In the Trenches of UX Research & Strategy

ux research

One of the fun elements of our work is helping our clients get where they need to go in the product development lifecycle. More often than not, clients have an idea about what they want (to build a great experience for their customers) but are uncertain about how to incorporate the user’s voice when faced with a time crunch. User Insight has started a lot of relationships with clients who are “under the gun” and helped them create better experiences when under pressure.

Here’s a recent scenario: There are 8 weeks left until a big industry trade show for a hardware firm, and the software development firm in charge of making the interface work with the hardware has no clear direction on how to make that interface intuitive and pleasing for the user. As such, there’s no code completed yet. There are multiple concepts for the user interface, but no clear “winner” among them. Situations like this are perfect for conducting user research and gathering feedback.

We were able to quickly gather feedback from their users, walk them through some concepts and measure how users understood the concepts and workflow, the intuitiveness of the concepts, and what features or functionality they desired in the interface. With the timeline for the interface development shrinking by the day, we didn’t have the luxury of a few weeks to run a formal prototyping phase to develop wireframes and workflows based upon the major findings from the research. Instead, Lindsey Whitefield and I joined our clients (the software firm and the hardware firm) for a two-day working design session where we tackled their biggest problem: What do we need to show to “wow” our customers, and how should it work?

Using the findings from our UX research and our knowledge from conducting 100 plus projects a year across various industries, Lindsey and I led our clients through the workflows for six distinct tasks, balancing the needs of the clients, their customers, and the end users as we went. Using giant 25”x30” post-it notes, we wireframed on the fly and plastered the walls of the conference room with what became the framework for the software development firm’s interface, screen by screen. This was not a typical deliverable in our world, certainly not what the clients thought they wanted, but our experience and leadership is just what they needed to take the first step toward an impressive interface and show stopping product.

Want to learn more about how we can help lead you to a clear direction for your next project? Contact our team here at, follow us on Twitter @userinsight and never stop trying to find out why people do what they do.