Hypothesis driven product design

With this post I want to give a quick overview of how to do effective hypothesis driven discovery.

The deeper I go in Product Design the more it starts looking like a scientific process. After decades of defending design as not being “hand wavy” I really appreciate that.

Early stage discovery

For early feature shaping, or figuring out which product to build you want to structure your hypothesis like this:

In a specific context people perform behavior to reach goal.

Using this formula you are picking out which niche (specific context) your looking at. Which activity or tools they’re using (perform behavior) and what their intended outcome is (reach goal).

The best part is structuring it this way means you can test it by public observation or surface level interviews. Making it fast and free to do.

Narrowing down bets

IF you already have an observed behavior for reaching a goal, you can start looking for pains and points of friction.

The observed user behaviour for achieving goal has friction.

Using this formulea you can quickly find out which behaviors people think relate to the goal. And what points of friction they are experiencing.

Structuring your hypothesis this way makes it easy and cheap to test by informal or formal interviews.

Betting on specific things

When it’s finally time to make a feature or product you can use this structure:

Reducing friction will improve key result, leading to objective

This structure is how you structure the test of a feature. Unless you are measuing these things, it’s not a bet but a wish.

This is much more expensive and slow compared to the first two examples. So treat it lika a funnel.

Let me know if that helps!