Earlier this month I interviewed Joanna Zilm about how she set up a UX research process at Picnic 🚚 We recorded the webcast for you so can watch the replay when it suits you. 🍿
Below the recording and the slides we discussed during the interview.
Don’t have time to watch the video or just prefer reading? Scroll a little further down for an easy to scan transcript of the webcast.
Expect to get practical tips & tricks on how UX research is done at one of the fastest growth Start-ups in the Netherlands. 🙂
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or feedback regarding the interview.
Sometimes people are so close to the product that they’re not open to the idea of customers experiencing the product in a completely different way. With UX research you’re the voice of the customer within the company.
[0:00:02] PK: Welcome everybody at this webcast from Always Be Learning. Great that you’re here. I hope sounds and everything is OK. We did our best to make it a proper viewable and hearable webcast.
We’re quite excited. This webcast will take about one hour. Well, I will interview Joanna about the UX research project she did at Picnic.
I have some setup here. So there will be some slides which we will show along the webcast, with some details where Joanna is going to talk about.
Well, first, we will show the slide with a short agenda. So we start with an introduction about ourselves, tell who we are and what we do. Then Joanna will tell us about UX research process she set up at Picnic.
Then she will share a case which she did there. A really interesting case about Germany, right? Which you’ve done in Germany, yes. And then some tips and tricks and learnings she got from this case. She will share with us.
And afterwards there will be a – well, some final words and a Q and A. So you have a chat where you can ask questions in. You can ask the questions during the interview. If I see them here and we have time, I will reply on them or read them or ask them during the interview and otherwise we will save them until the end for the Q and A section.
One more thing. The slides we will show, we will share them with you, so you can have the details of everything we tell afterwards. OK.
First, introduction. So for people who don’t know me, I’m Pieter Koenis, founder of Always Be Learning. It’s a training company, training and consultancy company and it’s my passion to help companies build customer-centric products and I do that via a two-day training. It’s an open training. The next one is in September and we can learn how to get our customer insights, how to set up UX research process and to really get that UX – the customer-centric mindset and besides that, I coach and train product teams in-house as well at companies.
Oh, we met a few months ago at a meet-up in Amsterdam here and we were talking about, well, the projects she did at Picnic and I felt that’s really nice. I actually want to share it with more people. I want to, well, make it – how do you say that? “Openbaar”.
But like share those ideas. So that’s how I came up with this webinar idea. So Joanna, please introduce yourself.
[0:03:47] JZ: Yes. Thank you so much for the invitation first of all. So I’m Joanna. Maybe a little about myself. I’m originally actually from Germany, from Hamburg to be precise. Very nice city. You have to go if you haven’t been there and I studied in the Netherlands. Psychology and then economic and consumer psychology as a master and kind of got stuck here in this beautiful country and started working here and my latest job was indeed at Picnic as UX specialist.
I stopped working there now in June because yeah, new adventures, challenges awaiting in Berlin. So I relocate back to Germany. But I will be back in the Netherlands always. It’s still like my second home.
I worked as a UX specialist at Picnic. So that means that I was basically together with the store team and the growth team. Yeah, responsible for the perfect or – yeah, hopefully perfect experience for users and customers.
I don’t know if everyone knows about Picnic. I think when you’re from the Netherlands, you must have heard of Picnic. But maybe there are people who don’t know. So Picnic is an online supermarket. It’s actually one of the – or it is the most successful online supermarket in Europe. Very proud.
And yeah, it’s online. So it means we don’t have physical supermarket stores but it’s basically an app. So I was in the store team. Store, in that case, the app. Responsible with the designers, product owners, to improve the experience for the users. Very interesting.
[0:05:41] PK: Interesting. So you say store team. That means the digital store like the app.
[0:05:49] JZ: Exactly. Because we don’t have physical. So the store is only in the app. But also there’s a website but it’s really the app. So of course it’s even more important that the app is working properly for the customer or is very understandable and intuitive and of course maybe also fun to use.
[0:06:10] PK: Yeah, for sure. How does the team look like? The store team?
[0:06:19] JZ: So the store team basically is – well, we have a lot of developers or programmers. So for iOS and Android. That’s really the side where I’m not an expert. This is stuff I’m not that familiar with. But they’re doing amazing work, which is kind of the last part of the process and before, there is the design team. So the UX designers who are basically designing the app or new features and then there’s also the product owner of course and I was also part or the UX specialist. So I’m more the one with a psychological background who is getting to know more about the customers and insights and then we all work together on the end product.
[0:07:11] PK: So the store team is just – well, it’s to set up a digital product team.
[0:07:17] JZ: Yeah.
[0:07:17] PK: Yeah, because the name is so different. But that’s nice to know. OK, good. Thank you for the introduction.
So you first want to explain a little bit about the process you set up. You set it up in the Netherlands and in Germany?
[0:07:40] JZ: I have to say I didn’t set it up all by myself. Of course it’s a team effort. But yeah. I think it’s very interesting because Picnic is very future-oriented in that matter. I mean there are a lot of companies who now understand how important this customer-centric approach is. But so far, Picnic is really one of the first companies I’ve been in contact with that is so close to the customers. Yeah, I think that’s something really interesting to share and they – yeah, we have a really nice process set up there, how to include the customer.
