are clear, we can focus on the end goal: customer satisfaction. User research with the Kano Model culminates when dimensions and features are married together.

Dimensions + features = customers satisfaction levels

By creating a study that operates under the Kano Model premises, product managers can determine which features dissatisfy, satisfy, and delight their audience. Dissatisfiers are the features customers expect at a bare minimum that don’t improve satisfaction when implemented. Satisfiers happen when improved functionality leads to improved satisfaction. Lastly, delighters are features customers were not expecting; in other words, they provide a “wow” factor.

Bridging the Gap with User Research

No matter what type of product you are launching, user research will bridge the gap between consumer wants and product features. PX research with the Kano Model gives you the information you need to stay ahead of the curve and release products that satisfy customer needs and remain competitive in your market.

Check out our webinar, How to Prepare for the New Future of Product Experience, for digital solutions and expert advice on agile product research. If you’re ready to start your own user research, check out Fuel Cycle’s Agile Research Platform Solutions.

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