Qualitative Research In Startups

Knowledge / Inspiration

Qualitative Research In Startups

Continuous Discovery
UXDX Community Copenhagen 2018
Slides

Catherine is the Head of Experience of Design at GenieBelt, a simple project management tool for construction.
In her presentation, Catherine discusses what it is like to be a UX designer in a startup followed by the research and monitoring process. This goes into detail of areas including exploring context, designing flow and developing.

I come from industrial design education with a lot of theory on how you should do things, and the processes and I've tried working in consultancies as well. Different kinds of consultancies, some of them are focused on user research, nomographic research, which will impact marketplaces through understanding people. As well as interaction designs, so inspired from nomographic research, into growing viable solutions to the trends.

And all in all the whole process has been about that beautiful rainbow. The process is more or less that one, like you ideally will explore who the users are and you would draw conclusions from all the users you've met. Identify their needs carefully and make sure that there's business over there. You design a nice flow, test them carefully before they** launch,** and then you have a great product.

In some way that's what I experienced at consultancies** **doing that. They have their own part of the process and the sales part of the process and that's what we buy. So it's a piece of process and you can do it within your means, and it's always frustrating because it's never big enough. You always want more user research, but it's always a process.

And when moving to product, moving to small startups that have started from an idea, and a business potential. The reality is that you have to move fast, we will need to build something to sell it. Because they're already completely out of money, there is no money. So you have two creative entrepreneurs, they have a great idea. They find the** demographic to make it, they find the right designer, they underpay to make super cheap. And then you launch to market. And then you iterate with that. Where was to understand, to deep understanding that the one was so dear to me, understanding the market.** Then you have to try to fit it in there, the product already exists [o that's what I'm going to focus on today. Trying to build creative research into Tech startups. Hard Drive startups, they're trying to move fast but they're really quite short on cost.

So there are some good codes I had when I started startups. We have developed this feature already, the developers are ready, we have two weeks to find out how people are going to use it. We are user-centered, we build stuff fast and then if people complain, then we iterate. I like to keep in mind, the sort of people who complain is that people have both the product and that is important. So they have moments of frustration that's so big that they have to complain to customer support. And that works and tweaking functionalities but I don't think that works for user experience.** It has to be **better than that.

So currently I'm working with GenieBelt, for more information. And it's a company that I chose because they want to build a user-centered product instead of that fight, it's the vision. Sometimes it's easy to say, it's always a work responsibility. But it's also competent. It works on agile premises and that's the trend, and I think that's for this one. So what the company does is bring transparency to the construction industry. It says it all, it's what is impossible to do, our founders decided to take that challenge.

So if you have an example the house, construction site, okay there's weather over some things that creates problems. And then because there has been a problem and people haven't been able to communicate and they blame each other. The project takes more time and money. So we said that's supposed to be used. For all parts of the construction process; here's the client, the buyers, they can be house buyers, yes but they can also be from any community, it can be all count scales preferably from house builders that make a lot, 15 houses at a time. House company. It's a big house we do in Denmark making commitment houses. So they have understood that they want the value of transparency to improve their efficiency. So there's the buyers, the contractors and the brokers that manage the whole building process. And these are the people that make things happen. All these levels have to communicate, and they're all bound by contracts that protect them against lawsuits that we follow by one way or another. So it is that capacity that we have to honor.

So that means not only providing a tool that people can use within their current workflow, But it also means changing people and bringing a new hard drive method into their processing. It's tricky? We're doing it, maybe 10 years ago you're going to see them collapse, but we told you we're going to do it right. And I believe we are right by understanding people.

So this is how our tools look so far, a waterfall. This is the tool that's accepted in the construction industry. When you build a house, you need to build the floor before the window or the doors. That you can't change, so we have to work with it. But this is alive and you can see how it actually looks like in my project of holding interviews. I used my current project, in our tool, because it's a project management tool. It's nice to use it a little bit, you shouldn't take my experience as your experience because I'm not the right user. But it's nice to show you how the work looks like and how I'm working.

So you can see by now guys, I'm trying to bring back my rainbow here. Where we go straight from context, next design flows, test them, in a parallel way. But of course it's more startups, again the problem is more small startups. We don't have a big team, we are three and a half designers, half-time. So that Holding interviews part. That's possible when you have a full time construction, which I've been to once and it's amazing. But it can take more time, therefore we expand and that's not working with hard drive startups. But I'm still doing it. Because I also try to fit the day-to-day requirements, so I try to fit the screens, and all up in two weeks. The developers are developing the screen feature that has been required by the customers. It's simple, the restaurants that're within our robust strategy, our roadmap. We built it for TIM advocating for the users that were last week, and he always has a voice you have to advocate for the users.

