How to Build User-Focused Products

It is the responsibility of a Product Manager, to ensure that the product built, has a real-time role to play in addressing the existing problem statements in the industry. In order to contribute to an efficient product industry, it is crucial to understand the users’ requirements by closely interacting with them.

Neha Kumar, a seasoned PM herself for the eminent organization, Oscar, takes us through her experience in building a more sustainable and constructive product.

Neha Kumar

Neha Kumar Director of Product Oscar

Neha Kumar is working as the Director of Product at Oscar. Being a business administration enthusiast, she pursued her Bachelors in finance. Soon she found the stream to be too blatant for her and picked up an English Teacher job in Cairo. However, accidentally, she was lucky enough to get aligned with a Product Manager role. Her diligence and devotion to the role have put her up with the highest responsibility.

How to Build User-Focused Products

Neha begins the talk by discussing a few important aspects that need to be practiced as a Product Manager & a Business Leader, to better become aware of the market opportunities and loose sand dumps. 

  1. Raise your hand – It is very helpful for you and your company. Basically, it is a win-win situation. It exposes you to the array of opportunities, which you may otherwise be kept away from.
  2. Take on the not so sexy stuff – Learning to take charge of the ‘not so important stuff’, will enable you to become more informed about other aspects of your role and help you learn more deeply and advertently.
  3. Build trust – Building strong relationships is the key to your career growth. Never be hesitant to accept, learn and grow. Make network and imbibe humility. It takes you to greater heights.
  4. Ask for feedback – This is a never-ending necessity for guaranteed growth. Never stop asking for feedback. It makes you a better PM and makes your Product the best one, among the others.
  5. Keep learning – Learning is a constant exercise. Involve continuously in building a network with the right people and keep learning.
  6. Ask the right questions – No one is a pioneer in the beginning. Everyone starts somewhere. You are not expected to be perfect but expected to learn by asking the right questions & connecting the dots.

Oscar – Innovative Healthcare

Oscar was started to provide an innovative, intuitive and more humane Health Insurance by adopting the latest technological advancements. It was started with a vision to make healthcare more accessible, transparent and affordable.

As a User-centered organization, Oscar came up with an ad that spoke about telemedicine, which utilizes the virtual care concept to assist people in a real way. Oscar was the first company to tap on this area and help people. It was a win-win situation.

This idea had emerged upon close observation and interaction with the common country citizens.

Stethoscope and iphone

Before working more on their ads, it was then important for the organization to understand and analyze, who the users really were. There were a lot of products which the company had built and the size of the employees had begun to expand. In the course of this research, the company came up with a long list of users, such as:

  1. Members
  2. Concierge teams
  3. Physicians
  4. Nurses
  5. Oscar vPCP’s
  6. Network team
  7. Insurance operations team
  8. Data & analytics team
  9. Regulators

…and many more besides.


Most of the products that the company develops are the tools built for the members and internal groups of the company. Since the company and development teams are aware of the nature of the requirements of the end-users, most of the tools built are great and help them to be more relevant and precise.

Though the primary goal still remains to develop more virtual enabled care units with reduced cost of healthcare and make the system more transparent, a lot of effort goes into building strong back-end infrastructure.

Doctor with patient and tech

Key Takeaways

The major takeaways to build a more user-focused products are:

  1. Knowing the customers and studying their requirements
  2. Define goal -> Understand your user -> Understand the ecosystem -> Construct a hypothesis -> Test Rollout & measure
  3. Talk to your users
  4. Embed yourself
  5. Use data as guidance
  6. Look outside

If you enjoyed this talk, you can find many more like it on our YouTube channel. Prefer an in-person experience? See the events happening in your area.

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