[0:08:20] PK: So we will show the first slide and we need to split the screen and go to the UX research process.
[0:08:32] JZ: So as I said, at Picnic we are very close to the customer. So it’s basically – of course there are also business goals as there always are. But we really try to get in touch with a customer and see what does the customer need and this is really built up with a weekly process. So the fact that they hire a UX specialist really shows the importance of it and we kind of start with a research phase.
So we kind of use the quantitative data that we have together with the growth team, so data we have for instance that we know, OK, people order one time, two times and then maybe we lose them on one point or at what point within the app people are struggling with. So we see, OK, they add a certain amount of products in their basket and stuff like this.
So this is data we already have from the growth team and of course there’s the customer success. So the customer service and we also collect the feedback that customers give us proactively and there with this data, we kind of go into the next phase and really put a focus. So we’re looking, OK, what are the challenges that are most important and relevant. So you really – of course you cannot approach everything at the same time, every challenge, but really see OK, what is most relevant.
Then of course you’re also like forming hypotheses and then it’s basically going in the method phase or you’re trying to go more in-depth. So if customers for instance call customer service and then telling you OK, we have this and this problem, there might be something more behind it. So you want to go into depth.
[0:10:32] PK: Yeah, deep dive in it.
[0:10:33] JZ: Exactly, and then at Picnic, we did that with in-depth interviews. So really I did it person to person or also calling customers. We also have regular service we send out to really get more detailed.
[0:10:49] PK: Show your face to the customers.
[0:10:50] JZ: Exactly, that’s of course amazing if you also get this feedback, if you really see how willingly people are part of – yeah, to help to make the perfect experience and we also had focus groups. So with more people, so not just one on one.
[0:11:10] PK: How did that work for you, the focus groups?
[0:11:13] JZ: Oh, I loved it. Yeah. I’m really a people person. So I love to set up focus groups and brainstorm sessions and it’s really nice because you have all different kinds of people and then you’re first likely to break the ice and then you really see this interaction and like all different opinions and so you get a lot of insights, a lot of valuable information and it’s also fun. You order pizza if it’s like at the end of the day and it’s very “gezellig” as the Dutch people say.
[0:11:53] PK: Do you use those, the focus groups, mainly for validating things or getting inspiration on things? What would you say – or both could be?
[0:12:05] JZ: Well at Picnic, we did it more inspirational, so more in effect – more instance we did it with the new meal box. Picnic has a very nice new meal box Presto and there was a complete new product. So we had no clue how our customers react to it and how the users are actually – yeah, how they look like, what kind of group is ordering this product and …
[0:12:34] PK: So this is the competition of Marley Spoon and …
[0:12:38] JZ: For instance, exactly. So we invited people and then of course defined beforehand what is the goal. What do we want to learn? And then of course as always, things coming up that you don’t expect, which are completely interesting and useful. So yeah, then you know like OK, this is actually a part we haven’t thought about. But for customers, it’s very important. So yeah, you get a lot of direction for further research to deep dive in as well.
So after this kind of method phase, you’re basically having a lot of feedback, a lot of insights and then of course it’s very important to share that with – internally with the teams where it is relevant. So that’s not just store, so not just app-related in our case at Picnic but also for instance for the training team. So that was with the meal box for instance as an example and then we kind of had a phase. We sit with the whole team and also different kind of team members to spice it up sometimes.
Then we kind of brainstorm. OK, how can we address the challenges and how can we come up with solutions? What might help the customers? And then you’re basically – we call it UX lab at Picnic, which was very interesting and impressively set up by my former colleague who had my position before, Sophie. She did an amazing job and maybe because the UX lab is very complex.
We have an extra slide for the UX lab, exactly. So what the UX lab is – at Picnic is basically a weekly meet-up with customers. So I would go every week and meet up with customers that we invited. Also sometimes people who are not customers yet because that’s also something very interesting to do tests with people who have not ever used your product and yeah, so I would meet up with them on different locations to get like kind of a target group from all over the Netherlands or in Germany we also did it as well.
Yeah, that’s really important that you find a suitable location. So we did it Picnic style. So a bit of like start-up style because not every company has the resources to hire like agency for that straight away because it’s very pricey.
But we found really nice locations where I would meet up with the customers. So yeah, you kind of send out email invitations.
[0:15:44] PK: You didn’t invite them in-house to the office?
[0:15:46] JZ: We did that as well but then of course that was a target group from people more from Amsterdam and the area because the headquarter of Picnic is in Amsterdam. But yeah, I cannot ask people from – yeah, to travel all that way for interview. But yeah, so I would travel in certain cities and we would send out email invitations. Like hey, do you maybe feel like helping us and to provide a better service? And it was really nice to see that people were very open for it.
[0:16:23] PK: They’re enthusiastic about this new idea.
[0:16:28] JZ: Of course before you kind of define depending on what you’re testing your target group. So people who ordered a lot like loyal customers or people who have used the app maybe once and then it’s basically you’re sending out the invitations and then you kind of finalise the prototypes. So we worked with prototypes, meaning like certain features that we came up with as solutions for problems that a customer had. We developed prototypes with our designers. So it looked like the real app but it was like a fake version of it but that I took with me to the interview and then see how people react to it, if it’s like intuitive, if they understand it, if they like it.
