Jobs to be done

August 7, 2017

The Jobs-to-Be-Done framework is a representations of user needs born out of qualitative user research, such as field studies, interviews, and discount usability testing. It involves identifying for which goals customers “hire” your product (and, ideally, also finding out if there are competitor products that these users are ready to “fire”). Armed with this understanding, a product team can think about the nature of the users’ core problems and needs from a fresh perspective, and devise product features that solve that main need as best as possible.

For example, if a traditional task analysis unearthed that delivery drivers frequently needed to print out directions that showed how to navigate between each stop on their daily route, it’s likely that the design team would focus on making it as easy as possible for the drivers to format and print the directions; however, a JTBD-focused approach would focus on the delivery driver’s “job” (that is, getting navigation guidance while driving), and would look for solutions to that problem (such as a GPS system providing voice guidance).

Oftentimes, we hear JTBD advocates referring to the famous Theodore Levitt quote, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Rather than focusing on a list of features for a product, the JTBD framework forces designers to think about outcomes: would users be able to (happily and easily) complete the job they “hired” the product for? Does this solution provide a better outcome than existing ones?

From: Personas vs. Jobs-to-Be-Done by Page Laubheimer

 

 

 

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