March 22, 2019

Idea feedback pretty please! (Bonus landing page included for a tear down)

Hi fellow IH,

Looking for some feedback/validation on my idea and hopefully some signups if anyone is interested. https://www.userpool.co/

Problem: I'm a product designer, I've worked at a number of startups and larger companies over the past 10 years. In my experience, the most important part of product development and the one that people don't do enough of, is actual user testing. I sometimes find more value in a 10 minute guerrilla test then weeks of persona work, ideation and planning. Until your idea and MVP is validated with actual people, you cannot say whether it offers value or not.

For startups and larger companies, this part of the process is difficult and often neglected due to the organisational overhead and cost. User recruitment is expensive and time-consuming. My idea is to create a shared database of people who want to participate in user testing and allow businesses to filter/segment this and contact them directly for a monthly fee. This will save a huge amount of money and cut down on the admin. Eventually, I can see the process being fairly automated with requests being sent out and responded to from within the platform.

I'm still at the stage of validating this concept and talking to UX researchers to find a market fit, I'm looking to sign up 4-5 startups (or individuals) initially to help develop the idea and see if it works. I have a small base of recruits vetted and am curious to see how we could progress this system together. I'm London based so this will only work with clients in this location to start with.

Let me know your thoughts good and bad and if you're interested, please get in touch!

Stevie

  1. 1

    This is totally a great idea! I love the illustrations and how clear the landing page is.

    Part of the challenge with user testing though, is finding niche users or particular demographic. For example, in one startup we were looking specifically for product marketing managers or similar job roles.

    Our current company cares a lot about hobbies - particularly, women who are passionate about beauty / makeup.

    The other challenge is location - in person interviews are much better and easier, but a bigger challenge logistically.

    It would be great to see the landing page address these concerns, and maybe focus on particular niches.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Your point around finding niche users is totally valid. Few products will have hugely broad audience so allowing designers to segment and choose their users will be crucial.

      To stay lean for the validation phase, I want to approach startups with a younger student audience as I think they'll be an easy market to recruit as testers. Challenger banks could be a good fit for this audience, so I'm trying to get some face time with businesses in this sector.

      As for location, for this early stage I'm merely going to facilitate designers contacting testers directly - they will still have to deal with logistics. I feel my value is in the cost savings by not paying per recruit. This may still prove to be too inefficient for small ux teams though.

      Totally agree about the landing page being wildly vague, lol. Spun it up quickly to have some presence for me to approach business for research purposes. As the concept takes shape I'll flesh it out - or kill it if the idea has no legs!

    2. 1

      Also, just signed up as a tester! Best of luck!

  2. 1

    There are a bunch of startups in this field globally so there is definitely demand. Google User testing services. The biggest challenge is being able to conduct productive user testing sessions - asking the right questions and being aware of the bias that exists just from asking those questions.

    The 2nd challenge is finding the right target user and this is not as easy as asking just about anyone to join your usability study. Ideally, you'd want to find people who are actually looking for products like yours. This targeting naturally limits the pool of candidates.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't pursue the idea, but be aware of the challenges and possible solutions that you offer to your would be customers.

    If the platform connects testers with startups and they meet in person to do testing, the startup has to know how to conduct the test. Ultimately, no user testing will get you to 100% truth, but it's a good start (especially for basic things like being able to find stuff, knowing where to click and general feedback to help with UX).

    1. 1

      Thanks for the response, appreciated!

      So I'm definitely not proposing to run or conduct testing sessions - this would be done by the UX team of the business/startup. I see my value add in connecting designers with users cheaply - this has always been the most painful part of the process for me.

      Agree that being able to target specific demographics will be crucial.

      Your points around conducting effective testing are interesting, if I continue with the idea a blog section on best practices and some medium articles could be useful and also help grow an audience.

  3. 1

    I know of a startup that does this. They seem to be doing ok with it so there's clearly demand there.

    1. 1

      Interesting - could you send me their website? Thanks!