Then of course our customer got a little incentive. They got a nice voucher. Yeah, that’s obviously what you do, which was really nice because most people seriously didn’t come for that and they were very surprised. We always did it as a surprise. So that was really lovely to see and then you’re basically doing the user testing at a location.
On the slide you can see an example. So we were working with this Mr. Tappy. This is this funny little thing which is super useful if you’re indeed testing something like an app, so something that is phone-related.
[0:18:06] PK: So you can really see where people are clicking.
[0:18:09] JZ: Exactly. Like it has like this surface. You put your phone on. It’s like a magnet. So people can really handle it like their usual phone and then we would like test the prototypes on the phone and there’s this camera. So we can see – I can follow on my laptop but we also film it. So the team members can also see live what’s happening or …
[0:18:32] PK: Make a screen recording of the phone and then next to it, film it with the Mr. Tappy.
[0:18:39] JZ: Yeah, Mr. Tappy. I can really highly recommend it. It’s a cool thing. You can really follow where people are clicking, where they’re like struggling and the most important thing in this prototype testing is really to invite people to share their opinion. So everything, what is normally going on in our head, like all the –
[0:19:34] PK: Openly sharing.
[0:19:35] JZ: Exactly. Like every emotion, also things that are irritating and yes. Then sometimes you see that people struggle with it which was completely not on your like radar as a team because you are very close to the product.
And then basically we record it and then the next day, we always sit together with the team. So at Picnic, what’s like copywriter, the product owner, the UX designers and I and I would share the insights and summarise it of course and then we would see like, “OK, how can we improve the prototype for next week?” So we would do this kind of cycle to really finalise the prototype for a certain feature until we say like OK, this is it.
[0:20:25] PK: Interesting.
[0:20:26] JZ: And then if we go on the slide further, then we’re actually …
[0:20:33] PK: Continuing the UX research process
[0:20:36] JZ: Yeah. Then we’re fine and happy with one prototype and one feature and we see like OK, this is really like positive reactions. We would go to the next stage to the programming. So we would hand over the feature to the iOS and Android developers and they would program it and then we always go from the qualitative phase into the quantitative phase, which means that there’s like A-B testing to really see – yeah, to basically really see OK, what is the impact of the features.
So we would test one focus group which includes or gets the feature with the control group and then really see, “OK, does it have an impact?” and of course you also want to make sure that it doesn’t have a negative impact because people are not always open for changes. So yeah, it’s very interesting.
[0:21:35] PK: Yeah, so just always be learning actually.
[0:21:39] JZ: Always be learning, exactly, always be learning. Then of course the last step is the actual implementation and then the kind of publishing of the hopefully better, improved, new app version.
[0:21:51] PK: OK. Well, I cannot wait until – to see the case, how this really worked out for you. So we just immediately go into the case. Because how this works in real life or maybe first share a little bit about what was the case – a case about – the setting of the case because the case is in Germany, right?
[0:22:18] JZ: The case is in Germany because – so I did user testing in the Netherlands, a weekly thing, the UX lab. But of course Picnic also is operating in Germany.
[0:22:30] PK: Which countries are they in now?
[0:22:33] JZ: In Netherlands and Germany. So we tried Germany, the German market. So it’s like close to the Dutch border. So we’re not everywhere in Germany.
[0:22:45] PK: Any idea why not first Belgium?
[0:22:49] JZ: No. Actually no.
[0:22:56] JZ: I know like the operating part is a big detail of course, a big problem – or not a problem but yeah. It needed to make sense operation-wise with the supply chain. But yeah, I don’t know why. Maybe they were just more – yeah. I mean Germany is of course a huge market.
[0:23:47] JZ: Well, it’s kind of like this kind of cases, you do not really plan it because you’re of course it comes up like what you get from the people. So before I came to Picnic, they only did user testing in the Netherlands because that was the main market and then of course there was the fine good coincidence that I’m German. So I speak Dutch but I also speak German.
So we could actually start to do user testing in Germany as well, which was super interesting because we were curious about culture differences as well, which there are. I mean Dutch and German people, it’s not like complete different words. But for instance, Germans are a little bit more behind in the whole digital world. Every time I’m going back home, I’m like oh, I need cash money again, which is completely nonsense in the Netherlands, so stuff like this.
So for them doing your grocery via an app is also really very innovative and so yeah, that was really interesting. So we basically started doing user tests in Germany and we first started to interview people. Well, we call them non-users. So people who were never in contact with our app and just let them try the app and basically see where they’re struggling with or if they’re not struggling at all.
[0:25:32] PK: Very interesting. Just super new.
[0:25:34] JZ: So if we look into the first slide, it was basically the research question was, how can we actually – or how do first time users actually experience the app? And there was – indeed with in-depth interviews. So I would really sit down one-on-one with people and with our Mr. Tappy of course and they would register and go into the app and I would give them a kind of exercise or scenario.
