The Power of Social Learning in Product Critique


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 17, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Social Learning in Product Critique


In order to create a great product, it is crucial to understand people's desires, observe their interactions with the product, and be curious about their needs. However, there is another aspect that plays a significant role in product critique - social learning. Social learning is humanity's main advantage over other species and has been instrumental in the development and sharing of knowledge throughout generations. By incorporating social learning into the process of product critique, we can gain valuable insights and improve our understanding of what makes a product successful.

Understanding First Impressions:

When we encounter a new app or product, our first impressions play a vital role in shaping our opinions about its value proposition and overall quality. These impressions are formed within the first few minutes of interaction, giving us a sense of whether the product provides value, is user-friendly, and feels well-crafted. By analyzing our initial reactions and understanding what contributes to a positive or negative first impression, we can gain valuable insights into the design and marketing strategies employed by the product's team.

The Importance of Additional Perspectives:

To gain a comprehensive understanding of a product, it is essential to seek out additional perspectives. Reading reviews, comments in blogs, and tweets about the app can provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn't in the broader market. This diverse range of opinions allows us to identify potential areas for improvement and develop a more well-rounded critique. By actively seeking out and considering different perspectives, we can enhance our own product instincts and make more informed judgments.

The Role of Observation:

Observation is a fundamental aspect of product critique. By keenly and closely observing people's interactions with a product, we can gather valuable insights into what motivates, delights, and intrigues users. Great experiences do not happen by happenstance; they are a result of understanding people's needs and desires. By consistently observing and learning from users, product designers and thinkers can gain a deeper understanding of how to build successful products.

Connecting Social Learning and Product Critique:

Social learning theory, as proposed by Albert Bandura, highlights the importance of observing, modeling, and imitating the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others in our learning process. This theory aligns with the idea that people learn better and acquire more information by teaching others. By incorporating social learning into product critique, we can engage in deep discussions, gain diverse perspectives, and enhance our understanding and depth of knowledge. Learning socially not only improves our own understanding but also allows us to contribute to the learning of others.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Seek out diverse perspectives: Reading, observing, and listening to different individuals can provide valuable insights and expand our understanding of a product. Embrace the opportunity to learn from others, regardless of their background or expertise.
  • 2. Write things down: Taking notes is essential for effective learning. By summarizing and reflecting on what we have observed and learned, we can solidify our understanding and identify areas for improvement.
  • 3. Embrace curiosity: Be curious about people and their needs. Continuously observe, ask questions, and explore different possibilities. Curiosity fuels innovation and helps us build better products.


Incorporating social learning into the process of product critique can greatly enhance our understanding and contribute to the creation of successful products. By understanding people's desires, observing their interactions, and being curious about their needs, we can build better products that resonate with users. Additionally, by embracing social learning, seeking diverse perspectives, and actively engaging in discussions, we can expand our knowledge and contribute to the learning of others. So, let us embrace the power of social learning and continue to grow as product designers and thinkers in this ever-evolving digital landscape.

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