JTBD Intercom overview


Key points

Solutions don’t match people or personas; they match problems.
the outcome a person wants is much more important than the person themselves. Knowing it’s a 37-year-old’s hands on the keyboard rarely changes how you design your product to deliver their outcome.
Goes through a JTBD explaination and stories
What are personas
Personas are a tool for sharing a common vision of a target user with everyone on a project. When everyone knows the sort of end users being targeted, it helps cut out some unnecessary debates. A persona depicts what you need to know about a typical end user of your product to make informed design decisions. There are a few guidelines about how best to create, present and use them. Here are two important ones: No nonsense. Every sentence in a persona should have a design implication. For example, saying the user is 72 and often texts their nephews and nieces could imply you need to cater for diminished eyesight, low computer skills and consider outbound SMS messages. A shared creation. The project’s stakeholders have to be involved in both the research and analysis involved in creating them. Personas are the end result of a chunk of work. As Jared Spool says, they are similar to holiday postcards; they’re evidence a journey took place, but you can’t buy postcards and think you’ve been on holiday.
Understanding competitors from a Jobs perspective
When people think about their competitors they tend to look at what’s closest to home. If I run a pizza slice store, and you run a McDonalds, we must be competitors, right? But real competition is usually a playing field away. Jobs-to-be-Done gives you a much better lens to think about your true competitors. It gives you the situational context that triggers people to use products. To use the above example, if I know my customers are choosing my pizza because they only have five minutes to spare, and need to eat while walking to a meeting, then I know my competitor isn’t McDonalds. I’m really competing with a Snickers bar and the hot dog cart around the corner. When you’re blinded by thinking your competitors only exist in the exact same tool category you’re in, disruption or destruction will come from oblique angles. The newspaper industry thought they were in the business of selling news printed on paper. Had they realized their business was “keep people entertained”, or “keep people in the know”, their new competitors like mobile games, Twitter, and Facebook would have been a more obvious threat. So when you’re thinking about competitors, it’s best to ignore product categories and instead ask yourself who else is fighting for that same job.
The 9x effect
In a widely cited article called Eager Sellers & Stony Buyers, John T. Gourville presented what he calls the “9X Effect”. He argues consumers overvalue what they already have by a factor of three, while companies overvalue their innovations, also by a factor of three. Here’s what it looks like:

Designing for motivation is far better than designing for attributes
1. People are experts in their problem, not the solution. However, it is more natural to suggest a solution in the form of a feature request. Describing a suggested solution is easier than describing a problem, but you need to go back to them with ques- tions to really understand their problem. 2. When they reply, their initial answer will tell you what they want, in the form of attributes, but not why that matters. So you need to keep digging into their motivations. So it was critical that we found out what problem our customers were actually trying to solve, and why they needed to solve it.
Jobs Stories Template [ When _____ ] [ I want to _____ ] [so I can _____ ]
[ When _____ ] [ I want to _____ ] [so I can _____ ] “When ____” focuses on the situation, “I want to ____” focuses on the motivation, and “so I can ____” focuses on the outcome. If we understood the situation in which people encounter a problem to solve, understand the motivation for solving it, and understand what a great outcome looks like, we were confident that we would be building valuable product for our customers.

What is good about it?