Of course in my case it was a party, a birthday party and they were like OK, imagine you have to do grocery for your birthday party, which was always the fun thing and they were just naturally doing the grocery and then we actually figured out one of the, yeah, most relevant first insight was that especially first-time users struggle with our categories or with finding certain products.
[0:26:39] PK: I like the idea of the birthday parties because then you need to look for things that you don’t buy like straws for example or whatever, that you already have.
[0:26:51] JZ: Yeah, exactly. So if I talk about categories, I mean like the supermarket category. So vegetables, fruits, drinks and stuff like this and at Picnic, the – well, we now have the new version based on this case. But it used to be like a horizontal presentation. So you would slide through the app. So you don’t see all the categories on one window straight away.
[0:27:24] PK: So actually like a website top menu but then on the smaller screen, it’s scrolling, it’s scrolling.
[0:27:29] JZ: Exactly.
[0:27:30] PK: OK. What happens if you click?
[0:27:32] JZ: Then it pops open. So you have like a dropdown and then you see products.
[0:27:36] PK: OK, yeah.
[0:27:38] JZ: And we learned that especially in Germany, people – sometimes they didn’t even know that you can scroll through the categories. So they thought, OK, there are like two categories. That’s it.
[0:27:49] PK: Small store.
[0:27:50] JZ: Exactly, very small. But they were like, OK, it’s a start-up. They just have fruits and vegetable. No, but yeah, so – and we also got a lot of requests from people. They say like yeah, I actually want to see an overview of all the categories. So that was kind of the phase one of that whole project or case. Then we kind of slide it in the second phase. Yes, which was very interesting.
So the research question was basically, “OK. How can we improve the user’s experience of finding what they need?”
[0:28:34] PK: Really a big question actually. And really substantial for the business.
[0:28:40] JZ: Because the whole idea of Picnic is of course to make the daily life of users more easy. So you don’t have to stand in a line in the supermarket or hustle from one site to the other. You can quickly do it in your app wherever you are in the train or whatever. Then of course you don’t want to have the situation that customers do not find products that they are interested in because they don’t know in which category we put it.
So that was the research question in the second phase and then we actually did user testing or the tests we did were card sorting. Card sorting is a way of testing where you look into how people kind of sort things from their own. So I would meet up with people again one on one and I make this really nice kind of – I call them memory cards but they’re actually not memory cards because there’s only one version.
But it feels like memory cards and we combine it with the trading team which is fun because this kind of research situation you also can combine different issues because of course the trading teams – so that’s the team that is like deciding also which product goes in which category.
So I was sitting with them and they were telling me what the – let’s call them critical products. So products where you’re not sure, OK, do you put it there or does the customer expect it there? So I would choose exactly these products and then of course also the mainstream one.
[0:30:25] PK: Can you name one?
[0:30:28] JZ: For instance sometimes like with yogurts, do you put them more like with milk products or I don’t know, sometimes more in a dessert category or I don’t know, or like certain olives. Do you put them more in the fancy antipasti category or …?
[0:30:48] PK: Or vegetables or whatever. It’s actually where I would look.
[0:30:54] JZ: So yeah, printed them out and I made this little cards game and I would sit with customers and also with people who were not used to the Picnic app. So they’re not biased and then I would give them their shopping basket with the cards and I would say like, OK, please sort these products, how it makes the most sense for you personally. Then name the categories and explain to me why you put them together.
It was really interesting because it shows that we basically have two groups of customers. So the one group who really sorts in categories how they’re used to it in their normal physical supermarket. So they would really put that together because they go mentally while doing it through their – yeah, their common supermarket.
And then you have the kind of group who’s doing it more OK, more spatial at home. Like where they put products, fridge, then …
[0:32:02] PK: Freezer.
[0:32:03] JZ: Yeah, freezer or what I have in the bathroom and stuff like this. And of course we also collected how people named the categories and framed them.
[0:32:14] PK: And they named it bathroom?
[0:32:17] JZ: No, not that. No, not that simple. But sometimes they said for instance breakfast, like as a category. So sometimes you also had customers or users who – yeah, who said like OK, this is all products that I use for breakfast.
[0:32:38] PK: Sausages.
[0:32:39] JZ: Sausages. That’s exactly the point. It’s very interesting because it’s so subjectively how – yeah, like some people – I mean Germans for instance, they eat way more salty things also in the morning. You Dutch people, you go more for like jam and chocolate sprinkles and so it’s very – it’s extremely interesting but also very challenging to find the categorization, which is logical for everyone.
[0:33:07] PK: Yeah, I understand.
[0:33:08] JZ: And that was basically like the next challenge then for the team. So we had all the insights and then we would sit with all different kinds of people, not just the trading team who’s normally responsible for that because they have really the business side. They have like all the terms and …
[0:33:27] PK: Exactly, how they buy it.
[0:33:28] JZ: Exactly. So I also invited for like brainstorm sessions, people from customer service or like marketing and stuff like this to really also have a representation of let’s say the normal people, how they would feel the categories are. Then we together formed categories, new ones, completely trying to be unbiased from what we had.
