#11 Concept Testing like Michael Jordan
One easy way to validate your hypothesis without building an entire product is through concept testing.
Read time: under 4 minutes
Here's the hard truth.
Any aspect of a product can contribute to its success or failure. You might have ground-breaking ideas for your product, but if your product idea wasn't tested properly, your product could be a complete flop.
I recently built multiple SaaS tools, and let me tell you this… I was not ready for a flop but that’s precisely what happened. I had an ingenious idea, a problem I was suffering from, and was pretty sure others felt the same. I was wrong. We release our Auto Private Notion pages tool, called Divvy, and struggled to acquire users. We chose to build fast with a strong hypothesis. That was 2 months wasted 😢
One easy way to validate your hypothesis without building an entire product is through concept testing. Concept testing is a research method that involves getting user feedback at the start of the design process to give feedback on potential solutions that meet the needs of the target audience.
The method can save your team from wasting time and money on products that users don’t want.
What is Concept Testing?
Concept testing can help shed light on potential blind spots, inefficiencies, misinterpretations, and problems resulting in market disinterest.
Here are the reasons why this method is crucial:
Chuck out poor ideas. Remember. Even the most successful tech or business executives make mistakes.
Gain insights on market readiness.
Understand customers' issues and pain points.
Prevent financial losses.
Discover new unexplored ideas and solutions.
Concept Testing Best Practices
What to do before you start:
Start with defining the problem you want to solve. Your problem statement must be a concise description of the issue that needs to be addressed.
Define the market. When doing concept testing, emotions, human behavior, and subjective opinions matter.
Decide who to involve in the test. You should involve as many members of the product team as possible in concept testing.
Define your success metrics criteria. By defining this, you will decide upfront what positive and negative results mean to avoid biased decisions when debriefing.
Establish your hypothesis. At this point, there is not only one good solution to a problem. Problems can be solved in many different ways.
Step by step
Once you're settled, move on to finding a new perspective on your solutions:
Brainstorm potential solutions.
Storyboard your concept from end to end.
Ask the following questions:
Which are the riskiest assumptions from our proto-personas?
Which are the most ambiguous statements the team has agreed on?
Which are the least data-based statements?
What may happen if these assumptions are proven to be not true?
Build prototype. This enables you to provide users with a visual representation of the concept idea without engineering efforts. Important: Determine what needs to be tested.
Recruit your market. Examine what this character is trying to accomplish. What problems could your product solve for this person?
Define your market criteria based on:
Write interview and test scripts.
Let the testing begin! Focus on being empathetic and learning about your users. Discover your users’ ultimate goals, then determine your riskiest assumptions and which of the following elements are most critical to test.
Attention. Does the idea attract the audience's attention?
Comprehension. Is the idea clearly understood?
Motivation. Does the idea inspire the audience to take a desired action?
Personal relevance. Can the audience connect with the idea?
Gather your notes and debrief together on the positives, negatives, and general comments in order to find patterns and decide whether your hypothesis/assumptions were validated or invalidated.
Along with the team involved in the process, determine what should be the next steps.
Step by step
Now that you’ve learned the basics of concept testing, it’s time to put it into practice. Once you start running them, you’ll be on your way to making better decisions.
Don’t be alarmed if, by the end of the session, your team is left with more questions than answers. The more questions that arise from the testing, the more you’ll be able to fine-tune your project until it becomes something you’re proud to put on the market.
Want to learn more?
If you're interested in running this play to improve your Concept Testing, join designers from 40+ countries using UX Playbook. Get detailed step-by-step guides and templates to supercharge your UX process.
I hope you found this helpful.
See ya next week