There are two factors that we should pay attention to when developing the product. How important the need for the features is to the user and how satisfied they are with the existing solutions out there. According to Dan Olsen in his book “The lean product playbook”, the hierarchy of web user needs from the most important to the least important are as follows:
- Page load time
- Absence of bugs
- Feature set
- UX design
The first three must be satisfied when the user interacts with the product. Number four and five increase satisfaction for the users. This clearly states that we should prioritize uptime over page load time and page load time over the absence of bugs.
Uptime > Page load time > Absence of bugs > Feature set > UX design
How do we prioritize features for your next release?
We should be spending time on building the features that are important to the users and either there are no existing solutions for them or users are not happy with the existing solutions. We should not even bother with features that are not important to the users. As simple as it sounds most companies fail in doing this. That’s where user interviews are important. They tell us what the users care the most about.
How to measure Importance and Satisfaction?
We far, we’ve talked about the two qualities of Importance and Satisfaction. In short, when you interview your customers, ask them when you are using our service, how important it is that it does *YOUR FEATURE HERE* for you?
How important it is that when you use our product, it does YOUR SERVICE HERE for you?
- Not important at all
- Somewhat important
- Moderatly important
- Very important
- Extremely important
How satisfied are you with existing solutions that deliver YOUR SERVICE HERE?
- Extremely dissatisfied
- very dissatisfied
- Somewhat dissatisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Very satisfied
- Extremely satisfied
Next, we plot the results for each user
All we need is a simple table with the list of users interviewed and a scatter chart in excel.
Importance vs Satisfaction table – Feature X
|User’s name||User ID||Satisfaction [1-7]||Importance [1-5]|
The idea here is simple. All we need to do is identify the features that occupy the top-left of the Satisfaction-importance quadrant of your chart. Those features are the ones that will deliver the most value to the customer without much competition.
The whole picture is more complicated than what we discussed here. We need to look into what competitors have to offer as well. If competitors are offering features that are important, you’ll have no choice but to offer them.
|Feature list||Competitor A||Competitor B||Your product|
|Performance Feature D||High||Low||Medium|
|Performance Feature E||Medium||High||Low|
|Delight Feature F||Y||N||N|
|Delight Feature G||Y||N||Y|
Features A, B, and C are Must-Haves because both of your competitors have them and according to your user research it’s something that your users need. You discover that fact from your user interviews.
In this post, we talk more about feature prioritization considering the resources needed for the development work.