[0:33:56] PK: With the input from the user –
[0:33:58] JZ: Exactly. And then we dived into phase three. Which was basically about the challenge that of course on one hand, you want to have at least – yeah, the least numbers of categories because people – like we say in – yeah, in psychology, there’s like the magical number seven. So people remember until seven names, products, whatever. But then you kind of have difficulty to – in your short term memory to really memorise and people always think they want a lot of choice but actually if it comes to buying behaviour, fewer choices are more successful.
I mean we knew that people want to have one overview of categories. So in the app window, you can only present a certain number and you don’t want them to – on the overview scroll again to see all the categories. So …
[0:35:00] PK: Did you have a number in mind already or did you – like it should not be more than 15 or 10 or …?
[0:35:06] JZ: Yeah, we had a number in mind based on what we had before and then there was – well, one view which was like – I always felt I was like representing the customer but also the UX specialist is I think the mediator between what the customer wants and then internally what the business goals are.
So we try to – yeah, we were like thinking of a number. But I also knew that every interview I had that customers always said, the fewer the better. So less categories are – yeah, it feels nice or it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. But of course if you use your categories, then it also gets more broader and it could struggle.
So we were like, OK, how are we testing it? What is more important, to have more specific categories which is more clear what kind of products to expect behind or to have less of an overwhelming category choice and go for less ones and them of course being more broad?
So we were like, “OK, how are we going to test this?” And then we had an opening of a new hub in Germany. So we had a big event and we decided spontaneously to kind of make a game out of it. So we developed our own matching game. So we had like – yeah, you can see it on the pictures. We have like these crates, these red crates. So we had an A and a B version. So A version was with a lot of categories but more specific versus less categories and more broad.
We put like paper in it with the category names and then we had like all the visitors, so all the people who were invited for that event, which were like normal potential customers. They had to compete against each other. So they both got like a basket with products, the same ones.
[0:37:21] PK: Oh, with time.
[0:37:22] JZ: Yeah, and then they needed to sort it in the right category. We were like watching, noting down, OK, who’s faster but also who’s more correct as in how we would sort it and who’s completely like, “I don’t know where to put this product.” It was amazing because we had like people queuing up. We had like friendship maze, so they were like families competing against each other and then sharing the – of course they got like candies and cookies at the end. So they were sharing it. It was really fun. So it was not just a nice marketing thing but also really for us a great research.
[0:37:57] PK: Super nice that you see people struggling, you have the timing, which is actually data. Cool. Nice. Did you do a pre-test interview? Like how was it or how did you …?
[0:38:12] JZ: We talked with them afterwards. So they were like explaining what they struggled with and what they – yeah, what they felt during the game and we explained afterwards why we did it. We didn’t do that beforehand because then you have them biased and then we actually learned that people – for instance with the less category, sometimes we’re more fast but they also struggled more and they put products really and categories where we’re like no, it doesn’t really make sense. So we learned that we should rather go for more and then more specific to be clear for the customers.
[0:38:52] PK: Exactly. Otherwise it’s too much of a struggling and it’s really – struggling is really negative feeling.
[0:39:00] JZ: Exactly. The main goal is basically you don’t want your customer to be frustrated.
[0:39:06] PK: No, exactly. Struggling is frustrating. Searching can be frustrating if it’s too long. Interesting, nice setup.
[0:39:16] JZ: Then we got in the last phase of the case which was basically the – yeah, the prototype testing, usability testing of the actual idea or feature, how we wanted to set it up. So we made a prototype and you can see it on the picture how it looks like. With pictures as well and to really put it as an overview on one page.
[0:39:46] PK: On this last test, did you test again different setups or the one you choose for?
[0:39:54] JZ: No, we tested two versions or maybe even three with variation of which categories to maybe combine. Like fruits and vegetable, to put it in one category or to split it up, because of course behind that, you also have a tree of subcategories.
So here it was basically a tree testing setup, meaning that I would sit down with the customers or users and I would say like, OK, please imagine you’re going to have a “borrel” how you say it in the Netherlands. Like you want to buy some snacks for movie night or whatever and you want to have peanuts. Then I would give them the app and then we would see OK, how – intuitively how well is the usage of the new category tree and what they’re struggling with.
Then in that process, we also defined OK, also on the next step, the subcategories. So it’s called tree testing because you’re like starting with one and then it’s like going further and further in categories and then we also learned yeah, like some subcategories need to be more general. We had too many and stuff.
[0:41:20] PK: Yeah, so many categories actually, with so many products.
[0:41:23] JZ: Yeah. So it’s a very challenging case but also very interesting because use so different types of research methods and you really – yeah, you start with, “OK. What do we need to learn? What is the research question?” and then you come up with the best method that kind of represents the most natural setting and getting insights that are least biased.
[0:41:50] PK: Yeah, I understand. This is live now.
[0:41:56] JZ: Yeah.
[0:41:57] PK: OK. And how does it work? Do you already have some feedback or is it …?
[0:42:07] JZ: Well, I have to say I think it is live in Germany now already. I know it’s live in the Netherlands and the feedback is really well. I mean it’s a big change of course because people are used to – especially with the categories, to do it with a scrolling. But yeah, they really appreciate that it’s more intuitively because we also added pictures now and of course like yeah, research showed that people first look at the picture and most of the time if they don’t need to, they are not reading because it’s just more like you need less of your brain capacity to identify pictures and actually read …
[0:42:47] PK: That’s interesting.
