What would be a good way to uncover why users need your product? On a different context from a user or a persona's goals and needs. I am working on a product already in the market with many users. I want to research what actually 'triggers' them to look for our product in the first place.

Currently I am considering interviews with current users and quick in-app surveys to ask for their true intention for downloading. I am also considering a proper survey emailed to users who just signed up, but I'm not sure how to phrase the questions (I'm a newbie). Can anyone advise on some strategies or point me to the right direction on this? Thanks.

2 Answers 2


The topic on how to build a questionnaire is not trivial and it is teached in psychology courses. It is hard to summarize. Golden rule: have clear in mind that you have your own personal belifs about any topic (for example why you, or the users, want to download an app). You should be aware of what is your opinion about this topic and try to considerate any other possibility.

I would start with open interviews. The aim of these interviews should be to let users tell what is their reason why they downloaded. Be careful not to look for a confirmation of your opinions, not lead the conversation in the direction you suppose it should go. Just ask direct and simply questions, be open to any kind of reason and basically be curious about people's motivation (you could be surprised!). Do not comment the answers, create a relaxing setting and be supportive and sincerely curious. Be careful about what you say (the lesser the better), use non verbal language to be supportive and welcoming.

Once you collected many opinions and ideas, you should summarize in concepts (for example: money saving, health, fun, "just for try", etc.) and then build a questionnaire using a Liker scale on these concepts. The questionnaire would add quantitative validity to your qualitative data collected with interviews.

Hope this helps!

  • Hi, thanks for the answer. I think the interview is a great idea to find out about users' motivations. In these cases, how would one calculate the ideal sample size for interviews? Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 2:15
  • as in general for statistics, the more the better. It depends on your budget or time. I would interview at least about 10 persons. Select the persons in order to include as many categories possible (age, gender, work position, country, culture...). Groups depend on collected statistics (if you have). If you don't have any, you should include as large groups possible Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 8:36

Use 1-1 semi structured interviews.

Ask them what they do and the kinds of frustration, wants etc they encounter going about their daily routine. You can also ask them what problems they are trying to solve when using your software. If you can, see if you can watch them use your service.

You'll probably discover a whole bunch of information about how your tool can help your users in ways you never thought of before; I think it's all about context.

  • Hi, thank you for the answer! I think interviews are a great idea. I just have one confusion about finding out about their frustration - how would this differ from the persona's pain points and goals? We already have a set of personas and their goals, frustrations, everything, but I want to find out why users actually end up clicking that 'download' button. Do you have any insight on how to make a distinction between the two? Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 2:17
  • pain point is where they can't solve a problem and frustration is their level of emotion trying to solve that problem and how that manifests itself through their actions and behaviours
    – colmcq
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 14:54

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