Two aspects of needs analysis – peeling candy paper and selecting candy

Product managers deal with requirements like handling candy, requirements are like chocolate beans wrapped in layers of candy paper according to their understanding, the product manager is to do is to peel off the candy paper and select the best chocolate beans. And the process of peeling the candy paper and selecting the chocolate beans is called requirements analysis. The author of this article has analyzed this, take a look at it.

In the daily work of product managers, will certainly encounter large and small parties converge on the demand, they are like a passer according to their understanding of the chocolate beans wrapped in layers of sugar paper, and the product manager to do things, is to peel off the sugar paper one by one, really find that big and sweet candy, digest him into nutrition, supply to our products, so that they become products The best nutrients in the process of growth. And the process of peeling the candy paper and selecting the chocolate beans is called demand analysis.

So, in my opinion, demand analysis should consist of two steps, or two aspects.

The first step: peeling the candy paper. In common parlance, it is to find the essence of the demand scenario, what is the real purpose of the user to mention this demand.

The second step: pick out the biggest and sweetest chocolate beans. After we strip the chocolate beans, we have to select the most valuable and nutritious one, so as to maximize the effectiveness of the product.

So this article aims to introduce these two aspects and discuss these two steps with you.

First, how to peel the sugar paper?
Peeling the sugar paper actually refers to the process of constantly digging into the root of the problem, removing the falsehoods and storing the truth, removing the falsehoods of the demand transmitter’s own interpretation, storing the essence of the demand scenario and the truth of the motivation behind it.

When communicating with the source of the demand, I usually ask him why there is such a demand, what scenario the demand is generated, what the user wants to do, and why he wants to do so. The reason for asking this is to have a goal in the product design, so as not to make a wrong judgment when problems are encountered in the development process and decisions need to be made, and to get more information to better judge the value of this requirement. At the same time, product students understand the Y-shaped theory, that is, when you understand the real need, you may be able to meet the need by different from the way the requirement proponent envisioned.

When we accept the demand, there will be a middleman, may be customer service, marketing team, then the sugar paper will become very difficult to peel, because information transfer will be omissions and deviations, so the best way is the user direct.

Here I want to communicate with you, in the usual work, how do you contact the user, how to chat with the user, in the process of chatting with the user have found product inspiration?

Second, how to select chocolate beans?
Here we have to discuss the value of the demand, what kind of demand is the most worth doing, what kind of demand is the most valuable. Then in the end how to judge the value of the demand? I believe there are four general areas.

Breadth, depth, frequency, and its strategic significance. Of course, although we say that the value of the demand is determined by these four aspects, but it is difficult to give a quantitative analysis method, only as much information as possible, comprehensive judgment.

Breadth refers to the coverage of this demand, that is, how many users are tormented by this current problem, the more users there are of this problem, then optimization is relatively more valuable, because you reduce the possibility of losing more users. For example, if you have product a and product b under you, and product a has 20w users and product b only has 5w, then the optimization iteration of product a will be more valuable when other factors are relatively consistent.

Depth refers to the degree of pain caused by this problem. When there are only 10 dollars, no toothpaste at home as well as you want to eat an egg tart, most people will choose to buy toothpaste as a priority. Because the embarrassment of not having toothpaste can be far greater than having one less tart to eat.

Frequency refers to how often the user is exposed to the defect or problem.

Strategic significance refers to the current product development stage or the company’s strategic context, this demand is not necessary, can promote the company’s strategic development, such as the company’s current strategy is to quickly create a closed-loop products to market to win the first advantage, then some minor interaction optimization in the premise does not affect the use of the premise is not a big problem.

Or when a product is about to exit the stage of history, although there are still many historical users on it, the product basically will not be iterated again, because the company may find a better second curve, to migrate various resources to the new business line. Or maybe our product’s political proposition (the special highlight that attracts users) is technical advantage, then the page layout is not so important if it looks good, but if our product is to create b-frame, create trend, and win by face value, then the optimization of the page may become both the core issue that the product should focus on.

When we take these aspects of the demand for a comprehensive consideration, which is done first and which is done later is basically clear. But still, demand analysis is difficult to have a quantitative standard, only after a comprehensive consideration to choose the relative optimal solution.

So how to get the concept of these four aspects?

1) How to determine the breadth?

The different natural nature of the demand may determine that we need to take different ways to get the information we want, for a defect, such as a content publishing module process is too long, need to click several times to successfully publish a message, then we can see how many users in a month to publish content in us, if there is no ready data display, you can find the back-end brothers to retrieve a month If there is no readily available data to show, we can ask our back-end brothers to retrieve the data of the number of times the content is published in a month.

Another example is that a content publishing module lacks a video publishing function, at this point, the background data is obviously impossible to find, but we can ask the marketing brothers, and our customer service staff, how many people have mentioned the need to publish video features, is rarely mentioned or repeatedly encountered. (We can’t exclude our marketers from kidnapping the product with fake data or exaggerated data in order to get more favorable benefits).

After obtaining such data several times, we can roughly grasp the usage of our entire product and be well informed. With more understanding of our product, we have more information to provide support when making our next decision.

Besides these two methods, are there any other efficient and high level methods that can be used on the ground? Leave it for discussion.

2) How to determine the depth?

Here I would like to discuss the issue of empathy with you first, whether we can fully understand the feelings of others? For example, if we send out a circle of friends, we take all the trouble to read it carefully, afraid that others will miss a drop of their proud talent, but will others read it carefully like this? Maybe when he reads your copy, it’s just a few sketches. Or we may be able to understand the logic of an operation very easily because you have the previous knowledge base when facing the same page, but your users are not able to understand an operation quickly without guidance and lack of previous knowledge base? It may not be known.

Therefore, I believe that empathy is relative, and we can only stand under the common human emotion to give an experience that is relatively in line with the user’s real emotion, but it is almost impossible to completely convert to the other party’s perspective. Because different personalities, different knowledge bases, different scenarios and different emotional states will affect how we feel about a thing. In general, the more central the function, the more emotional damage that function will cause.

Fortunately, empathy can be trained and can still help us a lot. Spend a few seconds to empty yourself into the “I am whoever” state, to understand the depth of the need, if you are the user, you are in such a scenario, you find the problem is intolerable.

Another way is to communicate with the users themselves to understand their level of pain, as proposed in “Everyone is a Product Manager”, a basis for judgment: “When the user has started to try to solve the problem in other ways, it means that the problem is very serious”. When it is painful to use, users are likely to refuse to use it.

3) Frequency

Frequency is a concept that happens to a single user, the number of times he encounters the problem greatly affects his senses of the product and his degree of trust in the brand series. How to determine the frequency, or can be used to retrieve key indicators in the form of data, but also take the example of content publishing, when the scope of focus on a user to see how often he posted.

4) Strategic significance

Do not plan the world, not enough to plan a moment, not the overall situation, not enough to plan a domain. We do products must understand what our goal is at this stage, perhaps many companies themselves do not clear what their strategic goals are, so the product is also here to fill a patch there to fill in, there is no core of important content appears. But it is very important to have a clear strategic goal and iterate towards this product goal.

Product decision making is something that product managers have to face all the time, and it continues throughout their careers. Having more information and capturing key requirements for development is the only way to deliver something good.

The strategic direction of the product we will discuss in detail on another article.

In short, to really do a good job of requirements analysis is never a single decision, but a systematic problem that requires the product owner to be familiar enough with all aspects of the product, user usage, product direction routes, etc. As our understanding of the product gradually deepens, our decisions will become more and more accurate.

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