Art of Message

Art of Message – April 25, 2023

The question-asking product

One sign of a good product: it asks you more questions than a pack of curious 4-year olds. Or perhaps a more apt metaphor – more questions than a pack of curious consultants.

Except in consulting, you expect the questions. You also expect them from a productized service, such as a preparatory brief for a diagnostic or a workshop.

You don’t necessarily expect them from a fully automated self-service product, unless it’s an intake-style survey.

But can you make the experience feel better than an intake form?

That question goes out to both the product owner and the consulting solution owner. Can you make it feel as though you’re not “being questioned” at all? As if:

  • a socially adroit, unobtrusive butler quietly allows you to indicate a preference
  • a patient coach lets you talk and figure things out as you do – without interrupting, without requiring either short or long answers?
  • a friend is opening up a subject you have been dying to talk about – and think about

Part of the proverbial “better question” is the substance of the question itself, like the quality of a generative AI prompt.

Another part of it is context: how, when and why it is asked.

Sometimes a question the product UX asks is transactional: would you like to save this setting?

But other times, if the context is right, the question digs a little deeper and helps uncover hidden needs and wants. In fact, an exceptionally “better question” provides value whether you capture the answer to it or not.

Whatever the case, here’s the question – how can a product be skilled in asking the right question with the right context?

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