Is there “user habit” or “product” first?

The user habits developed by existing products will be brought to the use of new products by users, so when the product manager designs a new product, must the user’s habits be considered? The article analyzes and explores this issue and shares it with you.


In 2015, we are making a content community product, which is a new product. It is in its infancy. When designing the sharing function, there are two options to choose from:

  • Plan A: Put the “Share” function into the “More” function in the upper right corner of the page, follow the WeChat design method, and follow the user’s habits.
  • Plan B: The trigger buttons for sharing function are set at the top and bottom of the content, which is not in line with user habits and is an innovative product design.

If you are the person in charge of this product, which solution would you use?

Is compliance with user habits? Or choose innovation?

Now that people are used to using Internet products, even when they are exposed to a new product, they also experience and use it with “inertial cognition”. What is inertial cognition? It is the usage habit cultivated by other products.

The user will not understand that these are two different products, and they will not understand that the usage scenarios of the two products are different, but they will have questions. Why do you not have the function of “he”? Are you too bad, or why are you doing something different from “he”, why don’t you learn from “he”?

In the process of designing products, there is an indicator called “ease of use”, which refers to whether the product finally provided to the user is easy to use. Generally, the worse the ease of use, the more difficult it is for the user to accept a product The more serious it is.

“Inertial cognition” is a “perceptual judgment” used by users to judge the ease of use of a product. A product that meets inertial cognition is easy to use. It is a good product that does not meet inertial cognition. Ease of use is poor, it is a bad product.

Therefore, there is such a concept: we must follow the user’s usage habits, do not change the user, and only conform to the user’s habits to make products accepted by the user.

However, by following the user’s habits, can we make a product that is accepted by the user? If you do not follow the user’s habits, will it not be accepted by the user?

Is there an inevitable connection between the two? Or is it just a coincidence?

User habits and success or failure

There are many factors that lead to the death of the product. Some products have large-scale users, but they have not achieved commercial monetization. Eventually they have been dragged down by increasing operating and maintenance costs, and some products have been operating for a long time, but there is no Users use, wipe out the enthusiasm, and actively shut down the service.

But none of the products failed because they violated user habits.

There are many factors that lead to product success, from burning money to seize the market, relying on the success of building up resources, and standing on the tuyere, succeeding in relying on trends, and steadily developing, concentrating on polishing, and relying on long-term accumulation of success.

But there is no success of a product, because it conforms to user habits.

Even for the current WeChat, there are many questions for users. Users who frequently use QQ will complain about WeChat. Why not create a group folder like QQ, which is convenient and better to synchronize files with group members. Of users will also spit on WeChat, why can’t they provide the function of reading the information like Dingding, let us know whether the other party sees or does not reply, or does not really see.

WeChat did not follow user habits, but also became part of our lives, and cultivated new user habits.

However, the core success factor and the core failure factor are not the information that everyone can access, and the user habits are acceptable to everyone.

WeChat did several small-scale grayscale tests before opening ads in the circle of friends, trying to insert an advertisement in the circle of friends of some users.

During the grayscale test, we will pay attention to whether the sample user’s frequency of use of the circle of friends decreases, whether the residence time of the circle of friends decreases, and when the test result passes, the advertisements of the circle of friends are officially put into full use.

But this process, most people are unaware and invisible, but the design of the advertising content style of the circle of friends is similar to that of the normal circle of friends, but we can all see it.

Therefore, we have come to the conclusion that WeChat conforms to the habit of users to use the circle of friends, so the circle of friends advertising can succeed.

The truth is the effort behind the WeChat team, from advertising quality, to basic strategies, to data inspection, to explore bit by bit, to experience long-term continuous investment, the final result, the difficulty of the process, not simply “user” “Habit” can be summarized.

The success or failure of the product and user habits are not an inevitable connection, but an accidental coincidence. It is just such a coincidence. Without knowing the core factors, some uncore or even unimportant factors have become the core factors. .

