This post is one of my 🔥Multi-Part Product Guide series. You may also like my top-rated guides such as — Profitable SaaS Ideas, Minimum Viable Market & MVP Experiments For Your Startup! ✍️Join my free newsletter to receive these insights!
Before you build any product idea, you must test it and assess its potential to avoid building something that no one wants. Today, I’ll share my product framework helping you in conducting effective testing throughout the product development process.
#1 Viability Test
Is the problem or solution commercially viable?
The goal of the viability test is to determine whether there is a market potential for your startup idea.
In other words, you must determine whether your problem is worth solving and whether the solution has commercial value.
3 ways to figure out the market potential
(1) Explore market segments:
Let’s take the example of building an online learning platform. It could be corporate training, language learning, professional upskilling or academic learning. Dive into these niche markets to understand their unique needs and pain points.
(2) Study existing competitors:
Look at how your competitors are positioning themselves in the market. Create a map for each niche market and identify the solutions that are gaining traction. If your competitors are making money by solving the same problem, it’s a sign that there’s a real demand.
(3) Create experiments for viability test:
You can set up “minimum viable experiments” to test the market. Talking to potential customers can help you understand the intensity of a problem. To determine market demand, run test ads and monitor the Click-Through Rate to gauge interest. Or, create a sales pitch to gauge initial responses from potential customers.
#2 Value Proposition Test
Does the solution deliver meaningful value to the user?
Whether you’re in the early stages without a working MVP or post-launch with a live product, running a value proposition test is crucial.
The goal is to make sure your product not only solves a problem but also gives significant value to your users.
You can set up a landing page for value proposition tests:
- Outline the product’s messaging, target customers, product demos, benefits of your solution, and core differentiators.
- Include a validation mechanism in your Call-To-Action, such as offering early access or free sign-ups, to gauge initial interest.
- Track metrics like sign-up rates or engagement with free trials to assess the effectiveness of your value proposition.
Pro Tip: Creating several variations allows you to test different messaging, visual elements, and calls-to-action to identify the most effective combination.
To test variations of your value proposition:
- Identify your potential user base and segment them based on the variations you plan to test.
- Introduce variations one at a time to understand the impact of each change.
- Follow up with users who have signed up by conducting an online survey or inviting them to participate in a one-on-one user interview.
#3 Feasibility Test
Is the solution buildable and scalable?
Before turning your product idea into reality, ask three key questions.
- First, do you have the budget to make it happen?
- Second, does your team have the technical skills to build it?
- And third, do you have the technology to cater to the product’s uniqueness?
This is the feasibility test. It’s not just about meeting demand.
It’s about practicality.
Here’s how to test the feasibility of your product idea:
(1) Technical Pre-totype:
Run command line tests to check the basic functionality and feasibility of your product. You can simulate user interactions, data processing, and core features through command-line inputs to validate the technical groundwork before extensive development.
(2) Technical Prototype:
Stitch together different components of your chosen technical stack to create a prototype. If you’re building a mobile app, integrate the user interface, backend logic, and external functionalities to test drive the feasibility of core features.
(3) Third-Party APIs:
Instead of creating the entire technical prototype from scratch, use third-party APIs to build out the functional components and databases. This method saves time and money while providing valuable information about the technical feasibility of your idea.
#4 Usability Test
Is the solution easy to use?
Usability Test is all about getting feedback on how users interact and experience your product.
You want to ensure that the solution is as user-friendly and friction-free as possible.
Ideally, you should conduct this product test after you have a viable solution to show your customer. It can be an interactive prototype, a mockup, or a functional MVP with basic features.
This test can happen after you’ve introduced the minimum viable products to the market or your target customers, or it can happen later, when you’re releasing new features on your product.
Here’s how to do it…
(1) Beta testing:
Work closely with a select group of users to release a beta version of your product. This direct interaction allows you to collect authentic feedback and pinpoint areas for improving your minimum viable products.
(2) Behavioural insights:
Use tools like Hotjar or Mixpanel to see how users interact with your product. Heatmaps visually show where users click and engage. Understanding these patterns helps improve your product’s design and functionality based on what users actually do.
(3) User testing platforms:
Engage potential testers through platforms like UserTesting.com. Go through all user feedback and screen recordings to identify patterns and make informed product development decisions.
Validate people’s willingness to pay for your idea
I’ve combined various tactics, frameworks, and processes to determine whether your product ideas have the potential to be monetized.