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This Explains Everything » Lesson 3: Should You Listen To Your Users or Your Data?


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Well on one hand, users don't known what they want sometimes and you have to tell it to them as they are an  unimaginative bunch.  On the other hand, if you can assign a business value to what users want, that's called an under-served need.  What the article is talking about is using your users for UX/usability, not product or service design and fulfillment.

Well said, Greg. Ultimately any product manager must listen to both users and data.

The key is to know which to listen to and when. That's more art than science. 

What data can tell you:

EXPERIMENTS AT AIRBNBIn this blog post, Airbnb Data Scientist Jan Overgoor describes how his team uses controlled experiments to inform every step of the product development cycle. He also addresses how experiments must be designed and implemented in a way that protects against various sources of bias.

What data can’t tell you:

THE AGONY AND ECSTASY OF BUILDING WITH DATAIn this article, Facebook Product Design Director Julie Zhuo describes some pitfalls of A/B testing that product designers are particularly vulnerable to and cautions against relying too heavily on experimentation to replace innovation, imagination, or decisive thinking in the face of uncertainty.

What users can tell you:

WHAT FUELS GREAT DESIGN (AND WHY MOST STARTUPS DON’T DO IT)In this article, Google Ventures Design Partner Braden Kowitz argues that understanding and listening to your users is what fuels the design process and addresses the most common reasons that designers (still) don’t do it.

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