November 1, 2016
Agile UX innovator invests in product and customers
This month Agile UX innovator UserZoom marks one year since its first institutional financing. In October 2015, UserZoom raised $34 million in Series A venture capital with the intent to invest in its product and customers. In the last year UserZoom has made substantial progress, undertaking a shift toward a product-centered culture and sharpening its focus on customers.
“We started UserZoom because we wanted to make the web a more friendly place for users. After eight years of organic growth, we raised capital in order to live up to that mission,” said UserZoom CEO Alfonso de la Nuez. “As an organization that’s dedicated to agile design and development, we are in continual cycles of improvement. I think that’s why it’s all the more satisfying to step back and take stock just one year after our funding to see what we’ve accomplished. And the truth is that we’re just getting started.
“In the last year we’ve focused on two things: our product and our customers. In order to make headway, the first thing we did was bring in the right people. Our experienced new team leaders quickly got to work, building out the next iteration of the UserZoom product, which, I’m excited to say, we will start rolling out very soon — and also overhauling our customer success and professional services organizations. I’m extremely proud of what they have accomplished in the last year.”
Within three months of raising capital, UserZoom invested in deep executive experience with the hire of Deborah Eudaley as CFO, Andrew Jensen as VP of product and Kuldeep Kelkar as VP of professional services. This spring, the company added Robin Richardson as VP of marketing and Amanda Schmidt as SVP of global customer success services. Most recently in the fall, John Crouch joined as SVP of global sales. These hires added more than nine decades of enterprise software experience to UserZoom’s leadership team. Overall, the company roughly doubled its staff, adding substantial human resources to the product, customer success and professional services teams.
De la Nuez confirmed, “We added staff in places that would let us accelerate our progress toward our mission — to improve the digital experience of end users.”
With the newly expanded executive leadership and additional staff, UserZoom has been able to make the shift toward a product-centered culture. Part of that shift involved refining UserZoom’s own agile design and development processes, including feedback loops with customers and UX experts that will spur ongoing improvement to UserZoom’s platform.
In the last year, the new product team undertook the massive UX project of completely overhauling UserZoom’s all-in-one user research and testing platform. The team spent hundreds of hours on research, three cycles of prototype testing and feedback and will debut the result in a phased roll out of the revamped platform starting next month.
“With a goal of fast execution, we benefited first hand from the deep user insights that UserZoom provides,” said product VP Andrew Jensen. “Our product team was able to make confident design decisions that are directly in step with the needs of the evolving personas involved in usability testing.”
For customers, the benefit of UserZoom’s renewed focus on product will mean more rapid improvements to the platform, including additional capabilities, improved functionality and a more enjoyable user experience.
The renewed focus on product is mirrored in UserZoom’s continuous focus on the success of their customers.
Within the past 6 months, SVP of global customer success Amanda Schmidt completely revamped the UserZoom Customer Success Program with an immersive new onboarding experience and a more streamlined, relevant customer experience. “I refined my approach to customers at companies like Marketo and Adobe,” said Amanda. “UserZoom’s customers deserve the highest level of service, and our program is built to make our users wildly successful.”
Under Mr. Kelkar’s leadership, UserZoom upgraded its Professional Services Program by adding a number of experienced UX professionals with advanced degrees in their field. The introduction of IntelliZoom, less than four months after UserZoom acquired user research panel company, YouEye, was also a direct response to customer need. The IntelliZoom panel lets researchers quickly and easily find participants for qualitative UX studies.
While expanding its team and building out its enterprise customer offerings, UserZoom has had another year of significant growth in SaaS bookings, and now counts 40 of the Fortune 100 as customers — including such innovators as Amazon, Lenovo, Apple and Google.