Chroma Experience

5 questions, at the beginning of a product development

Understanding user needs is the most important thing in a project, whether you are a UX designer yourself, an executive, project manager, or a curious professional.

Gaining insights about users early in the product development process is important for understanding how to make their lives easier. Asking the right questions in user interviews yields insights about what potential users want and need. So here are 5 key questions that should be answered at the beginning of a product development:

Question 1: Do users understand what they want?

It is one thing to find out what users want. But it is quite another thing to find out whether they themselves understand what they want.
In order to test acceptance of a product, it is important that the testers * themselves are clear about their needs and also understand and, above all, can explain their dislikes.

Question 2: Do users want the product?

Product managers often simply assume that there is a market for their product and suitable users who want to buy their product. It is not uncommon for them to invest countless hours and a lot of money into developing a product that they only believe will be bought. That is why it is essential to conduct surveys and market analysis BEFORE starting a project.
A direct survey is the simplest form here: "Are you interested in product XY?". However, direct surveys can also have disadvantages. One of them is that respondents may try to satisfy them with their answer. Then they answer their question with feigned interest, although the would never actually use the product themselves. So at the beginning of any study, respondents should be reminded to answer openly and honestly. They should say what they think and not what they think project managers want to hear.

Question 3: How would users use the product?

In addition to asking if users would use their product, it is also important to ask how they would use it. This can be done by asking for concrete examples or situations. If the users *inside can name what benefit or added value the product can make in their lives, this is a very good indicator of the success of their product.
The product should simplify the user's life and take time-consuming steps away from them.
The question forces users to think about how a product affects their lives. What work does the product do for them that would be more difficult if it could be done in another way or not at all?

Question 4: What problems do users have with the current solution?

There is an opportunity to use the shortcomings of an existing solution to improve a new product or idea. For example, the existing solution might have a gap. The new product can capitalize on it by filling that gap. Asking users * inside about their problems with the current solution gets to the heart of what they are looking for and what they are not getting with the existing solution. This is a direct call to action for project teams to innovate.

Question 5: What would the world look like if the product didn't exist?

Imagining what the world would look like without the product allows the product team to see the immediate value of the product and also look at the value to the user base in the longer term.
This question creates a picture of how a product enriches society and culture. What did people do before your product came to market? Does the product replace a common way of doing things?
When email didn't exist, people used pen and paper to write letters to each other. Emails made communication faster and, more importantly, affordable. They changed the way people communicated with each other.
This question helps move out of a solution-centric mindset and into a user-centric mindset where goals and needs come to the surface.


In user * inside interviews, it is not uncommon for follow-up or follow-up questions to arise. If common themes gather in the initial interviews, it is useful to return these themes to the other participants * ins in the form of follow-up questions to check whether or not they agree with other participants* ins:

"You're the sixth person I've talked to. I heard from some of the other people I talked to that they would only use product X when they are alone in a private area. Do you agree with this statement? "

The advantage of asking a question to only one test subject at a time is that groupthink is avoided.
Also, one subject may have said something interesting that should be followed up on because it could lead to an insight.
Perhaps somewhere along the path of questioning lies the germ of a new idea or improvement. You don't know until you get into it. Such questions are good starting points for embarking on a path full of fruitful insights.