A less scientific and more agile approach to identifying lower-hanging usability issues is concierge onboarding. In concierge onboarding, someone from your team guides — via video call is best — new users through setting up the product and answers the questions in real-time. Concierge onboarding helps the team member understand the steps users are asked to take and the ways those steps directly lead to value.
In a recent Zoom call with Behzod, he told me how at Slack it was essential to turn usability interviews into video highlights of moments of user struggle to help his team form a shared understanding of the problem and gain alignment around solutions that will actually work.
To make things even more interesting, because you have to sit with your feelings when you’re sober, I’d started to have this increasing sense that I was so privileged as a drinker — and now as a non-drinker—that I stopped allowing myself certain luxuries because of this sad sense of white fragility (pathetic). To be sure, many of the resources I had begun to lean on to support myself in sobriety were (and are) super white, ultra classist; but then, so was buying $25 bottles of rose every night and thinking that was normal (also pathetic).
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The best product teams never stop this work of generative and evaluative testing for new features. Even as their initial research and testing turns into a real product, they know the importance of creating a customer discovery and product delivery engine that never stops learning and growing.
While I spent a lot of my energy trying to find ways sobriety would work best for me (meditation, yoga, reading, naps, puzzles, alone time), at the same time I started to avoid some of the activities I used to love when I was a drinker, like cooking, socializing, and going to spin class.
Great product teams develop long-standing relationships of trust with their most active users. You’ll often see the people on these teams setting up recurring feedback sessions to gain insight and listen to users’ concerns and ideas. The point of these interviews is to find out what’s delightful and what’s frustrating, what’s there and working well, and what’s still missing.
Casing: using the same casing rule across all SQL keywords (in general, uppercase) and another unique casing logic for fields (e.g. camelCase, snake_case or PascalCase) makes it easier to understand which role each word plays within the query.
In the early days of building your product, a standing weekly or biweekly check-in is common for these feedback sessions. These can shift to monthly or even quarterly as time goes on and the product gets closer to reaching market fit.
And when I say I hated things I used to love, I mean, activities that I once lived for; that I considered hobbies, pastimes, part of who I was as a “cool chick.” Part of how I identified as a modern woman!
Sometimes, in those early months, I’d start making a meal and abandon it the minute I realized I’d have to clean a head of broccoli, because fuck, who has the energy to rinse a vegetable when chopping garlic feels like an insurmountable pain in the ass? Takeout it is. Or was, rather.
I couldn’t pinpoint why, exactly, I got so pissed off while chopping garlic for marinara, when at one time I found it a sensory joy to split open that pungent smell of a fresh clove as I minced away.
It’s much more common for product teams to continually learn and discover from their existing users than it is for them to gather insights from completely unbiased non-users. But a balance between the two groups — existing and new — is ideal. New users can give you a better understanding of your initial product experience, and existing “power users” can offer you insights that come from living with a product for weeks or months.
I felt the same way about socializing, which I know is a “thing” for the newly sober. I knew it would be different to be without the armor alcohol provided me in situations when I would be expected to have lively discussions and be super extroverted (INFP over here).
- Most scripts do not take a long time to run, or they can easily run in the background on modern computers. For example I have a whole bunch of Selenium automations that can run “headless”,