Is there

In the absence of information, and when we are eager to get an answer, user habits become the most “good” answer, because to get this conclusion, the simplest and fastest, after all, we ourselves are users, whether it is in line with our own Usage habits are always easy to judge.

However, this answer is wrong.

“Products” followed by “User Habits”

In business, there is a business model first, and then there are products that specifically implement the business model. Different business models have different products, so we use business models to measure the success or failure of products.

In the market, there is market share first, and then there are products that provide services. The market share is different, and the required products are also different. Therefore, we use the market share to measure the success or failure of the product.

At the user level, there are demand pain points, and then there are products that solve the pain points. The pain points are different, and the products are different. Therefore, we use the demand to measure the success or failure of the product.

In the cause and effect relationship, we need to find the factors that can really affect the success or failure of the product. Because of them, the product has achieved success, and also because of them, the product has failed.

However, the causal relationship between “user habit” and “product success or failure” is opposite, not because “user habit” leads to the success or failure of the product, but because the success or failure of the product determines the user’s habit, and the product is “cause”, Habit is “fruit”.

Some products are successful, and users continue to use this product, they will form inertial cognition, and some products fail to do so, users can no longer use this product, and the formed cognition will gradually be forgotten.

Happy Farm is a light game that used to be all the rage. For most users, “stealing food” is a great fun of this game. On the one hand, you have to grab time to steal your friends’ food, on the other hand, you have to grab time Prevent friends from stealing their own dishes.

From 2008 to 2009, many players on the farm adjusted their alarm clocks every day. Even in the middle of the night, as soon as the “harvest” time arrived, they had to get up immediately to harvest their crops and steal a wave of food from friends.

“Did you steal food today?” Became the top ten online buzzwords in 2009, either for students or white-collar workers. The most common topic people talked about at that time was “stealing vegetables.”

During this time, “stealing vegetables” is a user habit developed by Happy Farm, and many light games that come up later will also be implanted with similar “stealing vegetables”.

However, there are few topics about “stealing vegetables”. With the end of the farm, in the passage of time, this former user habit changed from “habit” to “unfamiliar” until it completely disappeared.

Any user habit comes from a certain product design plan. After a long period of use, the user has formed an inertial cognition. We trace the formation of the habit to the source, and we will find a fact.

Is there

The formation of habits requires us to be familiar with a certain operation, and the basis of familiarity is based on mastering this operation, and the premise of mastering is that some designers design and finally realize this operation.

As the source of the habit, there is no “user habit” to learn from. This set of design schemes is the first and unique. For the user, it must be strange and inconsistent with inertial cognition.

Over a long period of time, these original designs that do not meet inertial cognition have gradually evolved into new user habits. In the process, the design scheme will also undergo some changes, which may be completely different from the original design, but they are in the same line.

We regard “user habits” as an analysis object, excavate the ideas behind the designer, and think about why the designer should design in this way, which is also an isolated dialogue with the designer. The purpose is to think about how these design solutions affect user behavior.

A design solution that can become a habit of users must be a design solution that can affect user behavior under certain conditions. If a design solution cannot affect user behavior, it will also be eliminated in the evolution process and cannot be a continuous user. habit.

User habit is not an analysis result. It is not because the user is used to how to operate, so we design it. Simply catering to user habit also means that our understanding of the product is still lacking.


WeChat defines sharing as an instrumental ability, without interfering with or affecting the user’s behavior. Therefore, weChat is placed in a position that does not easily affect the user and hides this function.

However, for new content community products, sharing also undertakes the mission of “pulling new ones”. Designers need to exert influence on users ’behaviors. As far as possible, users must share behaviors to obtain new users. It is easy to perceive the location.

The two design schemes of the sharing function represent the two attitudes of the product, which do not affect the user or affect the user.

The core competence of a product designer is its ability to influence user behavior. A good design scheme can effectively affect user behavior. So, can user behavior be really affected?

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