How Involved Should Your Target Customer Be In Your Product Development Process?


Most product developers understand that the target customer’s needs should be at the starting point of the product development cycle. However, the question that often follows this is, how involved should your customer be? There is a necessary distinction between addressing the customer’s needs and interfering with a company’s goals. Great product design services learn how to involve customers in the development cycle, while also considering the logistics side that will affect business strategy. 

First things first, you need to understand the problems and needs of your customers. You can not even begin product ideation without understanding your customers’ behavior and perspective.

As a product developer, your concept of the customer at the beginning of the project may be abstract and general. You don’t need to ask customers precisely what they need but, instead, track their reaction to your ideas. One of the significant mistakes that product design services make is immediately asking their customers what they want from a product. The reason for this is that a customer may think they know what they want in theory, but will not actually make use of the feature in reality. This mistake often leads to wonky interfaces.

Unless a customer can evaluate a developed product, he or she will always answer your queries from a principle reference. They are always going to say yes to more advanced features and more control. As a developer, if you take this feedback too far, the end product will be more complicated than it needs to be. As a result, your customers will be unsatisfied. 

Watch customers’ reactions 

One of the most important responsibilities that a product developer has is to record consumer responses while they interact with the product. Product developers must monitor how user-friendly the experience is and then implement changes that will better optimize the product for a satisfactory result. 

Surprise your customer 

When developing a product, you should aim to surprise and delight your customers. This kind of reaction means that your customer is satisfied with your solution; and is also impressed by your methods of reaching this solution. When you have gained this kind of respect for your product, you are more likely to have a more successful launch. 

Gather solicit actionable information

Product design companies involve your target audience at almost every phase of your product development cycle. You can receive a tremendous amount of information from customer participation, particularly the early adopters and beta users. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to ask what they want and what feature you should add next, but it does mean you should watch how they interact with the product. If they are not gaining any value from a specific feature, then you should remove it. Their behavior is a great indicator of which features are useful and which aren’t. 

Understand that customers do not always know what they want

Customers are not always in tune with their product needs. They will voice their requests based on their previous experiences and what they think is possible. However, it is the developer’s responsibility to analyze and synthesize their behavior to device a solution that can fulfill their actual needs. 

Listen to your customers and understand what they are saying. If you can translate those ideas into a generally applicable solution that could serve the whole market, you will experience the ‘magic’ that product design has to offer.