Navigating through this while building products for millions of users, each of them different and diverse in their own way, can be quite tricky. For a while, we used the AARRRC funnel inspired by 500 Startups. The way in which we discuss our products internally has been heavily influenced by it. Over the last couple years, we realized that it has partially warped the way we think about our users, and instead of helping us understand them and the way they experience our product better, it has made them just another number in the long list of exhaustive metrics that we track.
Our New UX Mental Model at Hike
So we’ve introduced a slightly modified, more human approach to this. Instead of thinking of a user as one among a pool of millions of nameless DAU, we’ve been trying to think of our user’s experience in Hike with a more human approach, the way you or I would actually experience any new product across the entire funnel.
What’s great about this is that it can be used outside the app to run Ad Campaigns and also inside the app to better build features. It adds a new lens and forces us to think about every user in terms of how exactly they ‘feel’ when they start using Hike — every step of the way.
One could argue that a few steps in this funnel can’t be tracked directly, but the reason we like this mental model is that it forces us to think through every step of how a user would experience our product and how we can ensure we design our products to delight them at every step.
Instead of having siloed thinking about marketing, growth and product split between different teams looking at different steps of the funnel, we try to ensure that every Product Owner at Hike is thinking of their products like this (for every persona we’re building for).
This mental model is having a sizeable impact on our product development over the last 6 months and you’ll be seeing the results of it in Hike 6.0 (coming soon).