One of the most difficult challenges in creating a game or any product for that matter is figuring out what the consumer wants. Inexperienced developers will often just ask consumers what their preferences are or worse yet, list a bunch of features and ask whether they want them in the game.
It’s like walking a kid in a candy shop, pointing at every candy bin and asking, “Do you like this?” More than likely, you’ll end up with a lot of “likes”.
Kano modeling offers a more sophisticated approach to assessing consumer preferences but one that’s simple to use. By asking a series of questions about features, you can determine which features the consumer must have, would like to have, would be willing to pay more for and those she is indifferent to.
Over several product cycles, we struggled with a certain feature. It took significant production time to maintain. Some of us felt that it was an essential feature, others felt it was a wasted and cumbersome distraction. When we polled our users about how much the users ‘liked’ it, the response was tepid.
Believing that the feature was not that important, we were set to scrap it. Luckily we polled our users using Kano modeling and discovered that it was a ‘Must Have’ feature thereby avoiding a disaster if we had removed it.