When I begin working with a product my primary focus is to understand how the core value proposition translates to specific actions in the product. I try and map out all the steps that lead to people becoming a habitual user. Once this initial phase of work is complete the next step is to figure out who the super users are.

One way I find super users is to figure out who performs you core action the most.If I have done my job well then the core action is the best proxy we have for people succeeding with your product. It stands to reason that the people who do it the most are getting the most out of the product.

I’ll take any given month and look at the number of times each person performed the core action. This gives me a spectrum of usage. I also make to remove people who just signed up so that I don’t distort the data.

What I’m trying to understand is the differences in the way that people on either end of this spectrum think about and use the product.

The best way I know how to do this is to speak to people and listen to how they talk about using product.

Speaking to 5-6 people from each group is usually enough to get a sense of the key points of contrast in how each groups thinks about the product. These key point of contrasts, or use cases, serve as goal posts that I can then use to encourage the least engaged group to head towards.

How can you help more people think about your product as your super users do?


Other questions to ask yourself to improve your retention…

  1. Does your product make a clear promise?
  2. Do you know how often people have the problem you help them solve?
  3. Do you know what your product’s core action is?
  4. How many people continue to use your product six months after they sign up?
  5. Have you segmented your retention curve by the different types of users in your app?
  6. Do you know where the single biggest dropoff is in your current onboarding experience?