So the problem I want to validate is if anyone has trouble starting or holding a conversation with someone they want to talk to and if they want to solve that problem.
I have done some research and find out some people are actually interested in my idea. I have built a summary of their personas base on their personal information. They are all real; I didn’t make them up because there is no point building an imagination of your user. You need real people here who you can talk to.
So let’s validate my idea step by step.
1. Invite people to our interview. Here is the script:
- Hi Jeremy, do you have time for a chat? I would like to ask your opinion on something I’m working on.
- Hi John, thanks for being nice to me. Do you mind if we have a chat about something I’m working on?
- Depends on the situation and your relationship with the other person, this is a more formal one, feel free to edit to your position.“Hope all is well, I have a quick favor to ask.
- I’ve got a product idea that I’m trying to validate with people who have trouble starting a conversation with someone. My goal is to chat with people to better understand their world and evaluate whether it’s worthwhile pursuing this product.
- I’d really appreciate it if you could send this message along to people you know who have the same problem.”
Note: In my case, I know a lot of people who have this problem, so I just have a casual chat with each of them, blend the questions in a conversation with them rather than making it like a formal interview.
2. Interview script went like this
- Hey, can you tell me the last conversation you have with someone you never met or never talked to before? how did it go
- Did you start the conversation or the other person started it?
- What did you guys talk about?
- How did you enjoy the conversation?
- How long did the conversation go?
- Who talked more?
- What did you learn about the other person?
- Would you talk to him/ her again?
- Okay, so I’ve met some people who were having the problem with starting or holding a conversation with someone they want to talk to. Do you experience the same problem?
- When do you experience it more often?
- What’s holding you back from starting or continuing a conversation with someone?
- How do you handle/ overcome this challenge?
3. Try to listen to their stories, take notes and try to pick up the subtle behaviours which will help you later.
In this case, I tried to pick up their body language, their confidence level, and their expression. By listening to their stories, I would be able to see if they are very good at expressing themselves or having the problem with organising their thoughts, putting it into speech and telling a story. I tried to learn about the situation they were in if it’s a general discussion among a group of friends or a one on one date or that’s the person they already knew or someone they never met before.
4. What I learnt
The biggest lesson I learnt from this exercise is everyone is different, and everyone has different reasons that hold them back from starting or holding a conversation. I’ve opened a can of worms, and the problem is HUGE.
I interviewed from smooth talkers who always know what to talk about to people who really don’t know how to start a meaningful conversation; from people who can talk about almost anything in the world to people who don’t even have a basic of how to socialise and how to open up themselves to themselves. Yeah, you read it right, they never explore themselves and never really talk to themselves about themselves, we call it self-realisation. Am I right?
It seems impossible to solve the problem because every individual has different problems and needs a different solution. Some need to listen more so they can understand the other person and what he/she is talking about; some need to learn and understand themselves more so they can express their thoughts better; some need more confidence to open up and share their mind; some need to learn the world is huge and interesting, they need to learn more so they would have something to talk about. That made me want to give up this project because I knew there is no one solution that could fix all the problems they are having.
So what do I do now? Look for Wally. No kidding!
Pro tips: Click on the image to open a bigger one. Easy!
Did you find Wally? If not, go back and find him first. Seriously!
Even though my users are everywhere, all over the place, and they are so different from one to another, I was able to categorise them into the various groups. It is important to keep notes so I can expand my user base later. For now, I choose one group of people who have interesting thoughts and knowledge but lacking in experience and confidence to start and hold a meaningful conversation. Basically, they are interesting people, just too shy and never have experience having a deep conversation with other people before. Sounds simple enough? Not really but still somewhere to start.
6. After that I come home and think about my solution, how I can make this works for people by answering these question:
- How might Jeremy start talking to Marry?
- What would Jeremy/ Marry think right now?
- What would keep Jeremy and Marry talking?
- How do they connect with each other?
- What would trigger Jeremy and Marry to have a deeper conversation?
The solution is coming soon…