Why we decided to build Hubble

April 8, 2022

Getting high quality product feedback from users is difficult.

Almost a year ago, my co-founders and I joined forces to build our company, filled with creative passion and enthusiasm. As we were going through the continuous process of building and launching, we repeatedly encountered a common problem that many product makers empathize with: Getting high quality product feedback from users is difficult. This post provides some background on why we believe that this problem is meaningful, and how we are planning to build Hubble as a solution.

Regardless of what stage they are in, product teams need to pay close attention to what users want, ensuring that what gets shipped brings value to their users and makes a positive contribution to their business goals. As a result, product-led organizations that are able to minimize the time it takes to effectively iterate on the constant cycle of gathering user feedback, identifying the user’s needs and shipping new features, are the ones that will succeed over the long run. User research is therefore an inextricable foundation in product building that lets teams iterate with precision based on what users are saying, minimizing errors as the product roadmap gets crystalized and engineers start coding away.

Despite its importance and value, the current state of the user research market presents several interesting rooms for improvement and ripe opportunities for disruption. Here are some key observations that our team experienced firsthand as we were building products for our users:

  • It takes time and effort to get feedback from actual users: Real users can provide the most valuable feedback for product teams but it’s difficult to enroll them into studies and collect quality feedback. Product teams frequently send out email campaigns, asking for users to opt into unmoderated surveys or participate in video based usability testing sessions, but response rates vary a lot as it is tricky to target users outside of the actual product.
  • External testers are expensive and provide a limited perspective: Many enterprises use external testers to mitigate the challenges associated with recruiting real users for qualitative research and usability testing. However, external testers cannot provide the same degree of qualitative insights compared to active users that have been using the product on a recurring basis, and it is difficult to gather continuous feedback over time from the same group of users. Most importantly, external testers can be expensive, which can be a prohibitive barrier for small to medium-sized teams with less financial leeway.
  • Unmoderated research tools are not integrated well with other product building tools: While moderated interview sessions can provide valuable customer insights, teams also have to use unmoderated research tools such as surveys to gather asynchronous feedback from users. While surveys are less personal, they can serve as efficient tools for product teams to gather structured feedback from a large number of respondents in a short period of time. Nevertheless, many popular survey solutions are not purposefully designed for product feedback, as they are not integrated well with design tools (i.e. Figma, Marvel and Sketch) and they do not allow teams to gather focused feedback on live product experiences.

Our team decided to devote some time and speak with acquaintances within our professional network to dig deeper into these observations. After speaking with many product managers and designers from early stage startups as well as large enterprises, we realized that many of them have encountered similar pains and resonate deeply with the inefficiencies related to collecting user feedback. Many professionals also agreed with our core hypothesis that if given the opportunity, gathering feedback from real users of the product would be more beneficial versus from external testers. Such input from the market gave us stronger confidence that there is an opportunity to create a next-generation user research tool that allows teams to gather continuous feedback from their users.

Hubble is a product feedback platform built for continuous real-time feedback across all stages, ranging from ideation, development and improvement. Our team believes that the concept of a “final product” will increasingly become obsolete, as every product-led organization will have to continuously improve and morph their product to unlock growth and ultimately become a winner in the market. Even for post-product market fit teams, the power of experimenting and reinventing will be a core competency that lets them win over their competitors as their company matures.


User feedback experience (tester’s view) on a web product

Creating a test group of real users for a study

Here are several core features that we are building to solve the problems noted above:

  • Gather the best insights from real users: Instead of connecting teams with external testers, Hubble will be embedded within live products via web and mobile SDKs so that teams can enroll real users into studies and product feedback sessions. Hubble will also provide integrations with user measurement tools such as Segment and Amplitude to collect user feedback data with higher granularity and segmentation.
  • Continuous feedback across different stages: Hubble will allow product teams to gather feedback on any subject, whether it be a prototype, design concept, beta or live product. Our team wholeheartedly believes in helping teams stay close to their users and gathering valuable input regardless of the development stage.
  • Insights for collaborative teams: Instead of siloing user feedback data for select specialists (i.e. UX designers and researchers), Hubble aims to create a universal repository so that anyone within the company can easily visualize what users have been saying about the product. In the future, we believe there will be interesting opportunities to expand the scope to non-product teams as well. For instance, we have noticed how many account executives in sales teams constantly get feature requests and product related asks, but cannot communicate them seamlessly to product teams.
Survey creation experience for a mobile iOS prototype

Our team is looking forward to an exciting future where product teams of any size can easily and effectively collect product feedback from their users across all stages of product development. We believe that as more digital products get built in the future, the channels of communication between active users and product teams will only become more transparent and the amount of time, effort and capital it takes to build great products will be reduced to a minimum.

If you want to partake in this exciting journey, or have any questions or comments about Hubble, please do not hesitate to reach us at hello@hubble.team or visit www.hubble.team for some additional information. My team and I are looking forward to helping you and your team build amazing products through Hubble.

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Brian is the CEO and Founder of Hubble. Brian started Hubble to build a unified tool that allows product and UX teams to continuously discover their user's needs. Brian leads the sales and marketing efforts at the Company and he also works closely with the product team to deliver the best user experience possible for Hubble customers. In his free time, Brian likes to explore New York City and spend time with his family.

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