Making apps for people who don’t use phones

The value of research in building products

Michal Malewicz

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Amish man looking at a phone
Source: Midjourney

What if I told you there’s a multi-billion dollar industry that ignores research even when their numbers look bad?

You’d think I’m crazy, right?

Research is obviously a very important part of every product release.

You should at least know if there’s a target market for the product, and then make adjustment based on MVP reactions to tailor it to that audience. It’s design 101.

Well…

Hollywood seems to ignore research completely in the superhero movie category.

The Marvels Movie
The Marvels. Source: Disney

The numbers

In Hollywood they ignore the principles that Google UX course has tried to push onto young designers big time.

Just recently both The Marvels and Madame Web flopped in extreme levels, both battling for the worst grossing movie in the mainstream superhero genre.

In three weeks “The Marvels” fell out of the top 10 at the domestic box office … and cemented its place as the lowest-grossing film in the MCU

Why is that?

The main thing they’re failing at is understanding their audience. It’s 70% male. Majority of women are not interested in superhero movies. They tried luring that demographic in by making more woman-led superhero movies and for years it had no effect.

It also doesn’t help that the movies are often poorly written and the protagonists don’t have any struggles or proper hero arcs — just going forward and winning like a boss.

It gets boring.

Listen to your users, even if you don’t like it

What the studios also failed at was listening to their audience complaining. It was dismissed as all kinds of name-calling but never taken into account.

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