If you are creating or improving an application or website, then you probably have an impossibly long list of what you would like to fix, improve or add. Prioritizing this list is a prerequisite for the success of your product and potentially your business as a whole. But what is the best approach to this issue? How to decide what to do first? How do you know which changes in the future will result in a severe blow to the back, and which ones will most noticeably affect the consumer? Here are seven techniques that can help you.
Identify critical tasks for your customers
Despite the fact that sites and programs can perform hundreds or thousands of functions, a user comes to the site and uses the program only for the sake of some of them. Before setting priorities, you need to find out what tasks your consumers want to do the most.
A brief description of the technique: give several qualified users a random list of tasks and ask them to choose the 5 most important ones. Soon you will find out what tasks your customers consider the most important. Set product prioritization so that these important tasks are easy to accomplish.
Gap analysis: closing the gap between satisfaction and importance
After you have identified the most important tasks for the consumer (technique 1), you have an abbreviated, ranked list of what your consumers want from your site or product. Now you need to find out two things:
1) how important they find each of the functions,
2) how satisfied they are after they have completed the desired action. If some features are of high importance, but carry low satisfaction, then this is an obvious opportunity for improvement.
Brief description of the technique: hand over a list of priorities to several consumers and ask them to rate each item by 1) importance and 2) level of satisfaction, and both on a scale of 1 to 7. Then apply the formula Importance x 2 – Satisfaction. This will give a “gap”, showing the opportunity for improvement.
Kano model: we distinguish between the functions “expected” and “pleasing”
The method called the “Kano model” helps to find out what functions the consumer expects, which ones he does not expect, and which pleases him.
Brief description of the technique: ask a representative sample of consumers to evaluate how much they like the features included in the product, and how much they lack that are not included. The difference (you can call it a “gap in satisfaction”) will show which functions consumers consider necessary and which they could live without, but would be glad if they were.
QFD: combine the voice of the client and the voice of the company
The QFD tool (structuring the quality function) is a matrix that combines the “customer voice” and “company voice”. This product prioritization matrix helps to prioritize by identifying which of the functions best suits the needs of the consumer.
A brief description of the technique: start with a ranked list of tasks or properties obtained by analyzing the most important tasks, and combine it with a list of functions from the company. The QFD method will determine the functions that best suit the needs of the consumer.
Pareto analysis: we separate a vital minority from an unimportant majority
Pareto analysis (also known as the “80/20 rule”) is also used to identify vital tasks or functions as opposed to the unimportant majority. This technique isolates elements based on a very small number of criteria. For example, half of the US population is concentrated in only 146 counties (out of over 3,000), or 99% of the elements in the universe come from just 3 of 118 (3%) elements.
A brief description of the technique: sort the items on your list from large to smaller, summarize everything, calculate the percentages for each item. Look for a small number of the most important points.
Charts of causes and effects: identify the causes of key problems
Charts of cause and effect show possible causes of problems. Since user perception problems are usually complex, this type of analysis usually reveals the multiple causes of each problem, allowing you to solve the problem most effectively.
A brief description of the technique: create a set of diagrams of cause and effect, asking yourself the question “why?” – to get to the root of the problem, and not to identify symptoms.
FMEA: we understand the frequency, severity and impact of problems on consumer perceptions
The FMEA method (analysis of the types and consequences of failures) helps you identify the negative impact of certain actions. He can point out those moments when it’s easier for you to improve the product by not adding something new, but by fixing what’s broken. The FMEA method can show the frequency of the problem, the severity of its impact on the user’s perception, and the difficulty of detecting the problem.
Brief description of the technique: the FMEA method assigns a “risk priority number” based on how often the problem appears, how serious it is, and how difficult it is to detect.