Using your own product – also known as “dogfooding” – can give a number of benefits.
A better understanding of the product
By using the product, you can get a much deeper understanding of the user experience. You’ll build empathy for users, and better appreciate the opportunities and challenges users may come across.
Finding features and bugs
Using the product may help you to come up with ideas to develop it further. You might see new use cases, or completely new features, that weren’t planned initially. This helps you to improve the product and expand its functionality.
You’ll also be able to proactively identity bugs or areas that need improvement. Using a product regularly will help you to find its strengths and weaknesses, find issues, and also think of ways to solve them.
When product managers actively use a product, it gives them greater credibility. If you know your product well, stakeholders and teams are more likely to trust the decisions you make and the direction you set.
And by having firsthand experience with the product, you can make informed decisions much more quickly, which is particularly helpful when fast, decisive action is required.
Alignment with user goals
By using the product regularly, you can ensure it aligns with the needs of your target userbase. This is critical for developing a product that meets the needs of your users, and delivers value to them.
Watch out for bias
While dogfooding has its benefits, it’s important to note that there’s potential bias – you may end up focusing on things you like, over and above what makes sense for the userbase.
Be sure to balance your personal experiences with user feedback and qualitative data. Doing so is key to making the best use of dogfooding.
Read more in the following post: How to avoid confirmation bias when gathering feedback