In UserTesting’s recent Customer Experience (CX) Industry Report, almost of respondents said that everyone is responsible for the overall customer experience, highlighting the opportunity for companies to embrace the democratization of CX research.
How do you empower non-researchers to do research?
It helps to have a research team that can develop programs. At UserTesting a Product Insights team was formed.
The following is a case study about how UserTesting empowered their Design Team to #EmbraceHumanInsights.
As part of their redesign, their Design Team has been focused on developing a Design System, a collection of UI elements, patterns, and standards to unify their UX and speed up new design work. The Lead Designer has learned to validate all new patterns in their Design System with the help from Product Insights Team.
They decided to take the approach of pairing a UX Researcher with a Designer, having them work closely together on the first few projects, and then slowly transitioning more and more of the work from the Researcher to the Designer.
The Researcher created a test plan template that was filled out together with the Designer. Based on this info, the Researcher filled out the test plan with specific Screeners, Tasks, and Questions. This test plan forms the basis for all future studies and is updated and tweaked based on the focus of the study.
For the first few studies, the Researcher recruited participants, conducted the sessions, and discussed the results, but made sure to invite the Designer to every session. As the Designer gets the hang of how to be a good moderator, he starts to take over some of the sessions. During the training period, the Researcher stays close to the analysis the longest. This knowledge transfer is crucial, as they’d write their own summaries and then present them to each other. Knowing how to make sense of everything you’ve heard and seen, and making decisions based on that, is the hardest part of conducting customer experience research.
The current balance
The “training” took 4-5 hours per week of a Researcher’s time for two months. The Researcher maybe spends an hour total every month working with the Designer.
What Design does themselves:
- Repurpose previous test plan
- Conduct or launch sessions
- Make decisions based on findings
What Research helps with:
- Choose methodology (if not the typical prototype test)
- Review test plan (if new)
- Recruitment (if not from our panel)
- Debrief on session and discussion of findings (when requested)
It’s worth the extra effort up front
One-on-one training isn’t the only way they empower non-researchers at UserTesting. On both the data science and UX Research side, they have created a checklist with links to templates and examples that can be used as starting points. An essential component to their success is to make sure that everyone on the Product Insights team has time in their week to help others conduct their own research—rather than getting overloaded doing the research themselves.