The Covid-19 pandemic sparked a dramatic increase in demand for home fitness equipment. Powered by AI and focused on strength-building, Tonal is the “smartest home gym you’ve ever seen,” according to Men’s Health. Valued at over $500 million, the Bay Area company is backed by Amazon and athlete-investors like Stephen Curry and Serena Williams.
A couple of months before the pandemic, Marketade led in-home qualitative research and a collaborative journey mapping workshop for Tonal. The project’s main goal was to uncover design opportunities to improve the Tonal customer experience and lead the market on connected strength.
Related goals included:
A Fortune 500 company with over 10 million customers was making steady progress on a key business goal: getting more customers to use its digital self-service channels rather than phone into its call centers. Across numerous product/service lines and transaction types (sales, support, etc.), for years the company had consistently reduced costs while improving the customer experience by making it easier to transact online.
And yet, for one critical service line, the online transaction share was stuck. Only 1 out of 10 customers completed the transaction online. …
Years ago, an enterprise company wanted to improve the user experience of the internal web application used by its call center support reps. With thousands of reps helping millions of customers, support task efficiency was a key driver of both business KPIs and customer satisfaction.
Many companies invest heavily in the UX of their customer-facing software yet ignore the usability of employee-facing systems.
This company was ahead of the curve. They recognized the potential ROI of a redesigned support app built on a deep understanding of the reps’ tasks, needs, and pain points.
The company’s UX team partnered with Marketade to launch and operationalize a new user research program for its call center software. Together we built from scratch a repeatable research program that…
Within the UX research space, there are numerous platforms, panels, and agencies for participant recruitment. There are also many researchers, designers, and product owners who conduct recruiting on their own.
Despite these resources and experience, participant recruitment is the #1 pain point for many teams conducting user research.
Through our work with a wide range of teams, we have learned that frustration with recruitment is strongest when:
No matter how good the recruiter or the platform, this combination will produce disappointing participants — and disappointing research. …
Kimberly kept surprising us.
She was using an expert marketplace website, trying to find the right specialist based on her needs. The bare-bones homepage had one call to action: a large search box followed by a button, with some supporting text.
Kimberly ignored it and clicked the navigation at the top. After a few minutes, she scrolled down another page, found an advanced search option, and used the last of 4 possible filters — “expert location” — to start her search.
“Let’s see who they have near me,” she thought aloud.
“Huh,” muttered one of the stakeholders on the virtual meeting. …
User researchers love to hate website surveys, and justifiably so. Poorly-designed surveys are everywhere on the web, in part because tools make it easy to throw one up with lots of questions. Most website surveys annoy users and fail to capture data that results in UX improvements. At best, some of the data ends up in a presentation or dashboard.
But done right, web surveys can have real UX impact. On a recent project, we ran 2 short surveys that achieved actionable insights at a minimal cost to the user experience.
The setting was a usability study for a major regional health system that includes one of the top-ranked hospitals and medical schools in the U.S. Our primary research was moderated usability testing with 7 participants. To supplement our qualitative research, we gathered data from 2 large-scale website surveys. …
For our agency’s first 5 years, we used the traditional approach to user research: teams hired us, then we disappeared to conduct research and analysis, and returned with a big report.
Over and over, our research failed to drive change. No matter how clear the problems and opportunities were to us, teams nodded politely — and then largely ignored our findings and recommendations.
Frustrated by this lack of impact, about 6 years ago we began to experiment with more collaborative approaches to research. We started by adopting Jared Spool’s variation of the KJ-Method, where we brought diverse teams into the observation and analysis process. …
After 16 days of waiting and hoping, an email from Bank of America arrived. It was the eve of the much-anticipated second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. The next morning, an additional $310 billion in small-business emergency loans were set to release.
My small business of 8 employees was ready for PPP at the start of the first round, submitting our documents soon after the floodgates opened. Then we waited, and waited. Now, over two weeks after we’d last heard from the bank, came an email with this subject line:
“We haven’t received all of your loan application documents”
Much has been written about the Paycheck Protection Program’s failings, including how big banks have favored big clients and left smaller businesses hanging, and how the SBA’s systems have struggled to keep up with application demand. …
Moderator: Imagine this scheduling feature existed today. How likely would you be to use it?
The software product owner looked up from his notes and took a deep breath.
He and his team were huddled in a conference room, watching a video of a concept testing session. For about 20 minutes, the research participant had interacted with a rough prototype of a new scheduling feature. Now, the moment of truth had arrived.
Participant: Yeah, I would definitely use this.
By the end of the day, having watched other sessions with similar exchanges, the team agreed that the scheduling feature was ready to design, build and launch. …
“I am a statistician and I work at the Statistical Institute for my country.”
It was the first thing out of the interview participant’s mouth. Quickly the mood in the observation room changed. The multi-tasking and bagel eating stopped, and all eyes focused on the large screen at the front of the room.
“I am in charge of reporting our government’s macroeconomic statistics to various data platforms run by international agencies,” he went on. Then our researcher gave him a link to click and asked: “Have you ever used this site?”
“Oh yes,” the Central American responded with a laugh. “I use this a lot … I was just here the other day.” …