Someone recently shared some user research insights gathered during the current Covid-19 driven lockdown. They were wondering whether they should change their long-term product strategy.

User research is never easy. The current situation presents fresh challenges.

In general, people are poor predictors of how change will affect their lives. The lockdown places people in a situation of unplanned isolation (alone or with family) & unusual stresses. This has a strong bias on any response they give – how their lives have changed and what they would do differently once the lockdown lifts. It’s easy to infer a strong desire for change based on this.

Once the lockdown lifts, a vast majority will find new stresses to cope with. The context will differ, and so will their behaviours & responses.

It would be wiser to get responses for a period of time post the lockdown, map these against the responses given now & then decide what holds.

The truth of ‘What people say and what they do are different’ is much stronger in times of high stress.

As a business head or product manager, unless you can quickly take advantage of insights gathered now, or see a large shift that’s supported by other evidence, don’t rush to make any lasting changes to your roadmap.