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User Research VS Product Discovery

User Research VS Product Discovery, discover everything you need to know to do both!

Product Discovery
Photo de Clément Gauthier
Clément Gauthier
User Research VS Product Discovery

Product Discovery and User Research are two of the main trends for Product Teams nowadays. A lot of books are written on those topics, podcast episodes are recorded and talks are made in various conferences around the world.

But the difference between product discovery and user research is not always clear. The difference between product discovery and user research is subtle but important.

Product discovery is about figuring out what problem your product solves. User research is about understanding how your product solves that problem for users.

Product Discovery

In the early stages of a startup, it’s important to focus on product discovery. This is the phase where you’re trying to figure out what problem your product solves. You’re looking for a problem that is both important and underserved.

Product Discovery Process

This process is essential for aligning a product's features and functionalities with the actual needs and desires of its target users. Here’s a breakdown of the key components of the Product Discovery Process:

  • Identifying User Needs and Problems: The first step involves extensive research to pinpoint the specific needs, problems, and opportunities in the target market. This can involve various methods, including surveys, interviews, and analysis of user feedback.
  • Market and Competitor Analysis: Understanding the competitive landscape helps in identifying gaps in the market that the product can fill. This includes analyzing competitor offerings, strengths, weaknesses, and market positioning.
  • Ideation and Conceptualization: Based on the insights gathered, teams brainstorm and conceptualize potential product features or solutions that address the identified user needs and market gaps.
  • Prototype Development: Creating quick and iterative prototypes allows teams to visualize and test the feasibility of the proposed solutions. This step is crucial for gathering early feedback and making necessary adjustments.
  • User Validation: Prototypes are tested with real users to validate assumptions, refine the product concept, and ensure it meets user expectations. This involves observing user interactions, collecting feedback, and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Prioritization and Roadmap Planning: Finally, the insights and feedback gathered are used to prioritize features and plan the product development roadmap. This ensures that the most valuable and impactful aspects of the product are developed first.

To do product discovery, you need to talk to potential customers. This is where user research comes in.

Jira Product Discovery

Jira Product Discovery is a powerful tool designed to enhance the product management process by facilitating more effective product discovery phases. Aimed at product teams seeking to deeply understand their users' needs and prioritize features accordingly, Jira Product Discovery offers a collaborative environment where teams can gather insights, experiment with ideas, and make data-driven decisions.

User Research VS Product Discovery- Jira

User Research methods

User research is about understanding how potential customers interact with your product. It’s about understanding their needs and pain points.

User research is important for two reasons. First, it allows you to validate your product idea. Second, it helps you understand how to build a product that solves the problem in the way that users want.

User research tools

  • Surveys and Questionnaires: Tools that allow researchers to collect quantitative data from a large audience quickly. They are useful for understanding user demographics, preferences, and satisfaction levels.
  • Interviews and Focus Groups: These tools facilitate direct interaction with users, providing qualitative insights into user needs, motivations, and attitudes. They are invaluable for exploring complex user behaviors and preferences in depth.
  • Usability Testing Platforms: These platforms enable researchers to test the usability of websites, apps, and prototypes, observing how real users interact with a product and identifying usability issues.
  • Analytics Tools: Analytics tools track and analyze how users interact with a product or website. They provide data on user engagement, retention, and conversion rates, helping to identify patterns and trends in user behavior.
  • Heatmaps and Session Recording Tools: These tools visually represent where users click, scroll, and spend time on a page, offering insights into user navigation patterns and potential areas of improvement.
  • A/B Testing Tools: By allowing researchers to test different versions of a product feature or webpage, A/B testing tools help in understanding which variations perform better in terms of user engagement and conversion.
  • Customer Feedback Platforms: These platforms collect user feedback in real-time, enabling companies to quickly gather and act on user suggestions, complaints, and praises.

User research Jobs

  • User Researcher: Specializes in conducting research to gather insights about the users. This role involves designing and implementing research studies, analyzing data, and communicating findings to inform product development strategies.
  • UX Researcher: Focuses on understanding user experiences and interactions with products. UX Researchers use a variety of methods, such as usability studies, interviews, and surveys, to identify pain points and areas for improvement in the user experience.
  • Market Research Analyst: Analyzes market trends and consumer preferences to guide product positioning and marketing strategies. This role often involves conducting competitive analysis, surveys, and focus groups.
  • Product Manager with a Focus on User Research: While not exclusively a research role, product managers often conduct or oversee user research to inform product features, priorities, and roadmaps.
  • Design Researcher: Works closely with design teams to integrate user insights into the design process. This role focuses on how research can inform design decisions to make products more intuitive and engaging.
  • Data Analyst for User Insights: Specializes in analyzing user data collected through various tools and platforms to uncover patterns, trends, and insights that can inform product development and user experience strategies.
  • Accessibility Specialist: Focuses on ensuring that products are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This role involves conducting accessibility audits and user testing to identify and address accessibility barriers.

Don't forget your most important touchpoint: your product

User research is typically done through user interviews, but with a solution like Screeb you can also use your main touchpoint between you and your users: your product. Screeb will help you to understand how people are using your product, who are the main user segments you should focus on and to understand why they behave like this and what you should build next.

In a user interview, you’re trying to understand the following:

  • What problem the user is trying to solve
  • How the user is currently solving that problem
  • What the user likes and dislikes about the current solution
  • What the user’s current pain points are

User interviews are important, but they’re just one type of user research. There are many other types of user research, including surveys, focus groups, and usability testing.

It’s important to note that product discovery and user research are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re often done together. As you’re doing product discovery, you should also be doing user research. This will help you validate your product idea and understand how to build a product that users will love.

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