Speaking to our customers is one of the best parts of my job. No matter how much research or design goes into a product, if the customer is not happy, you have missed an opportunity.
Since joining Torstar I have established regular quarterly UX Studies that tackle larger problems that we are seeing. One of our first sessions was to take the pulse of the city before our homepage redesign. We sent teams out to talk to people to see what they thought of thestar.com. The findings helped inform the Design Sprint. Sometimes we find an analytic that we don’t understand so we need to do some interviews to clarify what is happening. Each study we do involves product and design and sometimes editorial or marketing. It is highly collaborative and never fails to raise awareness. These sessions are what makes us all stronger product people.
Surveys and Forums
Sometimes we need to do some quantitative testing and for that we collaborate with the Research Team. We tap into our very engaged Star Advisers panel and send them surveys on anything from digital usage to insights on how different age groups understand our subscription process.
When we have something we want to explore over a period of time we conduct a forum to have an extended session with about 30 people. This is helpful with redesigns so the panel can experience the flow of content and report back and discuss their experience.
How might we connect with teens now, so they become paying customers in the future?
Understanding why senior subscribers cancel at a higher rate than younger customers is critical to a business that relies on this majority cohort.
How might we position a product to create brand affinity where there is none? What should we do now, to create paying customers in the future?