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Researching User Needs

Course Summary

Many products are developed based on a hunch, a judgement call, and incomplete information. Needless to say, most of them fail miserably. Startup founders and business owners then ask themselves why. This course takes a different, risk-mitigating, more scientific approach to the art of starting a business. You’ll learn how to develop a product people really need by uncovering these needs well in advance. Before you write one line of code, before you hire a large team, before you take a big risk. You’ll learn the ins and outs of learning if people need your product by implementing three activities to learn from your future customers - Experience Sampling, Field Observation, and Interviewing. After making sense of it all, you’ll be able to kick-start your business with confidence in your knowledge and wisdom.

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    Course Syllabus

    Solving an Important Problem

    Before you start developing your idea, you need to make sure it solves a real problem or meets a need people care about. Explore the idea of obsessing about a problem to solve. 8 steps
    • What is a Problem? 3:41
    • What is a Need 1:25
    • The Difference Between a Need and a Want 2:43
    • Needs and Wants Quiz 3 questions
    • Requirements and hypotheses 2:45
    • Developing Empathy 1:55
    • Assignment: Empathize! 2:11
    • Solving an Important Problem Quiz 3 questions

    Finding Participants for Your Learning Activity

    Recruiting unbiased, representative participants for your learning activities ensures the validity and reliability of the data and feedback you gather. Get to know hands-on techniques for finding learning activity participants. 12 steps

    Learning activity: Experience Sampling

    In Experience Sampling, representative customers are interrupted several times a day to note their experience in real time. Understand the method, and go through a short, practical how-to guide. 8 steps

    Learning activity: Field Observation

    Observing people in their natural context of using products or services can take you a long way into uncovering their needs. Learn what to look for when observing people and how to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. 8 steps

    Learning activity: Interviewing

    Interviewing is a craft you must master when learning from customers. Learn how to conduct an interview and what are the key questions you should ask your customers. 11 steps

    Making Sense of it All

    You collected a lot of rich data during these learning activities. Not all of them make sense right away. Get the tools and techniques for synthesizing your data from information into knowledge you can use to make product decisions. 10 steps

Course Fee:
USD 25

Course Type:


Course Status:



1 - 4 hours / week

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Finalist at SiTF Awards 2014 under the category Best Social & Community Product
Finalist at HR Vendor of the Year 2015 Awards under the category Best Learning Management System
Finalist at HR Vendor of the Year 2015 Awards under the category Best Talent Management Software
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