A staircase ruined his experience.

Mike decides that his home’s backyard needs a well-deserved makeover. He pictures himself turning the meat on the grill while holding a cold bottle of beer in his left hand. His brother comes by to debate on the latest stock market shifts. He also tries to steal a piece from the first batch of steaks. The fresh lemonade gets poured into glasses. Kids run around laughing and singing. The ladies are sharing stories from their recent travels. A perfect Saturday afternoon.

So, Mike gets to work on the dream. Calls the designer. They talk about the project, agree on the budget, sign the contract. The team breaks ground. Several days later comes the big reveal. Everything looks stunning. The custom grilling station, the exquisite finishing. The fire pit, the small vegetable garden, and the cypress trees.

But one thing is missing. A staircase to connect the patio with the kitchen upper deck. Mike and his family realized that after throwing a few garden parties. Going all the way through the family room, up the stairs, through the living room into the kitchen. And back again. Every time they needed something to bring from or to the kitchen. Not a delight.

Beautifully designed, but not 100% functional for the ones using it. The experience wasn’t quite as Mike envisioned it.

What starts with a smile might end up with a tear or a scream of frustration. And then you see users opting out, cancelling their accounts, leaving bad reviews. They move on from you.

Focus on the customer’s pain points

For real. Do the digging. When possible, set-up interviews. Talk to them. Find out what are your audience main pain points. How are they using similar products? What’s missing? Build a solution around that.

Watch to understand their behaviour. Learn what they need, how they use your product or service. Don’t be afraid of real, honest feedback. Improve based on that.

Don’t let your ego be in the way. Your product or service will be great when it brings real value into the life of your customers. Helps them solve problems in a simple, unsophisticated way.

And when you tend to complicate things remember that a search bar on a white background is all you need to dive into research. Why make your customer life harder?!