Is your product stuck with biased feedback?

Product Management be it for Internet world or otherwise is an interesting job. One gets exposed to multiple business functions be it marketing, sales, customer support or general management. The only result that is desired from Product folks is to ship a product that users will love and then it should have a network effect — i.e. other associated functions can be almost on auto-pilot.


Alas, getting to this single point result is easier said than done. Success for product can be attributed to multiple factors however having been into product space for quite some time, a critical reason of product failure can definitely be attributed to BIASED feedback.

Given below are few biased factors that a product should not fell upon but is not able to avoid it –

a. Internal Bias — A product team almost on a daily basis works on wire-frames, prototypes and on developing actual product screens etc, a product marketing team works on a daily basis on new acquisition and awareness strategies — landing pages, ad words etc. and a product sales team (if any) would work on refining sales pitches, making decks etc. However when it comes to getting feedback on the work done, it is mostly either the internal team or managers.The internal team members or managers are the first one that introduces bias in the product. The internal folks are so much breathing the product that after some time, fresh perspective is not visible at all.

b. Data bias — Yes, tracking user data on product usage is a gold mine however how one goes about interpreting the data can again lead to a biased solution. For instance, you identify that a feature is not being used at all, a biased conclusion will be to remove the feature and mostly that is what a product team generally do. However, a feature not being used can also be related to non-understanding of it by users during the transaction journey or perhaps not enough push by the marketing team? Can the same feature be presented in a different manner? This will or rather cannot be uncovered by data.

c. User Bias — Most of the products have one or more ways to solicit feedback from product users. However, what I have found is that a typical feedback process generally will not point to real pain points of a user. This happens because a user is not equipped to describe the pain point in a way that a product team can understand and thus sometimes what users say and what they actually want can have a huge difference

Based on my experience, the best inputs I have received for my product has always been from folks who are from similar functions but not in the same organization.

What has been your journey to ensure product doesn’t get stuck with biased feedback?

Guest post by Nishith Gupta, UXHacks