Future of Work 2020: How to create products by understanding customer behaviour

At YourStory’s Future of Work 2020, Utterwise AI Founder Ripul Kumar helped the audience understand the value of user research to create products that guarantee customer satisfaction.

In order to make someone happy on their birthday, we tend to buy them something that they would like or something that they probably don’t own. And we do this by understanding that person and their behaviour by spending some time with them.

The same applies to ensuring superlative user experience (UX) for your customer, believes Ripul Kumar, Founder of Utterwise AI, a Bengaluru-based startup that aims to build the productivity of SMBs using cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence.

Ripul Kumar at Future of Work 2020

Ripul, who also co-founded Kern, a global design research, UX, and innovation consulting company, brought his UX expertise to a workshop at the third edition of YourStory’s Future of Work, India’s largest product-tech-design conference.

Taking on a user research exercise, Ripul asked a volunteer to reveal the contents of her bag. She began to describe the number of things that she had and the stories behind them.

The many things included a Metro card, a hair tie, a bunch of keys with a Chumbak keychain, amongst others items. These revelations, Ripul pointed out, will help one understand the person’s lifestyle, likes and dislikes.

“This may be a difficult situation I had put somebody in, but this exercise helps people not to be afraid of asking questions,” says Ripul.

Based on this brief analysis, he asked the audience to write down two words describing the volunteer based on how she described the contents of her bag. Descriptors like “passionate”, “meticulous”, “brand-conscious” emerged from the audience.

Ripul then asked them to create eight gifts per person for the volunteer based on what they thought she would like.

With this extensive and engaging activity, the audience understood how important research on buyer persona is in order to come up with offerings that suit the user’s requirements.

“What we do is watch people doing things in their own workspaces. Researchers observe behaviours without asking any questions. And from their behaviour, we then design products that suit them,” Ripul explained.

Over his 25 years of his experience, Ripul said he found this kind of user research to be an effective way to design products. This exercise has helped him create applications including ICICI’s Money2India, the Indic keyboard for Nokia and Blackberry, and many others.

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)

A big shout out to our Future of Work 2020 Sponsors: Alibaba Cloud, Larksuite, Vodafone Idea Limited, Gojek, Adobe, Udaan, Pocket Aces, Junglee Games, Sharechat, Open, VestaSpace Technology, Maharashtra State Innovation Society, Kristal.AI and GetToWork; and our Knowledge Partner: Ascend Harvard Business Review