Improving the UX of UserZoom: Part one – How we set up our research process
If things were more meta, we’d be sending the Inception team into Jakob Nielsen’s dreams to find Deadpool talking to Don Norman about how much they love The Princess Bride while failing to open a door.
And what are the purposes of this voyage into self-discovery? You mean beyond an excuse to invent impossible pop culture mash-ups.
Well our lofty aims are as follows:
- Improve the UserZoom experience for our customers
- Provide you with evidence that user research is awesome, which you can use to get buy-in from any stakeholders who need a little extra persuading
- To show how UserZoom delivers valuable UX insights at any stage of the product development lifecycle
Our guides on this exercise in eating-our-own-dogfood/drinking-our-own-champagne (delete whichever turns your stomach least) are UserZoom’s Senior Product UX Researcher Becky Wright and Lead Product UX Researcher, Rose Leitner, who have taken it upon themselves to use the full power of UserZoom to make UserZoom a better product for you.
We’ll also refer to them as Product UXR, which sounds ultra cool and badass. And if you’d like to find out more about the members of Product UXR, and why they’re so uniquely qualified for this project, check out Becky and Rose’s Meet The Researchers blog-post.
I asked Team Product UXR how they launched their product research program at UserZoom and what the process looks like.
Setting up a research process at UserZoom
We’ve done a lot more research than we expected in our initial three months, because UserZoom lets us keep up with demand. Doing research on UserZoom with UserZoom has allowed us to move faster than we originally thought possible.
You have to be agile and iterate, especially in a small company, so setting up our research process has been a work in progress. We began with a backlog and we started prioritizing research based on that and our product roadmap. We collaborate with product management and design through JIRA and Confluence, and we also take requests through stand-up meetings and quarterly meetings to gather research needs.
Our process is cyclical and continuous. As you can see below…
Typically our research process starts with requests by the Product or Design teams to better understand how we can improve a particular aspect of the UserZoom experience.
Based on the kind of decision the team wants to make, we select the best methodology to inform that decision. This involves kickoff calls, stakeholder input, and ensuring alignment across the business questions that need answering, the decisions that have to be made, the methods we use to address those, and expected output that will make that possible.
We usually create a research plan, unless it’s a really quick tactical question where we can get it done in almost the same amount of time than it would take to create a plan!
Then we find participants; depending on the goals of the research, we either do through the UserZoom sourcing engine or by pulling our own customer list. It doesn’t take long to field a study.
We can analyze the results really quickly because it’s easy to get the insights from UserZoom reporting, and big heavy reports just don’t work in an Agile environment. So, we’ve been putting our data directly from UserZoom into Confluence. And then we always debrief with the stakeholders after every research project to share the objectives, the methodology, and our key findings and recommendations.
Collaboration is essential to creating a really good product. The more of it we have, the better we get. We’ve been working closely with sales and marketing to evangelize our research and create case studies and demos. We’ve also been working with the delivery team to contact customers directly and test with them.
Of course, we’ve done it all using UserZoom. We’re now very heavy users of the moderated project study type. When we talk to customers and internal researchers, we just set up a moderated project, ask them to share their screen and show us how they’re using UserZoom.
The fact that we can actually record all our user interviews in UserZoom about UserZoom means that we can share these kind of video clips and the study with the designers and other teams so much more easily.
Join us next time, where we’ll reveal the projects the team have been working on and the results of that research.
Christopher is the Content Marketing Manager for EMEA, which basically means the skipper of the good ship ‘UserZoom blog’. So far his requests for changing its name to the ‘USS-erzoom Blog’ have been rightfully denied. In his spare time, Christopher is a filmmaker and the editor of wayward pop culture site Methods Unsound. He used to be the deputy editor of Econsultancy, editor of Search Engine Watch, staff writer for ClickZ and features editor of CMO.com.