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Startup Research Resolutions

Five user research resolutions that startup teams should be making in 2023

I’ve always loved the look on startup founders’ faces when they witness first-hand insights and feedback from users. It’s a mix of creative inspiration and excitement, tinged with regret that they didn’t do more of this earlier!

I’m pleased that nowadays, learning from customers is becoming a widespread practice for startups. I am spending much less of my time convincing teams to do it and more of my time explaining how to do it well.

So this year, I’m not going to bang the drum about speaking to more of your users. I’m going to push you to do it better! Here are 5 practices which will improve the quality and impact of your research (particularly interviews) and get that sweet sweet product market fit faster.

1. Always start with learning goals

Don’t just speak to people willy nilly, systematically work through segments and hypotheses.

If you need help writing goals, check out these two posts:

2. Build a recruitment pipeline

Find a repeatable way to attract and schedule participants. On-demand access to the right kinds of users will help the insights fly.

Coming soon: Maia will be sharing tips on planning recruitment and building screeners. 

3. Spend more time learning about people’s problems

Don’t spend the whole time talking about your solution

Later this quarter, we’ll be writing about how to word great interview questions, but in the meantime, we love “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick.

The Mom Test" - Book Summary
This lovely image and a great summary from Max Antonov

4. Take structured notes right after every call

Don’t let the insights decay in your brain or messy notes folders

Here’s a great post from Maia about headlining after interviews – it’ll supercharge your research process.

5. Bring your team along to interviews

Product and business decisions are much easier when multiple team members have first hand context of user needs

Team engagement with research is a big topic and there are some great resources out there. I like "It’s Our Research", by Tomer Sharon.

Its Our Research | 9780123851307 | Tomer Sharon | Boeken | bol.com

We’re a design research and strategy consultancy and we help startups build their own research capabilities, as well as running full service projects for them. 

If you've got an idea you're trying to get off the ground and you're curious how research might be able to help you, get in touch.

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