team (2011) • Nasdaq product managers would ask customers what they wanted, what features would be useful • Little exploratory or discovery phases: very tactical • Little or no usability testing of products prior to releasing to market (or after) • Little or no sharing of findings outside of individual teams
listen first hand to customers describe their problems, diagnose solutions via prototyping, then revisit those ideas with clients • Cross-‐teams of designers interviewed clients, and results were shared to business leads and executives (via audio clips, video shorts, transcripts) • Partnered with sales, service, and support to create a relationship across teams 2014 -‐ Present • Scaled well but needed specialization as demand, complexity, scope increased • Now executives expect research and make critical business decisions based on findings
specific questions that are tied to business objectives*. Before conducting the interviews, gain consensus on these topics: • What is this project trying to accomplish? • What are we trying to understand? • How will this new knowledge help our team and stakeholders make meaningful changes to the business or product?
“understand the user’s workflow” Specific goals are easier to measure: Understand how investor relations teams are structured Learn about why, when, and how IR teams work with PR teams Identify pain points in their typical workflow
interviews • Go into interviews with hypoteheses, this is the opportunity to dig further • Don’t always get the answers to questions, just by asking point-‐blank • We use a broad series of open-‐ended questions including: • Describe their workflow, sequence of events, “what do you do next?” or “ok, and then what?” • Ask probing “why” questions to give them the opportunity expand, “tell me a little more about that” or “why do you think that is?”
Testing • Not testing the user, testing the concept • Specific scenarios and tasks we hope they can complete • Listen for any confusion or excitement that they express along the way (unprompted) • Make every effort not to give them answers to their questions, but rather turn their questions back to them “is that important to you?” or “what would you expect to see if you clicked that?”
with [AUDIENCE], with a particular focus on [FOCUS AREA]. Our findings will inform and influence [ARTIFACTS] and design decisions for [TEAM/COMPANY] efforts. Research Goals • Understand ___________________. • Uncover opportunities for _________________________. • Determine how [TOOLS/PRODUCTS/FEATURES] are used by [AUDIENCE]. • Understand the potential interest in and value of [CONCEPT/IDEA].
from the following: o Customers in the Americas [TARGET %] o Customers in Europe/Middle East/Africa [TARGET %] o Customers in Asia-‐Pacific [TARGET %] o Prospects in any geographic location [TARGET %] Project Logistics • Scheduling participants [NAME(S)] • Facilitating research sessions [NAME(S)] • Observation [NAME(S)] • Note taking [NAME(S)] • Findings report [NAME(S)]
Participant Name(s) ____________ Approved by Account Team Member(s) Meeting scheduled in Outlook, inviting all relevant internal participants Meeting added to common calendar Meeting entered in CRM Interview conducted on _________________ Interview recorded Y / N Thank you email sent to customer participant(s) Brief notes entered in CRM, summarizing highlights Recording file sent to transcription service Recording uploaded to research asset repository Interview summary complete, including one quote Transcript received Master Research file updated to reflect completion of interview Customer Research Checklist
and generalize research: everyone is a researcher • Reach consensus on goals • Determine the right methodology for the goals • Find the right people to interview • Have a plan, and keep everything • Neutralize your biases • Ask open-‐ended questions • Shut up and listen! • Use research to build bridges across teams or different disciplines (even small startups!) • Treat research as a practice and a skill that can be improved • Record, transcribe, summarize individual interviews and then identify patterns in reports