Nick Ang profile picture

Nick Ang

Hidden reasons

woman listening to another person talk

What is the real reason a user is unwilling to use a feature of your product?

Let’s say you’re trying to help an existing enterprise customer learn about and try to use a new feature your product team has just rolled out - say, Video Templates for creating video ads at scale.

It’s a shiny new thing, so it should be universally loved, right?

I learned recently that the answer is no. Despite being a great feature, users may not love it. There can be hidden reasons, as in reasons that are deliberately withheld from you, that are at play.

Alternative reasons

Users can and as I’ve noticed, do give alternative reasons for not wanting to adopt your new Video Template feature that they know may actually help them.

For example, an existing customer may give the reason that they are not creative and don’t feel confident using this feature. At first glance, this seems like a legitimate reason. “Creating videos does require some kind of prior experience for it to feel easy to someone”, you think.

But if you take a step back and examine the situation, you may see that perhaps this is an alternative reason (or more commonly known as an excuse) to not use the feature.

Could it be something else?

When this happened at a meeting with one of our clients recently, I took a step back and examined the situation. I asked myself, “is lack of confidence in their own creative aptitude” the real reason why they haven’t used this awesome new feature? Or could it be something else?

One possible reason I quickly came to see was that they, the Marketing team, did not want to step on the toes of their colleagues in the Creative team. It’s possible that they feared they would offend their colleagues by taking things into their own hands.

Another possibility is that they were worried that by adopting the feature, they may be giving themselves work that would normally be done by another team, or that they would be inviting scrutiny.

We are human and we hide things to protect ourselves all the time. I know I do it. What’s important is to learn to know when someone is doing it to you. That way, you can slowly work to uncover the real reason and unlock opportunities to help you give them what they actually want.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash.

Nick Ang profile picture
Senior software engineer, dad, writer-thinker type. Big on learning something everyday and trying to have fun before the lights go out.
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