How and Why to Test Your Product Entry Points


You conducted extensive user interviews. You verified the pain points and your solution resonates. But when you launch… crickets. If this sounds like you or your team, it’s time to test your product entry points.

Often, the core value proposition of the product is correct, but users don’t understand the value prop at first glance. Just as damning, they may have a problem activating. I like to run two tests when this happens:

#1 – The Glance Test

The glance test is pretty simple. Show your key product entry points—the most likely first encounter users will have with your product—to people in your target user demographic. Give them a few moments to look over the landing page, look at the packaging, or experience that “first moment”, but don’t let them move on to other areas of the product or start using it.

Ask the following, pausing to let them answer each question in turn:

  • What does this product do?
  • Who is this product for?
  • How does this product work?
  • Would you use a product like this?

They should understand, clearly, what the product is and who it’s for. Ideally they’re able to explain how it works and identify that the product is intended for somebody like them before you ask the last question.

If they can’t correctly answer the first three questions based on a few seconds of looking at your entry point, you need to work on the entry point. For the final question, pay attention to their enthusiasm. Most people will say yes, but unless a majority of your target users are 9s or 10s on the excitement scale, you’ve got a problem.

Redesign the entry point and retest until you get this right.

#2 – The Activation Test

Activation is the moment a user experiences the product’s promised value. Assuming you’ve passed the Glance Test, it’s time to move onto the Activation Test.

The key questions here are:

  • Do users understand how to activate from the product entry points?
  • How many steps does it take to activate?

The answer to the first question needs to be a resounding yes, and they need to discover how to activate quickly. Moreover it shouldn’t take long to start feeling like the product is delivering on its promised value.

Nine times out of ten, these two tests will help fix key issues with well-researched products that aren’t getting the lift you’re hoping for. Of course, if you haven’t researched your product well, you should start there.