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What is User Science?

User Science is a philosophy, applied as a Framework, accepted laws, and a empirical method of acquiring knowledge of Users scientifically.

Why would we approach the building of an enterprise, or the marketing function with science? Becuase science is very good at delivering outcomes from testing. By applying the scientific method we can structure our work to move towards an unbiased solution that delivers outcomes.

If you were looking to improve your marketing of your product then there are a few ways to do it. Design thinking comes from an apple approach which is very unscientific. They sit back and imagine what is possible and dream up something that will amaze the world and the user and then they just deliver and it works. This works for Apple, some of the time.

The other alternative is much more conservative and comes from a more humble place of curiosity and wonder. User Science is about saying I have a series of the hypothesis that I have made from the study and now I shall run experiments to deliver the solution.

Even before the hypothesis, there is a method to understanding of the problem that is scientific. The User Scientist collects a variety of data and interviews to understand the user from many angles. Interviewing the subject in focus groups with psychological tests, journeying into the wild like an anthropologist, and studying the human user in their natural habitat to observe behaviour. Collecting data on users from multiple sources like a data scientist to seek patterns, exceptions and annomolies.

Then with a hypothesis, they seek like all scientists to prove their theories right or wrong through testing. Aristotle is recognized as the author of the scientific method, Ibn al-Haytham proposed in the nine hundreds that something should be repeatable with the same inputs and outputs.

As marketers and product owners applying this method comes to a belief that we can test and discover indepentantly the best course of action for development and marketing a of a product.

With all products we now find this journey of a user to purchase and satisfaction has many steps. Me might be very good a developing a landing page that effectively signs up people to a free trial, but the product doesn’t match the offer and there are low conversions. Our problem in most cases is we have limited time and limited data to make effective scientific analysis.

This doesn’t mean we can’t find a good marriage of “Gut” marketing, or common-sense marketing and scientific testing and this balance need to be pragmatic about how we deliver.

The first step for becoming a user scientist is the problem statement, from here you establish what you are looking to solve, with the parameters of what is efficient. The next step is to collect data in all forms, and then make a hypothesis and then test.

There are an amazing array of software for split testing, but often the best split test can be just looking at one week to another week with different results.

Review the following software for an analysis of different ways to manage the testing process.