From Customer Interview to Business Breakthrough

BY Zack Notes ON DECEMBER 13, 2016

In this talk at Product Tank NYC, I describe how a class project turned into my first major product build. As head of product management at UncommonGoods, I have used the wish list redesign and its success to demonstrate the value of customer feedback, data analysis, and iterative development. It has since served as the driving force in the proliferation of the PM discipline throughout UncommonGoods.

Finding a Gold Nugget in a Customer Interview

Sometimes the most valuable projects are the ones that nobody is thinking about. At least nobody within your organization. In 2015, our wish list was basically a forgotten feature- old, ugly, and full of bugs. It took an odd comment from a customer interview to lead us into the data for the first time in nine years. Once there, we found a surprisingly deep user base with a common friction point.

Heavenly Outcome Reports

Often times, the features we build fail to get traction with our customers. This was not the case with the wish list. I summarize the impact that the redesign had, breaking down the major KPIs, and showing how the feedback materialized into KPI home runs with behavioral data to back it up.

Fine Tuning the Machine

At UncommonGoods, we had allowed ourselves to slip into a development culture of “build it and forget it”. With the wish list, we broke that habit, and I continue the story of the development beyond the initial redesign. I show how we took a more agile approach- trimming the fatty features, studying the behavioral nuances, and tweaking UX interactions to nudge users into the most valuable cohorts.

Zack Notes


Zack Notes

Zack heads the Product Management department at UncommonGoods, an online retailer specializing in gifts and unique designs. Originally a robotics engineer, Zack combines advanced analytical skills with a deep understanding of the business developed through years he spent as an award-winning marketer. Driven by a deep empathy for his customers, Zack finds personal satisfaction in the ideation and development of products and features that please the customer while positively impacting the business. Zack lives in Brooklyn, where he enjoys biking, cooking, gardening, making art, and composing music.