Kapi Pe Charcha #005 – Venture Highway
“What do users care about? What do they need?”
The Hierarchy of User Needs by Aarron Walter is a model that explains the needs users have when using products or services.
This hierarchy has four layers:
Functional: You have a product or a service that gets the job done – it works. It moves the user from point A to B. It is purely functional.
Reliable: You have a product or service that is functional repeatedly. If you repeat the process 100 times, it succeeds 100 times. For example – you can order food once – this will make the product functional. If you can order food successfully, again and again, it will be reliable.
Usable: Most products get stuck in the functional and reliable layers (which are difficult to build). The next layer is usability – the product works, it works again and again, AND it is easy to use. Users can intuitively figure out the product – it is helpful.
Delightful: It may be seen a functional, reliable, usable product is automatically delightful. But Delight can also be the extra icing on the cake – something intangible that improves the overall experience. For example – the tick that appears after you’ve successfully ordered food adds to the delight of the experience. Or the cold towel handed to you when you check into a resort.
Given enough competition – functional and reliable products become table stakes in any domain. Your starting product would need both of these layers. What distinguishes a product/ service from another are the usability and delight layers.