Mock PM Interview with Product Experts
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Design a web search engine for children below 14 years of age
To further understand the question I would ask few clarifying questions –
- When we say web search engine, I would assume that we are talking about something similar to Google/Bing.
- Which platform will we launch this search engine? Mobile/Desktop/Tablet? This can be answered once we have more details on ur target segment.
- Since below 14 yrs represent a huge segment, I would assume that we will be targeting children between 10-14 yrs of age. As below 10 yrs age children might be too small to use the product.
Now I would like to understand what problem are we trying to solve, what will differentiate our product with that of existing products in market? I will assume that current product is not that user friendly for our target group and does not specifically cater to their needs.
Firstly, I would figure out for whom we are building the product for:
- Children in age group of 10 -14 years, I will assume they can use existing product (Google/Bing search engine) in the market. The understanding and knowledge level of will vary, I will assume our target group is a regular school going kid who understands basic level of English.
- Parents who would use the search engine to find information related to kid’s education, their careers etc.
- Teachers who would like to use search engine to teach kids. They can also give references from search results to kids.
Now that we have identified the target segment, I will try to address the question of platform. Since smartphone penetration has increased tremendously I will design the web search for mobile.
Post the target identification, I will try to understand the user behaviour. What product features should be built to cater to those.
- Children in age group of 10 -14 years
- Current product in the market assumes that person has basic comprehending capability. But children in age of 10-14 years are still in basic schooling phase. Hence, they lack ability to go through several results and decide which ones are the most suitable.
- They might not clearly articulate what they are looking for
- Short attention/focus duration
- Visual content is more appealing
- Susceptible to hacking
- Would not want their kids to waste too much time on it
- Want to ensure that there is no malicious content displayed
- If possible, monitor the activity of kid on search engine
- Would want to recommend links to their students/parents
- Would want to search for latest development on the topic going on in class
Now that we have understood the needs of our users, I would like to list down our product features. For this I will try to come up with basic features based on above needs and prfioritize the features. For the feature set, I will focus on the children as they are our primary users.
- Use profile (age, country, city, school, interests) of user to return more relevant results.
- Recommendations from teachers and friends shown first.
- An AI based mechanism to understand the intent of the search instead of matching the words for searching.
- When hovering mouse over the link summary of the article to be explained – It can be either in form of text or voice.
- Crawler filter – This search engine should only be crawling sites that are age appropriate. One way this can be done is from the information itself. Another way is from looking at the demographics of the users that go to the site itself. It’ll need to ignore any domain that doesn’t fit the children under 14 demographic or that has content that is inappropriate or may be abusive.
- Social connect – This would allow children to connect their social accounts of choice. This would give them the ability to see what sites their friends have visited on the default search page.
These features can then be prioritised based on their complexity and importance.