Getting to Know Your Users & Customers

At this point, it's all about really getting to know what the people you're designing for need and face - what's tough for them and where they're coming from. You want to dig deep to get those insights that'll shape what you're making, making sure your idea hits the mark for those you want to help. It's crucial to distinguish between a 'customer,' the one investing in your solution, and a 'user,' the one engaging with it. Grasping this difference is key at this stage, ensuring your innovation resonates with both the practical needs of the user and the expectations of the buyer.

To what degree does the venture understand the problem, needs and motivations of the end users and customers?

When asking this question, consider the following focus areas and sample questions:

User & Customer Needs

• Could the venture outline a typical user journey and elaborate on how its solution enhances each phase of their experience?

• How has the venture integrated user feedback into the evolution of its solution?

Cultural Context

• How does the venture's solution accommodate or honor the cultural norms and values of its intended user group?

• In what ways has the venture ensured that its solution does not inadvertently overlook or alienate specific segments within its target demographic?

Competitor Research

• How has the venture adapted to emergent trends or shifts in its market that could impact its competitive edge?

• Can the venture reflect on a competitor's setback or triumph that has influenced its strategic orientation or methodology?

Synthesis and Insights

• What was an unforeseen revelation from the venture's research that necessitated a significant alteration or redirection in its project?

• How does the venture assess the success of its solution in fulfilling user requirements and expectations?