[0:42:48] JZ: So that is a big improvement.
[0:42:50] PK: What I’m actually curious about is how is – are you – were you testing or does Picnic have a search box like where you can type the products?
[0:43:01] JZ: Yeah.
[0:43:02] PK: Was it not – it’s not everyone using that or …?
[0:43:06] JZ: That’s interesting – because, that’s also – for you naturally, you would be using that.
[0:43:14]PK: Yeah, I think so.
[0:43:16] JZ: So I would put you more in the practical user in a way that we really see there are customers or personas we call them who just want to do their grocery like quick and like OK, I need this, this, this. Also people who most of the time kind of order the same every week.
[0:43:39] PK: Sounds like me.
[0:43:40] JZ: Yeah, and then they’re basically doing the grocery. So they just want to do it quick. I’m not saying quick and dirty. Just quick and then be done. But we also have customers who actually like to have a look around and get some inspiration. So these are more the people who are also scrolling through the categories.
[0:44:06] PK: Yeah, welcome …
[0:44:07] JZ: Exactly. So you also have people who are just like, OK, I need to do grocery and that’s why I’m doing it. But you also have people who feel like oh, it’s like a social event. You’re like going out and you can see, OK, what I’m going to cook tonight. But the category tree itself is especially important for first-time users because that’s really the moment – just like when you’re on holiday for instance. You’re in France. You’re going into a supermarket where you’ve never been and you’re like …
[0:44:37] PK: See all those live animals, the lobsters in the – yeah.
[0:44:41] JZ: Exactly, and you’re like discovering and you’re going around and of course it’s the same with people who are using or entering the app for the first time. So you want to see, OK, what do they offer? What kind of assortment do they provide? So there it’s very important to not lose the first time user to give them a nice experience and a good overview and really leave them with the impression. OK, they have everything that I need.
[0:45:11] PK: OK, interesting. Let’s see how we are with the time. We’re at 45 minutes now. We had some – you had some best practices you summed up for this one, which you like to share.
[0:45:33] JZ: Yeah.
[0:45:33] PK: Let’s put that in there. Yes, go ahead.
[0:45:43] JZ: Yeah. Maybe the – because now it’s –
[0:45:46] PK: Oh, sorry. I was – next. Yes, next slide.
[0:45:51] JZ: Because, we don’t want you people to be in the need of taking notes. Yeah, I think which is really nice what I learned at Picnic is that it does not always need to be like hiring an external agency to do this kind of work. But that there’s also really ways of doing it internally in a very – yeah, effective way and I think that’s also why we connected on – the first time when we met and we really agree on the fact that it’s something else of you hire someone to tell you how your customer looked like or what they want.
There may be working for a little time with you and then they’re telling you like, yeah, the customer you’re working with ten years, they look like this and this. It’s way more …
[0:46:43] PK: It’s still some external person or company telling you some things.
[0:46:48] JZ: Yeah, exactly. And I think it’s really – yeah, that’s what we agree on. It’s really like a – it feels like a more natural approach and it’s also then really settled in the DNA of the employees of the company. If you learn how to do it yourself and to really get in contact with your own customers and that’s why I thought it’s nice to share it, how you can easily do it yourself.
[0:47:14] PK: I couldn’t agree more, of course.
[0:47:15] JZ: Yeah. And that even if you don’t have like the biggest resources for it, that there are just ways how to do it and I think the most important thing, of course we need one person at least or a team depending on what your options are. But like a UX researcher, so someone who’s really committed to OK, getting to know the customer and also testing certain things. So really get involved with the research.
Then of course you need to find the right method for your product. So with Picnic for instance, we worked with an app. That’s something totally different than a website. Not totally but with a website for instance, you have also different methods you can use like eye tracking where you measure things that are not like consciously happening in your brain or that you cannot always tell as a user or participant.
[0:48:14] PK: Mobile works less good because it’s so small –
[0:48:18] JZ: Exactly. On a mobile device, you cannot do eye tracking because – so eye tracking, I don’t know if everyone knows but eye tracking is basically that a system is tracking where you’re looking at, which can – and then a connection for instance with your emotions.
[0:48:38] PK: I think they do it – that they do try to do it sometimes. But what I get back from the feedback is that it’s such a small screen that –
[0:48:48] JZ: Exactly. You cannot really identify because with the website, you have most of the time a screen like this. So you can better follow where the eyes are going and where the app kind of – yeah, not yet. I mean I’m pretty sure we’re getting there with technology. Soon it will be possible. So you basically – depending on whatever product or service you’re providing as a company, you need to find your own method.
But as for instance I’ve showed in the case, there are several methods you can use for usability testing. But you need to really think, “OK. What makes the most sense for your product or service?”
Then you need a quiet location, also very relevant. So – but also it doesn’t always – because I did for instance user test also in cafes because you’re then working through a scenario, an exercise with customers or users and you also kind of want to have it in the most natural setting.
