On Reese's and data

Whenever we start making an app (or website, or online learning module, or…), we think we know everything.

We have a million great ideas, a million assumptions, and a million ways to be totally, completely, spectacularly wrong.

It’s so easy to think everyone’s gonna eat our Reese’s in three simple bites, but in reality, it turns out that some people prefer to nibble off the ridges on the edge, then pop the center on their tongue and let it dissolve like a wafer. And some people like to take that first nibbly step, and then eat the middle in three distinct bites.

*shrug emoji*

And of course, you can mitigate this by doing as much customer research as you can before building your product. You can ask potential snackers, “How do you prefer to eat a Reese’s?” and “When considering chocolate and peanut butter candies, do you value expedience or longevity?”

And your survey respondents will tell you all bunch of stuff. Some of it may be interesting and alert you to factors you never thought of before! That’s super valuable!

And some of it may be totally inaccurate!

Because (and here I’m lowering my voice)… people lie to themselves all the damn time.

I may think I eat a Reese’s very daintily and cleanly but the videotape will clearly show that I’m a total slob and I leave wrappers and napkins everywhere I go. But I’d never say so on a survey.

SO…

How are you getting the real truth about what’s going on with your app?

Are you asking people? That’s fine.

But do you have any direct observation methods set up?

That’s better :-)

Unless you’re watching people eat the dang Reese’s yourself (or videotaping them, or getting readouts from sensors in their mouths or stomachs), you’re not gonna get the whole truth.

There are as many ways to get real data as there are to eat a Reese’s. Just figure out which way works for you.

Have a great weekend,

Sam