How to Know if Your Product Really Delivers Value?

We all have been in this type of situation: you do all of the work: going through UX strategy, prototyping, designing and developing, hoping that the end result will benefit people, your client or your organization.

But the end result is not what you were expecting it to be.

“The core problem with so many businesses is that they’re based on what the business owner wants. They’re fantasizing about being the hero: “I’m going to ride in on my white ‘software’ horse, and save these poor people.”

- Hoy and Hillman

What you need to do is to get everybody to take a step back before going heads down. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day problems especially when you have features and functions list in front of you.

A laundry list of things that absolutely have to be done. Everybody wants to dive straight into work without thinking over what’s worth doing.


Define Where are You

The first thing is to understand where you are at in terms of UX?

There are 3 levels of UX maturity meaning there are 3 ways of operating where you are either doing a strategic work or you are just trying to plug holes?

Level I. Operational (Most common)

Most organizations and teams find themselves in this place. Our heads are down, we just trying to figure out how to do all of that stuff in a time we have to do it. Or we deal with bugs, we did a quick prototype and it’s not working.


Level II. Tactical (More mature)

Solving business/user problems. You are focused on how this benefits us as an organization if we roll this function out. You are focused on how it affects the end users.

You’re little more focused on business issues and users issues but you’re still very head down trying to figure out how we’re going to do this.


Level III. Strategic (Where you need to be)

You take a step back and say — “Should we do this in the first place? What is gonna happen as a result?”.

Instead of just saying — “Yes, let’s do that! Let’s go!”. You take a step back and say — “Wait a minute, is this the right thing to spend our time on over the next weeks or months?”.


3 critical Questions You Need to Ask Yourself First.

1. What’s Worth Doing?

What is worth our time? What can we reasonably accomplish with the budget and resources we currently have available? Does it solve the problem we’re trying to solve? Is the outcome valuable to us?


2. What are We Creating?

You need everybody on the team (developers, designers, project managers, stakeholders) to have a shared understanding of what we’re creating.


3. What Value does It Provide?

What value goes out to users as a result of doing this, and when they do the thing we are expecting them to do, what value comes back to the business?

If people find it very easy to use your online services, then they more likely to purchase it, if they more likely to purchase it, that means you make money. That’s value back to you.

What value comes out and what comes back in?

  1. You should understand your users first. Who are they, what their environment is like and how it affects their behavior, emotions?

  2. What experiences are valuable to them?

  3. How is our product going to be different from competitors?


  • At the beginning of each project, start defining WHAT you’re doing, WHY you’re doing this, and WHY IT MATTERS before you invest any time in actually designing or building. In a nutshell, it solves a lot of problems before they ever start.

  • Always ask yourself: "Is this the right thing to do? Does it really solve our customers' problems?"

  • Remember: If you have a bad process, the outcome is a bad product.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below . I'll be happy to hear from you. 

About the author

Alex Gilev is a UX Strategy consultant with experience leading a variety of complex SaaS projects in B2C, and B2B organizations.