One thing that always baffles my mind is how some product teams think formative user research when building a product or service is optional.
I would counter that you shouldn’t be building unless you’ve done some formative user research.
If you skip user research before building a product or service –
1. You won’t have a clear and full understanding of the pain points your users are facing. You could be leaving monetizable opportunities on the table.
2. You won’t have a clear hypothesis to test and measure. If you don’t know where you’re starting from, how can you know when you have managed to create a positive impact.
3. User research helps you frame your strategy and prioritize what features could have the most business impact for your customer base. If you don’t do user research, you are actually increasing project risks rather than mitigating them.