How Designers Test Their Hypothesis: Budget-friendly Edition
Product Designing Process
How Designers Test Their Hypothesis?
Don’t forget about the golden rule that every hypothesis should solve a problem, as people don’t use products that do not help them to make something easier.
So, once there’s a problem and a hypothesis about the solution, there’s high time to test it.
But before diving deep into the development of MVP and creating the roadmap, it’s better to try some hypothesis testing methods to see whether it makes sense to develop this idea further involving additional development resources.
As always, the budget is limited, that’s why product managers need to balance the quality and costs of testing ideas. So here are top ways that won’t break the bank and can get faster results:
Page Experiance & why is important
A great way to see if the idea will be in demand is a separate landing page for the new product. It’s a perfect option for innovative solutions that are too risky to test on the working website. The availability of web design courses to learn the basics and free website builders with ready-to-go templates (like Wix), allows to get a landing page up and running in less than a day. Once done, you can set up a social media targeting campaign to see whether your potential customers are interested in the product.
Error pages & Seo
If there’s no product yet, showing the prototypes in action may help you to validate the market needs for it. Let’s say you plan to develop a grocery delivery app, simulate the interaction between the mockup screens taking some use-case scenarios using some storytelling. For example, a user needs to go shopping but they lack time, they visit the application, choose the store, have an opportunity to check the prices in different stores, can order the delivery at a certain time, choose the payment method, and have their problem solved. The illustrative examples work better if you use the tutorial style as Dropbox did before the launch. It takes much less effort than rushing to the development right away. That’s how product leaders pitch their ideas on crowdfunding platforms.
Email campaigns offering to participate in early bird program / pre-ordering
If you already have a customer base, there’s a great chance to test the idea simply by launching the marketing campaign encouraging to pre-order the product that you don’t have yet and offering a special price to try a new product plan if you work with SaaS. Monitoring the open and click rate will show you the interest in the option you are considering and loyalty to the brand. Note, that this method may not show the true results in case of cold marketing to users that may not face issues your new product or feature will solve. So if you are working on a completely new solution, engaging the audience in social media and thematic communities may do the trick.
If you plan the full page redesign to improve conversions, change CTAs or show a longer billing cycle by default, it can be tricky for two reasons: first, the results for the new page may be worse, as when the visitors got used to the interface they don’t know how to use some new elements and may become frustrated. Second, you will not know what elements performed better. Using freemium a/b testing tools like Optimizely will help you to divide the visitors’ traffic to show them different page variants and analyze the received results to make further decisions.
Important Key Takeaways
Depending on the product life cycle, some methods may not be applicable (i.e. A/B testing would work for the existing products) and some work better.
It’s required to be really careful applying these techniques as some of them may be harmful for the reputation or might be perceived as bugs (404 pages). If you opt for methods like pre-ordering, it’s worth informing users who applied that it was a test. After its completion, offer some encouragement for participating in it, if you don’t plan the launch anytime soon. The same applies if you decide to refuse the idea due to the lack of participants or any other reason.
As you see, there are different ways of testing hypotheses prior to launching a new product or implementing a new feature into the existing one. It’s better to try cheaper variants first to find out whether it’s worth doing further explorations.