Once engineering completes development, they create a beta version and put it in the hands of a few thousand users. While we conducted user studies and usability testing, this is the first time that users interact with the complete solution in their natural environment. Because the product is now in the hands of substantially more users, we discover additional edge cases and learn more about how customers use the product.
This step is critical because actual customers confirm that the solution solves their problems and provides a positive experience. Without this affirmation, you could release a product that fails for your users, potentially tarnishing your company’s reputation.
Based on what we learned from the beta, we make adjustments to the product. For instance, if we discover usability issues, such as unclear copy, poor engineering execution, bad animations, or an ineffective flow of information, we quickly address them.
However, if we determine that our solution fails for a broader audience, we go back to the drawing board and identify a different solution. Depending on the extent and scope of the issue, this might involve another Product Sprint or a Product Relay.