Design Thinking Workshops
Usually when starting a project like this, I would try to get in touch with our users to get some generative data on their current behaviors and expectations. Unfortunately at this time, the UX team had trouble gaining direct access to our target users, and had to use Product Management as proxies. Our PMs have very specific and deep domain knowledge, and I knew that we could leverage that in order to get started. I ran a workshop with PM and engineering to level set, uncover some insights, and make sure we all had the same priorities.
Protopersonas to see how many types of users might use this feature
Needs Affinity Diagramming What do these personas use reports for? What are the key needs?
Dot Voting on features to prioritize and understand feasibility
After creating some wireframes, I had the opportunity to run the concept by a few customers. This was a huge win for the UX team as we have historically not been allowed to interact with our customers. While these studies were very informal, they still provided us with key insights relatively early in the process that allowed us to pivot to fit their needs.
(Here is an example of watching our users go through their current report generation process, and expressing their frustration at only having two options for exporting)
I'm a firm believer any research is better than no research, but this case study proves that some earlier research with our actual users would have been very beneficial.
Something I've been thinking about it whether to ship sooner, with a less robust product, or wait to build something extraordinary and take a little longer. Get back to me on this one.
Being able to say no to some of the requirements we were given ended up working in our favor. Again, using data from user testing helped us support our point of view.