Unlocking Product Success: The Research Behind Aligned
This case study invites you to journey through the extensive research that laid the groundwork for Aligned during its conceptualization phase. Delve into how a deep understanding of workplace challenges and user personas led to the discovery of core value propositions and growth strategies for this innovative solution.
Using Research To Drill Down To Core Value
  • User Interviews
  • Emotional Intensity Research
  • Prototyping
  • Research Surveys
  • Growth Loops
Project Inception
The story of Aligned began in 2018, before the pandemic reshaped our work landscape. Its genesis was rooted in comprehensive research aimed at uncovering the fundamental workplace challenges. The breakthrough insight revealed the pervasive frustrations stemming from workplace meetings. This revelation ignited a dual mission: to address the existing deficiencies in software solutions and to devise effective strategies for mitigating these issues.
Discovering the Core Value
My research journey was a fusion of qualitative and quantitative techniques that illuminated the path forward. I conducted in-person interviews with 20 participants, administered surveys involving 500 respondents, and executed pricing prioritization research plans. I also facilitated feature prioritization exercises and conducted emotional resonance research, resulting in a treasure trove of insights.
Disseminating Results
Drawing from the wealth of data, several key insights emerged, including the importance of protecting focus hours, the need for instant time and room finders, action item assignment and tracking, and the ability to anonymously request meeting details when unavailable.

Persona Definition
Out of this, I crafted two distinct personas, which mirrored Paul Graham's previous work: the Manager Persona, primarily task-oriented and valuing meetings as essential components of their work, and the Maker Persona, viewing meetings as disruptions to their primary tasks while acknowledging their necessity but often perceiving them as lacking value.
Growth Strategies and Single-Player vs. Team Features
With a well-defined problem scope and user personas, our focus shifted to revenue and growth models. I considered various growth loop opportunities, including invitations to meetings, tagging discussion topics, assignment of action items, and agenda requests in scheduled meetings.
Product Development and Growth Strategy
With the problem and user personas in sharp focus, we shifted our gaze to revenue and growth models. Our considerations spanned Business 2 Business-Consumer, Bottoms-up SAAS, and a freemium pricing model, setting the stage for Aligned's evolution.
Prototyping Phase
The prototype phase involved rigorous testing of execution scenarios, ensuring the safeguarding of focus hours, enhancing schedule efficiency, enabling action item assignments, facilitating anonymous agenda requests, and offering the capability to add and receive preparation instructions.
Integration into Existing Workflows
Recognizing the reluctance to disrupt established workflows, I made a strategic choice to create a Chrome extension. This approach, integrating a React App into an iframe, allowed a common codebase for the Calendar extension and a responsive web application. This design flexibility ensured that users could employ the product as a standalone application while seamlessly integrating it into their existing tools.
By deeply understanding user needs, crafting precise personas, and developing tailored solutions, we ensured that Aligned met and exceeded user expectations. The clear identification of core value propositions and growth strategies positioned the product for success in a competitive landscape.