Whenever a user encounters a problem, I am always tempted to offer solutions immediately. When you do this, however, you often disrespect the reality of your users and miss valuable insights.
Imagine that a user comes to you asking:
I wanted to ... but couldn't find the feature?
We, developers are often tempted to start explaining:
Ah, this is easy to do. You can use this other feature to achieve the same result.
This is well meant. But often the wrong thing to do. It might be "easy to do" for you. But it was not for your user. Otherwise he or she would have figured it out on their own.
Over time, I learned that it works way better to first recognize their experience:
Ah, I can imagine that. Did you spend a long time looking for the feature? That's too bad. Where did you expect the feature to be?
Suddenly, your user will feel recognized and understood. He or she will feel at ease to share more valuable insights. And more importantly, it will greatly improve your customer relationships.
Do you have any questions, feedback, or ideas to share? Feel free to send me an email at email@example.com 🙂.