5-step process

The Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) is a powerful tool in product design that helps teams focus on understanding the needs and objectives of their customers rather than just the product itself.

Jobs to be done template. Image by Tony Ulwick

This approach can drive innovation and ensure that the design of a product or service closely aligns with what customers are actually trying to accomplish.

Here’s how to use the JTBD framework in product design:

1. Identify Customer Jobs

You need to identify and articulate the tasks customers are trying to accomplish when using a product or service.

  • Understand customer context: Start by researching and gathering insights about your customers. Who are they? Why do they want to use your product? In what context will they do it?
  • Segment by job, not demographics: Instead of traditional demographic segments like age or location, segment your market based on the jobs customers are trying to accomplish. This could lead to more insightful ways to address their needs.

What to do:

  • Conduct ethnographic research: Use ethnographic research methods to observe customers in their natural environment. This can help uncover implicit jobs that customers might not articulate in an interview or survey.
  • Create empathy maps: Create empathy maps to better understand customers’ thoughts, feelings, pains, and gains. This can provide a holistic view of the customer experience and the jobs they are trying to accomplish.

2. Understand the Job Details

Gain a deep understanding of the steps involved in completing a job, the context in which the job is done, and the emotional and social elements that influence the customer’s experience and satisfaction.

  • Dive deep into the job steps: Break down each job into its component steps. Understand the process your customers go through to accomplish this job, including any pains or frustrations they experience.
  • Identify emotional and social jobs: Beyond functional tasks, consider the emotional and social aspects of a job. Think about how customers want to feel or how they want to be perceived by others while doing this job.

What to do:

  • Practice 5 Whys: It will help you understand the true nature of the problem users are trying to solve.

  • Map the customer journey: For each identified job, map out the customer journey to detail every step the customer takes. This includes before, during, and after attempting to get the job done.

  • Conduct competitor analysis: Look at how competitors are addressing similar jobs. This can reveal gaps in the market and opportunities for differentiation.

Top Things to Know About UX Competitive Analysis

3. Prioritize Jobs and Pain Points

Determine which jobs are most critical and underserved in the market, thereby identifying where there is the greatest opportunity for innovation and differentiation.

  • Evaluate job importance: Not all jobs are created equal. Use customer feedback, surveys, and data analysis to determine which jobs are most important and underserved.
  • Identify pain points and opportunities: Look for areas where customers experience the most frustration or where current solutions fall short. These are your opportunities for innovation.

What to do:

  • Use the Kano Model: Apply the Kano Model to categorize jobs and features into must-haves, satisfiers, and delighters based on customer feedback. This helps prioritize which jobs to focus on first.
Kano model. Image by foldingburritos

The Complete Guide to the Kano Model | Folding Burritos

  • Quantify pain points: Quantify the severity and frequency of pain points using customer data. It will help prioritize which issues to address based on their impact on the customer experience.

Three Levels of Pain Points in Customer Experience

  • Create a jobs to be done (JTBD) document for a selected jobs.

4. Develop Value Propositions

Align your product’s features and benefits with the identified jobs, ensuring that your value proposition resonates with the target audience

  • Ideate solutions: With a clear understanding of the jobs to be done, brainstorm solutions that could better fulfill these jobs. Think beyond current market offerings.
  • Align features with jobs: For each feature of your product, clearly articulate how it helps customers get a specific job done. This alignment helps in making your product more relevant and compelling to your target audience.
  • Communicate benefits: Focus your marketing and communication on how your product helps customers accomplish their jobs more effectively, rather than just listing features.

What to do:

  • Create storyboards: Develop storyboards that illustrate how your product fits into the customer’s life and helps them accomplish their jobs. This can be a powerful tool for both internal alignment and marketing of your solution.

Storyboarding in UX Design

  • Test value propositions: Practice customer interviews to test different value propositions and understand which resonates most with your target audience. It helps refine your messaging to better align with customer jobs.

The Ultimate Guide to Doing Kickass Customer Interviews

5. Test and Iterate Based on Feedback

Validate your product design and ensure the product evolves in response to a better understanding of customer jobs and changing market conditions.

  • Build-measure-learn cycle: Develop prototypes of your solutions and test them with users to see how well they address the identified jobs and pain points. The process of building & validation should be iterative.

What to do:

  • Practice Agile development: Adopt an agile development approach, where product features are released in stages, allowing for regular feedback and iteration. This is particularly effective for refining features to better serve customer jobs.
  • Create customer feedback loops: Establish mechanisms for continuous customer feedback, such as surveys, user forums, and direct customer support channels. This feedback should be regularly reviewed and used to inform product iterations.

How to Create a Customer Feedback Loop That Works – Help Scout

Want To Master Product Design?

Try Interaction Design Foundation. It offers online design courses that cover the entire spectrum of product design, from foundational to advanced level.

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Jobs To Be Done in Product Design was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.