Product Discovery



The Mom Test

Lean B2B

When Coffee & Kale Compete

The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design

User Interviews


How To Recruit?

Recruiting our First Users

Preparing for our First Interviews

  1. Identify how we might be able to help users change into the career they want to pursue
  2. Identify if there are any products or services that the user might be willing to pay for

Interviewing our First Users

Broadening our User Base

  • Ten people from the NRS cohort
  • Seven with degrees
  • Six aged 16–24

Customer Interviews

  • Recruiters who might pay for access to talent
  • Training providers who might pay for new students
  • Career professionals who can provide helpful context on all areas

A Failed Attempt to Recruit our First Customers

Recruiting Customers through my Network

30 Interviews Later! …

Synthesising Information and Forming Insights

Synthesising the User Interviews

  • Their current career
  • Motivations for changing
  • What careers they are considering
  • Challenges they’ve faced and what they’ve done about those
  • Whether they have spent any money
  • What they’d value the most

Applying Service Design Methods

Our Core User Insights

Our Core Entry-Level Recruiter Insights

Forward Partners’ Synthesis

  • Job to be done (as I talked about earlier)
  • Quotes
  • Feelings

Design Sprint

Day 1 — Understand

Identifying the Biggest Risks

  1. Can we create value for recruiters?
  2. Are we able to help users create a viable pathway into their chosen career?

Sharing Insights and Mapping a User Journey

Defining an Archetype

Day 2 — Sketch

Day 3 — Decide

Day 4 — Prototype

Day 5 — Test

Building Towards a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Synthesising our Learnings and Ideas

The Next Two Weeks

Hiring My First Employee

Writing a Job Spec

What We Were Really Looking For

  • Intelligence: Given the varied nature of the role, I need someone who can learn really quickly. Then they can pick up whatever is required of them
  • Motivation: I want someone who is really excited by the social mission. Then they’ll have a lot of energy for the role. And they’ll be more likely to stick around for a long time
  • Hard Working: I need someone who will get stuff done and work really hard. Then we can keep moving fast and give ourselves the best possible chance of success

Side Note About Job Specs

Recruitment Process

Posting the Job Ads and Managing Applications

  • Craft a job ad. This consists of a description and requirements, as well as an application form that you can customise
  • Easily post your job ads on all the job boards you want to. Such as Indeed and Reed (there are many, some free and some paid)
  • Manage inbound applications. This includes sending messages to candidates and moving them through the process of screening, interviewing and final job offers. It can also capture comments from each interviewer against the candidates’ profiles

Learning about Other Products on the Market

200 Applications in a Week!

Screening & First Interviews

Task & Final Round Interviews

  • Motivation and work ethic (how hard they worked on it)
  • Intelligence (based on their approach and synthesis of information)
  • Communication (the construction of their presentation and its delivery)
  • Product sense (translating their research into product ideas)

And Our Employee #1 Is …

What’s Next …


All The Small Things

Storyboarding and Designing our MVP

Researching Minimum Qualification and Experience Levels For All Careers

Researching How to Get Into Five Target Careers

  • The demand in the market today (i.e. the number of open roles)
  • The popularity (based on data we already have from people completing our survey)
  • How much employers might pay for access to high quality talent (with is probably proxied on starting salary)
  • The ease in which someone can access a career (e.g. a career as a solicitor usually takes at least a year to complete a conversion course, so we’ll probably select careers that are more immediately accessible).

Visual Design

Data Protection / GDPR Compliance

  • What data I’m collecting, why and on what legal basis I’m doing that (and document that in my privacy policy)
  • Decide how long I should keep the data for and ensure I have policies and procedures in place to adhere to this.
  • MongoDB Atlas that I use for my database
  • Heroku that I use as my server
  • GSuite that I use for document storage
  • Slack that we’ve just started using for communication and collaboration.

Nesta Midpoint Check In

  • A summary of our solution
  • Progress update
  • Planned activities and milestones
  • Learnings of our beneficiaries
  • Our use of labour market information
  • The potential market for our solution
  • How we plan to measure its impact

Building Product




Tech for Good Entrepreneur

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Phil Hewinson

Phil Hewinson

Tech for Good Entrepreneur

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