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Doing UX research with HelloLily’s users

Written by Birgit Timmerman on 17th June 2015

In my previous blog post I told you that I formulated my research questions and determined the research methods. Before actually getting started with my research, I had to prepare a meeting with both my counsellor from school and work. The purpose of this meeting, for me, was to present my research questions, chosen methods, expected results and planning. After this meeting, both my mentors gave me an official GO. I was very happy with that result, because now I can finally get started with my research!

Recruiting respondents

My plan was to do a lot of research. In-depth interviewing, card sorting, a focus group session and user testing. For all of which, I need users of HelloLily. In total, I needed 37(!) users. I was nervous about that, because I didn’t know if the users would cooperate or even had the time to participate in my research.

I made a document that explained all of the methods, how it works, how long it will take, how many respondents I need, and some time suggestions on which they could enroll. I send it to all of the HelloLily users and in no time, I had enough users to start interviewing and do card sorting sessions. I was incredibly pleased with that!

In-depth interviewing

There were twelve HelloLily users who wanted to participate in doing interviews and card sorting sessies with me. It was a lot of fun to do. Of course, I already knew there were some problems with the interface and functionalities of HelloLily, but to sit down and listen to what the users have to say is very interesting. Some users were very satisfied with HelloLily, others could talk for hours on how bad everything is. But both give very good insight on the strengths and weaknesses of HelloLily.

Here are some very interesting quotes the users gave me (these quotes are translated and ought to be anonymous):

“There are a lot of small things that frustrate me during my work. To the programmers, they are just minor things. But when you have to send 40 mails per day, it’s a very irritating, big thing.”

“I noticed that I really had to look hard to find certain things. On one hand it’s because I’m used to working with the previous CRM, but on the other hand it’s because HelloLily isn’t intuitive. I don’t understand the ‘road’ within the system.”

“HelloLily is speed. If you know where we come from. You can just work so much faster. It’s just.. you need to get used to the new work proces. I can’t imagine to go back to Sugar. I really wouldn’t want that.”

I still need to analyze the results of the in-depth interviews, but I already have some great ideas in the back of my head.

Card sorting

Card sorting is a very different kind of method, where the user has to re-design the information architecture of HelloLily. Every single function has been written down on to small cards. The user can design a (new) navigation structure, in a way they find most logical. It was very great to see everyone’s different perception of ‘the best way’ to design a CRM.

Underneath you can see a picture of a user who is working with the cards.

Respondent 12 foto

In the second picture you can see one of the many results that came out of this method.

Respondent 4 resultaat

The results that came out of the card sorting sessions are a lot harder to analyze than the in-depth interviews. But it will give me a great insight on how to optimize the information architecture of HelloLily.

The next two weeks

With the results of the interviews and the card sorting sessions, I will detect the biggest usability problems in HelloLily. For example: the workflow or the email integration. Next Monday I will organize a focus group session with seven users. Together we will think, draw, design, create and come up with a solution to these problems.

If you have any questions regarding my project or anything else, don’t hesitate to ask them in the section below. Thanks for reading!

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