It takes 50 thousand building the roadmap, But in the backlog when I have met enough users of the same page, I would implement my new process, make a presentation, show patterns of five users saying the same thing, and say okay maybe that's something they've complained about. But that's the motivation and some of you may be able to make a product, you have to put that resource there, if we made it for them. Because you have understood where they come from.

So the first step of exploring context is about spending the amount of one day full immersion in someone's workplace. Last week I was in the UK in the county of Rochester. On the building site it was very hard for me to be accepted. But I followed that right pole and it was day and I expected to see a site manager in his office telling people what to do but he was running two minutes after that he took hold of the hat and the vest and I spent the day with him. I had in mind what I wanted to figure out for our feature which was resource management. How do they do it? How do they assign tasks to each other? That's a small thing, yeah I could have picked up the phone to find out the answers. But the fact that I spent the whole day there made me advocate for the users in a general way. As for me, I'm coming from the field with videos. I film the whole thing, I film most of when they are arguing together, or whether the things they do.They stack fine beams on mud because the project delay, this is the initial phase, he would have never told me that on the phone. Because it's not too good for the beams, but it's way better than that. This is a recurrent problem.This is not what was on his mind to tell me about what he wanted with my product, this is what I needed to see.

And then observing patterns. So it was nice with the beams, and saying look we had a problem with the wood. But you can also find small things that you might not even notice you want to do. Because on the project we wanted people who are talking about problems. And they were very happy with it. But people said maybe it was that person, maybe she wasn't fit for the job. And already we have three people so you are saying you have five people. No it's not quantitative data, no you can't just prove it to your investors and say see we have three people. But it is even in size, and this is something you have to consider when such a big pattern emerges. There is an issue about people not feeling comfortable right.

So I'll have all these insights and then we present it in movies and how-might-We and all those things you already know. How might we solve this issue with the building. Again would like all the given stakeholders of the company to the room and then we, all the people that use to say "make the flow better", well we are all designers today. So it's getting all people in the line of designers start to design. First of all, get engaged so politically you be like you people stand to get on one of the user processes. And then we get all the expertise on the table, all the right expertise that you need to make a viable product. Of course if you make developers designers more product then the interface may look data or yet it might not fit the thrope. But his voice was so important to design the right flow.

But from the proceeds, of course I should point everybody to a room, and then these proceeds get lost, But what we use at GenieBelt is a tool called realtime board. If anyone uses it. That would be the first time. I'm going to step back a little bit, GenieBelt is located in three locations. It's inin Poland, it's in London, and Copenghagen. So we have to fly people in for that workshop. But it was crucial that it happened.

Once the workshop was done you took all the pictures and then the workshop continued online. That was amazing, that was what I think made me happy to be a designer at this age of time, it's because we managed to keep collaborating. And we think that was by still involved in designing the flows and addressing why. It took long and how it helped us prioritise. So we're moving from flows, these are the people we are helping, real people we have in mind. Steps we have to do, though that work needs to be added to our curriculum and the blue dots organised. To create the whole companion bar with real-time log.

From then on, we moved to Figma. And it could be in any design tool but again the hard drive process is about designing wireframes and then screens that people can still be part of. So, Figma is a great design tool that is also a collaboration tool for anybody to comment on. You can do what you want with them, you don't have to write.

And then you can test prototypes. So this was the prototype. You have to provide tasks in that way. Complete that task if the people fail or complete it then. So the tools would be there, that line with screen mirroring, plus two cameras that would also show both the face and hands. So you can also communicate about why we have to spend two more weeks on the prototypes. Why is it not done, they argue.

Then we end up loving it and then we also use another tool again. We just implemented Canny. Canny IO that allows people to request speeches. Some tools have that and we're just trying it. We are using the commercial team to tell us about what people are complaining about but we are also trying that, directly into the product. We are trying that, that's great as a team research in the process. I'm convinced, maybe I'm too convinced, maybe I should give up some of this fight, but we're trying as we go and it's very nice to hear from you guys also.

So that's our rainbow process.