[0:49:51] PK: Yeah, and career testing can be done of course as well. But if you set up like really.
[0:49:58] JZ: It depends on your setup. But for instance if you want to see, OK, is it really understandable for someone to go through this process? It’s not always the worst thing to do it also with some background noise because the user or the customer, if they would do it in real time, they’re not like sitting isolated in a room completely concentrated on your product.
[0:50:21] PK: No, exactly. In a train or something.
[0:50:23] JZ: Exactly. But overall of course, you want to have some kind of location where you can work proper. So that is very important. And then you need your – you need like a – yeah, of course a participant pool.
[0:50:40] PK: Yeah. I think you have big benefits from that that you have – well, pretty large group to – and Picnic of course is a really – well, people are happy to help with this new cool thing.
[0:51:01] JZ: Yeah. But also if you only test with – well, this group of people. It’s also kind of biased because then the people who are very like open to help are also a lot of times of course like really fans of your real product.
And for instance what is – or what can be challenging is when you’re testing non-users. So people who are not familiar with your products. So these are situations where I think sometimes it can be helpful to really get with the external agency to get participants. We did it freestyle, Picnic style. So we just invited family and friends from our colleagues, which worked really well and they’re still very critical as well.
But your participant pool is very important of course and yeah, probably one of the most relevant aspects of the whole thing. And then of course you need incentives. So like a little reward.
[0:52:04] PK: What did you give?
[0:52:06] JZ: A voucher for free shopping, for groceries and we kind of did it – yeah, in an amount as you would normally also get paid if you do this kind of test – market research test as a participant as well. Well, we actually gave a little bit more. But of course, you kind of want to reward because people are investing their time also to get to the location and stuff and for us, it’s extremely useful. So it’s only fair of course.
Then further than that, you need a documentation tool of course. So you will get a lot of insights, a lot of feedback, a lot of information which needs to be filtered and yeah, you of course also want to archive it and …
[0:52:56] PK: Which tool did you use?
[0:52:57] JZ: Well, we did it with Confluence for instance.
[0:52:59] PK: Yeah, the Atlassian company, like Jira.
[0:53:04] JZ: And then we provided the link, a link with all the videos from the user test. We collected all the main points that we summarised there with a summary of, “OK, what is the most important insight? Which prototype was used?” and so forth.
So it gave a great overview also for people who are maybe shortly diving into the topic and of course also very, very important is inside sharing. So to really make sure if you get in contact with your customers so deeply that it’s always useful actually for all team members.
So it’s not just like maybe one part of the team internally that is like working close to the customer. But it can be – it’s actually relevant for everyone.
So we did it with a weekly meeting but there was more like in a small group. But I think something – that’s something I would really recommend is to kind of have like a customer insight ambassador in every team. So we have like in the growth team one person who’s really committed to getting all the insights and then sharing it with a team when it is relevant, but also to do it with – yeah, with every team member internally. So that there’s one person who’s committed and yeah, like an ambassador or you can also set up like a weekly meet-up and share or maybe monthly meet-up to share like the most interesting facts and insights from customers.
[0:54:53] PK: To really get that spread out in – or like 10 minutes before every “vrijdag middag borrel” for example.
[0:55:01] JZ: Yeah, and it’s also fun. Like – I mean you always have in a company different kinds of people working and for some people it’s very easy to empathise with your customers and it’s very logical to take or very easy to take perspective for someone else. But for other people, it’s like complete new insights and they’re like, “Wow, OK, I never thought that people might actually perceive it like that.” So that’s definitely something which is very important.
[0:55:34] PK: Yeah, at ABN AMRO we did – I think it was monthly – an A-B testing quiz. So what was better? The A or the B version.
[0:55:44] JZ: Exactly. You can also really like make it in a fun way. And of course then it’s relevant to actually apply the feedback that you get and yeah, it can be challenging sometimes to find the balance between what the customer wants and what are the business goals. But it’s also really interesting. But to really use the feedback and like we do with the prototypes or yeah, with Picnic that we eliminate every week things that are like working not so well and improving and improving the product.
[0:56:26] PK: That internally – then again it helps if people internally know what the customers think and do if – I think it really helps to convince the business of – well, the customer.
[0:56:42] JZ: I think that’s the nice thing nowadays that you really see OK, now it’s really a time where every company understands OK, the most important thing is to know your customer and to know what they want and to build everything based on this information. It doesn’t mean that you always do what the customer wants because sometimes the customer wants something they don’t even know they want. But – or there’s a different solution for it. But to always have that in mind and work from that part onwards I think is – not just fun and interesting but also of course leading to a lot of success.
[0:57:26] PK: Yeah. Well, nice. I always say every business starts with your customer. Because if you don’t know your customer, you won’t start your business.
OK. Super interesting. That was about it for the UX research project or the process, the case and the best practices. We have still some – I saw some questions coming in.
Before we go to the questions, I would like to share a little bit on the – well, if you find it interesting, like what we talked about, the process her Joanna applies in the – well, actually the really hands-on method of applying interviews and getting customer insights and I could really recommend of course my training in September.
It will be a two-day training where you learn how to gather customer insights, how to set up a customer insights process and really get that customer-centric mindset and how to convince your colleagues with it as well.
