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Don’t know how to validate your assumptions?

Pieter De Vocht

Innovation & Service Designer
Assumptions, assumptions... When you’re in the process of designing a new product or a new service you will have to deal with tons of assumptions that you need to validate. In fact, validating assumptions is really the only thing that counts if you want to launch something that the market will love. Keep on reading and make sure to download our free tool that comes with this blog post.

So you want to design something that will generate both revenues and a loyal customer base?

Then we have a great set of validation techniques for you. First of all, you need to know that not all validation techniques are useful during all stages of the design process. At Achilles we cluster our techniques, based on four types of assumptions;

The problem

The first type of assumptions you need to get rid of are the ones about the user problem you want to solve with your design. Before anything else, you need to know if that problem is actually a problem and if it’s big enough for you to spend your resources on solving it. To test problem-related assumptions you have to reach out to potential users and ask open questions about facts rather than opinions. Postpone solution-related research for now because you are still focusing on the problem instead of how to solve it.

The target audience

Secondly, analyse your market well. Before you start building your solution, you need to be sure that enough people are waiting for it. Apart from calculating your market size, you should also find out what characteristics define the people within your target audience. Figure out who’ll benefit most from your solution, how to reach these people and if they can provide you with enough revenue to sustain your business.

The product

By now, you have identified a pain that is large enough for a clearly identified target audience. This is the time to ideate solutions and test if they actually solve the pain. Find ways to validate (part of) your product ideas as quickly and as cheaply as you can. Don’t build expensive prototypes to test the details yet, make quick and dirty prototypes that are just good enough to test the right assumptions – and iterate fast.

The readiness to buy

Now that you know what solution can solve the user pain, you should focus on the viability of your solution by testing out how much revenue you can generate. How many people will want to pay for your solution and how much are they willing to give you? The trick to get better validations here is to not just ask people if they would pay for your solution, but to ask for actual commitment from that person as a way to validate viability. Look for genuine readiness to buy.
How to validate that genuine readiness, and how to validate all other assumptions you may have across the four big stages will all become clear once you get familiar with our free ‘Assumption killers’. This 60-card deck contains the various techniques that you can use to validate the many assumptions you’ll have during each stage.

Have a look at the many validation techniques to pick from.

Download your free card deck
Want us to help you identify and validate the right assumptions across your design process?

Pieter De Vocht

Innovation & Service Designer

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