How to bring users back into the design process?

Involving users in the design process is an absolute must for companies who are serious about executing a winning customer experience. Yet many companies fail at working with their users properly - Here are three questions to help you map where you are:

1. Is your main research method a survey

We tend to do what we know the best. In the user research world that is online surveys. However, relying on surveys wont help you to understand and fix all your UX or CX bottlenecks and find new opportunities. You will just wear your customers out and bring them to survey apathy by hammering surveys for every single journey point. You will need to stop sending surveys and need to diversify your methods towards qual and build more inclusive learning loops where your users actually see how you are making their experience better. That way the research participation becomes meaningful again both for business and your customers. 

2. Are you able to split your customers into different user profiles?

Have you worked out your core customer or user profiles (possibly 3-6) that are different from each other? You will need to understand what drives their motivation to use your brand and what is their impact on your business. This is absolutely vital because if you don’t know your customer profiles it is super hard to develop your services, products, and brand effectively. You will be making a lot of silly and costly decisions in the dark without this understanding.   

3. How many weeks does it take for your team to talk to your users? 

Write on paper what hoops and loops you need to jump through before you are able to talk to your own customers. If you find that there is no defined process or it takes more than a week you are missing out big time. Without steady access to your own customers, user research and experimental user learning becomes hard and difficult to sustain. Then it is easier to stick your head in the sand and hope your next project ‘goes well’.

How to fix it?

How did you do on the above? If you are falling short, I recommend you to address these 3 areas as a top priority - that way you will be playing your A game and start winning.

If you are looking for ways to fix these quickly, I suggest watching the 20-minute video where I present how a Nordic insurance brand transformed the way they are working with users.

Written by Ville Österlund, CEO, Leanlab

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