“When The Task Of User Is To Move The Focus From The Person To The Context”

Product Manager in a travel Agency SuitePad Anna Buldakova about what the concept of Jobs-to-be-done and how it helps to improve the products. I want to tell you about one great framework, which, unfortunately, few know. Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD).

It popularized a Professor at Harvard business school and author of “the innovators Dilemma” Clayton Christensen. The idea of the approach is very simple. There is, for example, Peter. Pete 30 years, he has a wife and child.

Peter is hardworking, cheerful and kind. On weekends Peter goes to the gym, and once a month meets with friends in the sports bar. Five minutes ago, Peter bought Pokeg. Did any of the characteristics listed above, the purchase.

No, not affected. Peter bought a Snickers not because he is 30 years old, and because he was hungry. All of us constantly there are some tasks (the”work” in the terminology of JTBD). To kill time standing in line; to make a useful Breakfast; to share impressions of the trip.

When we start to use some product, we actually “hired” him to help us to do some specific “work”. The product is not the same as a person or his features, but the same problems that it resolves. Of course, the idea to build a product around the problem is not new (in fact, JTBD has been around for over 30 years, but was used mainly in the production of physical products). JTBD just gives a convenient framework and tools for the job, thats all.

But the difference is in the organization team in building the strategy and development of features is huge. Even if you are an expert in UX, you have probably seen this pattern: As a <type of user> I want to <action/some goal> so that <outcome>.

In essence this is a user story — that is, some brief description of features from the user. <Type of user> is usually based on one of your people. About people you can read more here. In a nutshell. You conduct user research, analyze online data and create several (normally five or six) collective of users who represent key segments of your audience.

Honestly, I tried several times to use the personas and user stories work, but are constantly faced with the same problems. Some aspects can and do mislead. For example, we do feature “share this page” for news website.

The fact that our person works as a doctor, should somehow influence the development of features, should we take this as something to consider. Here I, for example, began the transformation of the what is in why. And why is anyone to share news in social networks. What motivates the user, what his motivation. And, oddly enough, a person in answering this question were combined into one group.

Will not so offend people, in General, it is a good tool to “get to know” between developers and users. But to determine product strategy and prioritize features does not suit a.

Thus, we gradually came to job stories, who invented the Intercom. And the point is that the focus from personal characteristics there are shifts in the context of: When <situation> I want to <motivation> So I can <outcome>. Lets compare: As a 30-year-old Petya, I want to eat something tasty, so that I was no longer hungry.

When I have two minutes to eat between meetings, I want to eat something that it was simple, fast, and raised my blood sugar, so I can hold out until lunch and keep working mood. Let us now examine in more detail how to make the job story. For example, we have gym, where we want to increase sales of monthly passes.

First look at the persona (the description is rather arbitrary, in reality it is more detailed and detailed): In any case, such descriptions will be useful to us. For example, for targeted advertising. We want to attract more Mash or Nikita — please.

Set your campaign settings according to specific characteristics of our people and wait. Suitable whether they are for development, especially innovative. In my opinion, not very. The person is the final result of our work.

This is the audience that we already have. Focusing on the person, we artificially limit your a product, dont design features for new, potential users. Again, focusing solely on the “Oldies”, improving the product for them, we are out from the competition. Because I do not think about other ways to solve our users.

We are thinking about how they see this decision and tolerative it, instead of radically change the approach and to sort out the solution. Relatively speaking, we can build an ultra-modern gym with touchscreen and a childrens area, and still “give” part of the user to the mobile application training or home exercise bike. Here is a sample job story that could happen:

I have small children and when I am working in the hall, I didnt have anyone to leave them. I want in this moment they were supervised me not to worry and quietly practiced for an hour. It is important here that Masha 30 years. She had two rather than one child.

Who is it by education. And all this is Mary, and not Anne. No, in the foreground there is only one feature. That our user has small children.

In job stories is part of the context rather than the user description, simply because in the context may be completely different in profile. In the example with children it can be Mary, and maybe Nikita, if his older sister went on a business trip and asked me to babysit, and he doesnt want to miss a workout. It is easiest to understand this by the example of Uber. Kind of like here, then certainly there are two specific person.

The driver and passenger. In fact, this feature is only part of the context. Depending on the situation, the driver may be in the passenger seat and Vice versa. If we are talking about the candy store, and the context of “I Want to occasionally treat yourself to a sweet after a hard day or a successful project”, you can get here as Masha and Nikita and Misha diabetic, vegetarian Alice and Dieter Peter.

