May 22, 2023
5 mins to read
What do services such as an internet search engine, taxi ordered via the application have in common, apartments rented for the owners' departure, a database of restaurants that can be assessed, and an application for image processing and sharing? Discovering a very specific moment on their product roadmap. A moment of eureka, revelation. The moment from which their growth exploded and allowed them to reach billions in valuations.
What's an "aha moment."
An "aha moment" is when your users realize your product's value. Think of the last time you thought, "ohhh, so that's how this works." Do you remember the first time you created a component in Figma? Felt good, didn't it? These moments go way beyond software design, but the digital user experience is what we'll talk about in this article.
What does an "aha moment" do?
Simply put, all your work and efforts by your team should be directed towards discovering the "Aha! Moment" and then — scaling it.
In general, all the activities of the team responsible for product growth revolve around optimizing 5 indicators: acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and profit.
Finding "Aha! Moment" will help you plan tactics at the activation stage — crucial if you care about the return of users and that they recommend your product to their friends. Importantly, suppose the discovery of "Aha of the Moment" is difficult or inaccessible for the user on the first visit. In that case, you may irretrievably lose the chance to re-engage him with your product.
Without defining what makes your customers return, your efforts are to throw the dart at the target blindfolded. Without deep understanding, at what point do customers discover:
Why do they need your product
Why do they need it
What is the benefit of it
You cannot get to the point of product-market fit, let alone — you will not get the rapid traction that took Instagram, Slack, or Dropbox to where they are today.
How to find the "aha moment" for your product
First of all, I'm sure you already have some clues. You probably have some idea of the key value your product provides. In the case of Facebook, "Aha! Moment" was discovered when they noticed the following pattern: users who connected with a minimum of 7 friends in the first ten days after registration most often stayed on the platform forever and actively used it every day.
Twitter discovered a similar relationship — a user who observed a minimum of 50 other accounts became a "hardcore user" with a much greater probability than those who did not "survive" until then.
However, things aren't always as obvious. The kinds of aha moments you want to elicit depend on your unique value proposition. Sometimes it's the combination of the small things that make the difference, as opposed to having a precise moment in time. Either way, there are a couple of ways to learn for sure.
Customer journey mapping
A customer journey map will not tell where drop-offs or aha moments occur. It might give you clues, though. A customer journey map is the path user goes through from a stranger to (hopefully) a brand evangelist. This UX artifact is valuable because you will have something to map your insights on.
Do people tend to skip onboarding? — Put on the CMJ. Do most support questions have to do with a particular feature? — Put it on the Customer journey map.
Talk to customers and analyze the quantitative data users generate in your application or service. Of course, the point is not to ask, "can you name your> Aha! Moment <". Your task will be more complicated.
Identify the 10% of the most satisfied customers (or those who use the product the longest) and arrange interviews with them to search for answers to questions such as:
How do you remember the moment of registration/beginning of cooperation?
Which product features did you use at the very beginning? Why?
Why, despite the competition, do you use our solution?
Can you indicate when you feel the pleasure of working with the product?
Does completing the task make you feel satisfied?
These are just a few questions to ask — no perfect set can be used in all situations. Anyway — it is not even necessary or necessary. The most important thing is to let the user open up and listen to what he is not saying directly.
Such interviews with users will allow you to reveal many interesting hypotheses, and in the process of falsifying them, you will gradually discover your "Aha! Moment".
At the same time, analyzing the data is an excellent basis for making wise hypotheses. When the data "intersect" with what the users say — you can start a ruthless fight for your product-market fit.
Gauging churn will not tell you where the aha moment is but where it isn't. For example, Churn and retention are two sides of the same coin. Churn means that the user didn't see enough value in continuing to invest their time into your product. Whenever possible, go out of your way to be able to talk to churned users. These hold a vastness of insights.
Conversely, tracking retention will tell you which parts of the customer journey do an excellent job of communicating the value of your product.
Facilitating the "aha" moment
Eliciting the "aha moment" is the essential task onboarding has. You must show what makes your product invaluable within the least possible time.
When you start building a product that caters to multiple user groups, things get tricky. Naturally, you'd likely have to work on different aha moments, depending on the value you provide to them.
Find bottlenecks (remove barriers)
The worst thing you can do at the early stages of the customer journey is erect walls for the users to climb over. Things like endless onboarding sequences with walls of text, requesting credit card information, etc., will disable the users from ever experiencing the "aha moment."
Alex Szczurek • May 22, 2023