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The needs series Part 10: The right integration into product development

Author: Marvin Kolb

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Jul 2023

Psychological product design refers to the design of products that consider user needs and behaviors to create a positive user experience. So, to specifically improve the UX of your product, you need to integrate psychological product design and user testing into your own product development.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what you need to consider when doing this integration. In doing so, we will address the following areas:

  • When do you start user testing in the development process?
  • What is the best way to get started?
  • How do you find the right methods for your user testing?
  • How can personas help you?
  • What to consider when you want to establish Psychological Product Design and User Research in your team?

At the end of the article you will find our needs maps for download. These maps summarize user needs for you once again. They also provide examples of product features from B2B, B2C and from apps. So here you’ll find inspiration for good features that specifically satisfy user needs.

One more note before we get started: our approach to psychological product design is called: 3DUX® or Data Driven UX Design. So when we talk about psychological product design below, we mean Data Driven UX Design.



When do you start user testing?

It is recommended to start user testing as early as possible. This allows you to identify and fix problems early on. The earlier in the development process you start, the easier and less expensive it is to adapt the product to the findings you discover.

If you wait until the end of the development process to start user testing, you risk the product not meeting users’ needs and requiring expensive changes. It may also result in the product not being successful in the marketplace because real users don’t want it. This late feedback not only costs valuable resources, but also damages the brand image.

In this regard, you should use prototypes that are as simple as possible right from the start and obtain user feedback on them in order to quickly identify the core features that your product must include from the user’s point of view.


And what do you start with? With an analysis of the context of use for basic understanding

A analysis of the context of use is a mixture of an on-site observation and a subsequent qualitative survey. Users are thus observed on-site in a familiar work environment performing their task and then interviewed about the process and procedures (etc.). This is done to gain an in-depth understanding of user needs and behaviors, tasks, and the overall use environment.

The analysis of the context of uselays the foundation for the initial prototypes, which you can then use to test further. But which method do you then continue with?


Which methods can you use afterwards?

At this point, we would like to give you a small pre-selection of UX research methods. Finding out which method (combination) is the best for your case, however, requires some experience and intuition.


The most obvious method is the classic UX test. Here, real users are invited to solve individual tasks under observation using a prototype of your product. The results of these tests are then used to generate design recommendations that iteratively tailor your product to users and generally improve it.


Interviews provide an opportunity to collect qualitative data from a group of people. Interviews can capture individual needs and experiences and provide a deeper understanding of users’ motivations and beliefs. However, in-person interviews can be time-consuming and require careful planning to ensure the right questions are asked.


Card Sorting:

In Card Sorting, the user is given piles of cards with names and/or descriptions of individual functions. The user then has to arrange these stacks. In doing so, he has to reveal how they fit together from his point of view. After all cards have been sorted into piles, the user is given the task of naming the individual piles (and thus the subsequent menu items) appropriately from his point of view. Following the tests, the experts derive name suggestions for the stacks based on the suggestions of all users.



This is where two versions of your product are compared to determine which one works better and meets user needs better. This can happen consciously (as part of a UX test) or subconsciously (as part of live A/B testing).


How to find the right methods for your own product

It’s critical to choose the right methods for gathering data to get an accurate picture of your target audience and their needs. A combination of methods can be particularly effective in achieving a comprehensive understanding.

It is important to choose your methods carefully to ensure that you collect accurate and meaningful data. Thorough planning and preparation of methods can help identify and avoid potential problems up front. Ultimately, the right methods can be essential to ensuring that you develop a successful and user-centric product.

To select the right methods, clarify your goals and questions you want to answer. Consider what data you need and which method is best suited to collect it. Also consider the resources available, such as time and budget.

Our Method-Assistant can be helpful in generating an initial overview of available methods and their pros and cons.

Our CEO’s book also provides important information on method selection. On the one hand, it contains the decision matrix, which can make the choice much easier for you. On the other hand, you will find each method explained extensively and clearly. Under the following link you will get all information about “Usability and User Experience Design – The Comprehensive Handbook” by Dr. Michaela Kauer-Franz and Dr. Benjamin Franz.

You can also speak directly with an expert to get specific recommendations and advice on which methods are best suited to answer your questions.


Support: Personas

Personas are fictitious user profiles based on the results of your research. They help in creating a clear idea of the different types of users and their needs for further product design. To create personas, you should address user demographic characteristics, behaviors, attitudes, and preferences.

For each user type, you can then create a fictitious user profile that reflects the key characteristics of that user type. These profiles can include detailed information about users’ needs, desires, motivations, goals, challenges, and behaviors.

It’s important to be as realistic as possible when creating personas, using data and information based on your research findings. The more you understand your target audience’s needs and behaviors, the better you can tailor the product to meet their needs and create a positive user experience.

Personas can also help the entire team develop a shared understanding of the target audience and focus on user needs. They can serve as a reference for design, development, and decision making throughout the project, ensuring that user needs are always at the forefront.


Establish Psychological Product Design or Data Driven UX Design and User Research in the team: The special challenge

It is also important to consider integrating Psychological Product Design or Data Driven UX Design into the development process as a team. Make sure the team understands the importance of user-centeredness and psychological design, and work together to integrate these elements into the product development process.

This also requires early understanding of the importance of user research and psychological product design/data driven UX design. This can be challenging, especially when it comes to team collaboration.

One way to address this is to hold training sessions or workshops to increase team awareness and skills around user-centered design and psychological design. It can also be helpful to define clear roles and responsibilities within the team to ensure that everyone knows how he or she can contribute to the process.

In addition, the team should be open to feedback and collaboration with users. Involving users in the development process can provide important insights and learnings that can help align the product with user needs and expectations.


Learn from others: How have other products met specific needs?

Features from other products can be a great inspiration. Many features often become very common over time and across different product groups. One example? The Like button has made it from its origin (Facebook) to be integrated into many other products. A few years after its introduction on the social media platform, it stands for approval and the message “I like that” – and this for an incredible variety of different products.

To make it easier for you to learn from other products, we have designed our needs maps. On these, you will find the respective needs from the previous articles in this series explained again briefly and clearly. For each need, you will find a card with three further examples of product features that skilfully implement the respective need.

Here you can find our needs cards.

One more small thing: strive for continuous improvement!

Integrating psychological product design or Data Driven UX design into the development process should be a continuous process. It is important to use user feedback for follow-up products as well, or to continuously improve the existing product.



To best integrate psychological product design or Data Driven UX Design into the development process, you should:

  • Start with user testing as early as possible
  • Start with a context of use analysis
  • Find the right methods for further user testing
  • Create personas based on the results
  • Use these personas as input for the entire development team
  • Focus on user-centered design
  • Create a fundamental understanding of the importance of psychological product design and user testing in your organization
  • Continuously learn through user feedback and other successful products and their feature

You have questions about incorporating user needs in your specific case? Feel free to get in touch via our contact form to arrange a free get-to-know-you meeting.

We are very much looking forward to your feedback!

Our need series

Here is our overview of the articles in the series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Connectedness

Part 3: Security

Part 4: Competence

Part 5: Popularity

Part 6: Stimulation

Part 7: Autonomy

Part 8: Meaningfulness

Part 9: 6 reasons why you should know your users’ needs

Part 10: Properly integrating psychological product design into product development + download the need cards.

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