We think that our users are different, and what unites them. Thus, those features of what we do and we realize that get the most coverage. Person, certainly much better than nothing. Moreover, many successful companies are still working with this framework and feel great.

In any case, job stories — this is just another good way to look at your product. Person allow you under a magnifying glass to look at your users, but do not answer the question of why they continue to use your product and why will the new after you implement the feature. In my picture of the world, it looks like this:

Lets say we inspired and want to write a good job story. Where to start. Of course, research. Most of the current studies focus on the time of consumption of the product, whereas a job story research tries to understand when and under what conditions the client has crept in first thought about buying a product (i.e. what happened before the start of use).

The researcher assumes that the client at the time of purchase decision, there are four forces: The main task in this interview is to identify these four factors. It is very important to understand not only rational but also emotional aspects of the decision:

And so on. A very important point. It is necessary to speak not with the user and the buyer — the person who made the purchase decision. That is, you must not interview the child, whose parents bought a gym membership, but just parents.

People are inert by nature. In most cases, they are more likely to continue to use the familiar than to explore the market and look for something new. Should something out of the ordinary, so I stopped taking coffee at your favorite coffee house. And it is very important to understand that users are not buying your product, they switch him with something else.

Before the new gym was the previous gym. To the previous gym was charging on the Mat in the morning. Until Mat had burgers and ice cream at McDonalds (this is indirect competition of her later).

The price of switching from one product to another is determined by habit and satisfaction, coupled with the fear of change. And it is critical to catch this moment of internal struggle to push the user in the right direction. Products decide not isolated issues, and problems that occur in a workflow. Is what happened and what will happen “after”.

Thus, the “working” of the product is the start and end points. The question is, how to properly determine. If your product does too little, in the eyes of the user, it is not worth to install it (and, especially, to pay for it). If the product does too much, it would conflict with the existing workflow elements who are quite satisfied user.

So where is the middle ground. Lets look at a simple example. Lets say you write a clock application, in this case the workflow might look like this:

“Job” your product needs to begin with a step where you can add some value to the user. For our example, it is likely to step number 3. Of course we can get before. For example, if the user usually gets up at 7:00 and 12:00 PM, and the phone is active, our app will send a reminder. “And you do not want to set an alarm and go to sleep?”.

Can go further. Do the fitness bracelet, which will capture the pulse and activity of the user and recommend him the best time to go to sleep (and Wake it, respectively, is also the best time for lifting). Whether it is. Does the user “need” that corresponds to the scope of research and development.

It is necessary to understand and solve product team in the beginning. When “work” needs to end: Some time ago I wrote about the company BVG, which de facto monopolist in the field of public transport in Berlin.

BVG spends huge money on advertising. Question. What she is doing, if everything, metro, buses and trams belong exclusively to her?. If you look at this question from the point of view of the JTBD, the answer will come by itself.

“Work” user in this context is to get from point a to point B, not to use public transport. And here BVG is not a monopoly, but only one of the participants of the market on a par with: Personal bikes. Bicycles and scooters are available for rent. Taxi.

Private cars. Car sharing. Even movement on foot. JTBD takes a broader look at the problems of the user and to identify your actual competitors.

With no direct competition, everything is clear. But there is another kind of competition, about which all forget. Example. Peter loves burgers and wants to only eat them, but at the same time, Peter wants to be muscular and athletic.

That is, conditional BurgerKing and FitBit sell completely different products and various challenges, but fighting for the same user. This indirect competition.

Direct competition — competition for “work”. Indirect competition — competition for “result”. When <situation> I want to <motivation> So I can <outcome>. This outcome is us and it is important to determine.

In this context, for instance, Skype competes with flying business class, because the “result” they have one or to hold a business meeting. Back to the burgers and sports, the result can be. “to feel happy and more confident” or “to feel belonging to some social group”. Define global “result” of your product not only helps to properly position themselves in the market, but to work with competitors.

To move forward, you must either make the “result” of another product less attractive in the eyes of the user or change the positioning of the product to the “results” were no longer in conflict. The material used free translation of some passages from the book of Jobs-To-Be-Done from the Intercom. Send columns, corresponding to the requirements of the editorial Board, [email protected]

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