A user journey is the path your users take through your product, service, or brand. It’s not just the onboarding or registration process, or the path to conversion. The intersection between your company, product, and brand is what shapes their experience throughout their lifetime as users. The better you understand those journeys, the more effective you’ll be as a product manager — and the more successful your product will be.
So you have a good handle on common usage patterns and user journeys, but have you had a chance to look beyond your product?
Let’s take an analytics tool for example, in many cases, you’ll have a few users in the org, especially if it’s a seat-based product, but you might have plenty of people informed by your tool.
But how can you tell?
Let’s see a classic example of data sharing journey:
User goes into app → Reviews a dashboard → applies filters → gains an insight → wants to share it ASAP → What’s next?
Personally, I love Mixpanel and I think they do a great job as an analytics platform. They also have quite a few options to share content from within the app:
A quick option to share a chart with anyone
The good: You can share a chart in a specific state, and you get full functionality
The bad: People will need to sign-up or log in, which is quite a bit of friction if you just want to share a data point
Will it help you see beyond your product? Not really, the links are not unique and there’s no way to tell if someone clicked on them.
The good old share model- this time with a cool option to make a dashboard public, eliminating sign-up friction, but it will only work if you have no privacy concerns. But let’s assume that is the case and measure it as a sharing option.
The good: People get to see the big picture, and they can revisit to get updates
The bad: It’s not an optimal solution if you only want to share a specific data point. It’s usually too much information.
Will it help you see beyond your product? Partially yes; if you have a public dashboard, you can monitor its visitors. But how will you convert users to users? Or do they join on their own?
A fair option, if you don’t know how to take a screenshot (it’s Cmd+Shift+4 on mac)
The good: Simple and easy
The bad: Static and takes longer than just taking a screenshot
Will it help you see beyond your product? No
We understand why in most cases, users will just take a screenshot and send it on Slack/Teams. We’ve done it too!
I am not sure it always is, and we can’t prevent users from taking a screenshot, but we can create a great alternative. Google Docs and Figma had quite a bit of success competing with the good old screenshot. They’ve mostly gained popularity by successfully battling with the “screenshot + send” option by allowing users to interact in the proper context.
Let’s see how that flow will work with in-app comms:
User goes into app → Reviews a dashboard → applies filters → gains an insight → wants to share it ASAP → Clicks on the data point to open a comment box → Mentions a Slack channel → A new message pops up on the channel
The message includes a screenshot (for context), a short message by the user, and a deep link allowing users to navigate to the chart in the specific state.
The screenshot can even be annotated to highlight specific insights.
But how is it better than taking a screenshot?
From a user perspective, they get it all in one place, an exact screenshot of the element, an interface for short messages, and even annotation capabilities. It’s easier than moving between two or three different tools.
But there’s an even more considerable upside for the product manager and growth leader. Because now, what used to be a one-way funnel is a growth loop.
Let’s see why:
Understanding your users is the only way to succeed as a product manager. The best way to understand your users is to see beyond your product. When you know your customers' needs, the challenges they face, and the problems they are trying to solve, you can create products that not only fill a need but also solve it elegantly. And that is what distinguishes between a good product manager to an exceptional one.
Ready to go from good to great? Schedule a demo today or contact us for more details.