Yes. Let’s have a look at some of the questions. I’m going to check here the chat. So a question from Lisa is, “What are the most important skills to be a good UX researcher?
[0:59:18] JZ: I like that question. I think it’s very important that you’re good with people. So you should not be scared to approach people or just really get in in-depth conversation with people you don’t know with because as a researcher, you – yeah, you really need to deep dive. So first thing I think you really need to be comfortable with – yeah, or easy getting in touch with people but also really have an eye for detail.
So really see OK, when do I ask what kind of question and to really read the signs. Sometimes it’s not that people always tell you like I don’t like this because or I’m having problems or struggle here because of a certain reason.
So you have to really read behind the lines and know then when to stick with it and maybe dig a bit deeper to find out the real – the bottom of the problem.
[01:00:32] PK: And really that natural – yeah, just want to know.
[01:00:37] JZ: Yeah, curiosity.
[01:00:39] PK: Yeah, curiosity, exactly. Just OK – and why, and why and why. And then it’s actually the last point you mentioned in your best practices and tips.
Being the middleman between the user and the business and really finding ways and being creative to embed the customer centricity into the company and really get the customer voice into the company. So I hear a lot of people struggling but that’s the big challenge actually.
[01:01:23] JZ: I agree. I think that it can be really a challenge. Sometimes people are so close to the product or they find certain things very logical that they’re not open to the idea of customers experiencing it in a completely different way. So you’re like the voice of the customer within the company as well.
[01:01:45] PK: And then sometimes I hear as well or the UX researcher is already really close to the customer and then it’s hard to get the connection with the business again because you have to understand business as well to convince them.
[01:02:04] JZ: Yeah. I said like it’s like a mediator between these two like – yeah.
[01:02:11] PK: OK, cool. Another question. Shania asked the question, “Do people over at Picnic use agile framework Scrum for development?” You already talked a little bit about the – how that works between the development and the UX research you did. So first it was the UX research and then design and then development I believe you said. Do they work in the Scrum way?
[01:02:58] JZ: Yeah. As I said, you cannot really like put it in – yeah, you cannot separate the phases like this but it’s like it’s going sometimes a bit like this and this. But the basic setup as I said that it’s first like the research phase and then …
[01:03:20] PK: But then does for example the outcome of your usability test that’s going to be designed and the design that has to be made is on the backlist or how does that work?
[01:03:38] JZ: What do you mean exactly?
[01:03:43] PK: Like does the development work with the backlog, like the Scrum way of working, like OK, now we go in to implement this feature. This week we work on this feature and then …
[01:03:58] JZ: Yeah. There is the – yeah, we kind of work in this two-sprint – two-week sprint.
[01:04:06] PK: Yeah, exactly.
[01:04:08] JZ: So that’s like the orientation. Not always works out like this because of unexpected challenges and trouble and stuff but normally that’s the way. Yeah. So we have like certain ideas, features worked out with the design team and then they go in the programming phase and then there’s new publishing …
[01:04:34] PK: OK, yeah. From Elsa, “how many people were included in this UX research process?” You said you worked together with UX designers.
[01:04:51] JZ: You mean like the normal UX lab or …
[01:04:53] PK: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s …
[01:04:58] JZ: Yeah. I can just – well, with the case, it was a bit more people of course but I think we need to differentiate between people who are like fully committed for this part, which would be the design team and myself. But normally for instance with the UX lab we would have once a week and meeting for an hour with, as I said, copywriters that were two people, our German and our Dutch copywriters.
[01:05:33] PK: There’s a fixed meeting every week?
[01:05:35] JZ: Yeah. It’s like our recap session from the user testing and so two copywriters, two UX designers at Picnic. Our product owner and myself. So that’s like always a fixed moment, one meeting per week and then at the beginning of the week, also the UX designers and copywriter would kind of brainstorm about prototypes, how to improve them. And then with the cause that I presented, there were a little bit more people involved for brainstorm sessions every now and then. So we would get insights internally from everyone.
[01:06:21] PK: OK, interesting. I think – let’s have a look. Yes, that were the questions for now. Well, thanks everybody for watching.
[01:06:34]JZ: Yes, thanks. It was fun.
[01:06:35] PK: Yeah, it was fun. I hope you all liked it as much as we did. I invite you all to add us on LinkedIn.
[01:06:43] JZ: Yeah. Also if you have questions or whatever or if you want to join the seminar. I think that’s also an interesting point which we haven’t mentioned because if you really hire someone externally to do it, it’s like a one-time thing and I think what we are convinced of is more like a long term investment.
If you once learned it internally in your company how to do it yourself, you can really keep up with your customer because there’s also a lot of changes of course. It’s not like you want to deep dive.
[01:07:12] PK: Yeah, it’s continuously gathering those customer insights and I think it’s the only way to really embed it within your company. Great.
[01:07:24] JZ: I want to join your seminar. Maybe I get to learn something.
[01:07:28] PK: Well, that’s you. Of course you’re welcome. Thanks everybody. That was it.
[01:07:34] JZ: Thank you.
[01:07:35] PK: Thank you.