Field testing without customers goals


I started a new job on Monday it is a company that provides migration, reporting and management for cloud software. I have been tasked to look at the reporting tool. The problem is that while their customers find it useful, they don’t really know why. They have some ideas but need more. The co started out by providing a few reports and grew from there by adding things they thought customers would want and also things customers asked for.

I want to start talking to some customers and see how they use the platform. In a UX lab, I would normally write a script with tasks and record how the customer proceeds but as I don’t know what the tasks are, that wouldn’t work. I thought about remote mouse tracking but may have to sit through many hours t start getting any insights.

I considered a survey but that would probably lead to vague answers. I may do one but I need more.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Hi @eddienguyen - good to have you here in the forums. Welcome!

Scripted tasks and mouse tracking may be good for finding usability isues, but it sounds like you’re looking for higher level stuff that takes a step back to look at customer pain points, key behaviours and opportunities, and ultimately product-market fit?

If so, a discovery project or voice of the customer research might be better suited.

Do you have a specific timeline? Is it just you doing this, or do you have some help from a team?

A reasonable VOC/discovery project might be along the lines of:

  1. Ramp up: stakeholder mapping, pre-scoping, setting up relationships, etc
  2. Planning: stakeholder interviews, background reading, creating interview guides and other stuff.
  3. Collecting data: one-on-one interviews, workshops, contextual enquiries, surveys, etc
  4. Synthesizing and documenting with affinity mapping, theme extraction, insights, and writeups, etc
  5. Follow through: socialising the findings, facilitating internal Design Thinking workshops, looping back, etc

Or, at the other end of the spectrum, it might be as simple as setting up ongoing opportunities for yourself and a few other people from the company to talk face-to-face with customers, and keeping track of your learnings as you go along. The company sounds pretty easy going and flexible, so this might be amenable. Depends on how badly they want concrete insights.

In addition to what @Lukcha has said, I’d add that you consider shadowing existing users as well as conducting some contextual inquiries where you watch people use the system and ask them questions about what you observe

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@Lukcha great explanation, I think you have such a piece of great knowledge about UX/UI designing. Really I appreciate it.

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