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Case study: Understanding the segment

This is a description of one of the projects that I've completed. Some information has been removed or modified due to confidentiality.

Background and goals

  • This project was conducted for an interior design app which is used for both individual and professional purposes.

  • The product team wanted to learn more about one of the segments which was discovered earlier.

  • The research results would help the product team to acquire the evidence to determine key focus of the product development of the quarterly road map. Some key goals we had:

    • understand users who use our app for professional purposes - what their needs are, why they are using our app,

    • how they work in general,

    • how our app fits into their workflow,

    • what other tools they use at what stages, 

    • how satisfied they were with their current tools including our app,

    • etc.

My approach and method

  • I started with a desk research which included:

    • previous research and data analysis,

    • support tickets from the target group analysis, 

    • reading professional forums and other platforms,

    • competitors' analysis. 

  • The desk research stage allowed me to gain the data which is usually difficult to get from lab research with professionals. Reading forums and similar platforms allowed me to see the real life questions that our target group of professionals asks and the issues they have. Additionally it allowed me to get real unaltered feedback on competitors and their solutions which you can later take into account when developing your own product.

  • The second step was conducting of user interviews. I used a combination of various techniques including Jobs-to-be-Done (altered for our purposes). This approach helped me understand what typical jobs this target users have and how successful and satisfied they are performing them. 

  • To ensure triangulation of the data I also conducted a quantitative survey aimed to understand the number behind the insights I've seen during the qualitative stages.

Analysis and deliverables

  • All the findings I accumulated on a Miro board. It slows:

    • our target group's job,

    • the  stages of the job,

    • actions,

    • the opportunity window (the difference between the importance of a particular step and the satisfaction with the current solutions),

    • what other tools they use,

    • needs and outcomes,

    • motivators and barriers,

    • comments and quotes,

    • illustrations, 

    • devices they use at a particular step.

  • This board allowed me to see and to demonstrate the steps with the biggest opportunity window and the main pain points.

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  • To make the results more digestible, I summarised the findings in a report with a shorter version of the flow which also had a more clear indication of where the current product succeeds and where it fails, gave a detailed description of the user flow stages and competitors optimum solutions, as well as recommendations on further development of the product.

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Crucial insights

  • The research determined sub-groups which have various needs and, as a result, different product requirements,

  • Identified the tasks that have the biggest opportunity window for the business,

  • Found what should be changed in the existing functionality,

  • Learnt about the missing functionality. 

Research impact

  • Product strategy pivot backed by research insights.

My learnings

  • Always expect the unexpected. Even if everybody in your team is 100% confident about what is most critical for the users, the reality might be different, especially when dealing with professional users as you need a deep understanding of their field to know what they need.

Further steps

  • The team has already developed some functionality that was found to be important for this group of users and it gains great feedback.

  • Each new functionality developed as a result of the research insights is further tested and analysed based on main parameters:  

    • Task success rate

    • System Usability Scale (SUS)

    • Time on task

    • and other.

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Thanks for reading! Any questions? Let's chat :)

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