Triangulating User Experience with Lean Startup Tools

– Lean Startup Tools

Triangulating the User Experience

It's not just about Customer Interviews. Click To Tweet

I’m a massive fan of Customer Development, Steve Blank’s fantastic contribution to creating new businesses. Steve frequently reminds us to “Get Out of the Building” and go talk to customers. But that cannot be the only tool in our toolbox.

Users are wily and/or chronically incoherent. Sometimes they say things that just don’t make a bit of sense.

Sometimes they say things that make a ton of sense but are completely false.

Sometimes we hear what they’re saying but don’t listen to the meaning.

A Toolbox for Lean Startup Tools

Using just one tool like Customer Interviews or a survey gives you one piece of information that represents a general direction and arc of where the ideal User Experience might be. You’ve narrowed your search.

To really understand your customer, you need to use an arsenal of tools. Click To Tweet
  • Usability testing
  • Customer Development
  • Customer Personas
  • Minimum Viable Product
  • Concierge¬†Testing
  • A/B testing
  • Cohort analysis
  • Mental Models
  • Contextual Inquiry
  • Design Anthropology
  • …and yes….even surveys.

(Note: I got most of this list from and I highly recommend their stuff on Lean UX)

Start with People, Never End

Please do go out and talk to your customers. It’s critical.

It’s the first thing you should be doing. You won’t even know what questions you should be asking on your endlessly fine tuned (and probably useless) survey until you talk to a few customers.


Use a different tool. Get a different angle. Triangulate the User Experience. Click To Tweet

Now go back and talk to people. You’ll have a whole new set of questions to ask.

Four Eyes Principle

Finally, get a second perspective.

Go push your co-founder out of the building. Click To Tweet

A second opinion with different assumptions will ask different questions, hear different answers, and help you zero in on where your product needs to go.

We can’t see our own typos, we can’t find the whitespace error that’s crashing our app, what makes us presume that we are the end all, be all opinion on our customers?

Be a Minimum Viable Team.