Senior UX Researcher at Zalando, Carina Kuhr, reveals nine tips for planning user research in foreign countries on the company’s tech blog.
With the objective to become a truly customer-centric company, the German cross-platform online clothes site, instructed its UX team to conduct a 2-3 day field research trip, with the aim to learn about the characteristics of local shopping behaviours.
In addition to user experience testing techniques, Zalando invented field trips to France, UK, Italy, Switzerland and Germany in 2016, to gain a better understanding of consumer behaviour differences.
Their target was to do as much research on their own, and outsource as little as possible to freelancers and agencies, for a more sustainable approach.
The research team conducted 1 hour 30 minute interviews with customers about their fashion shopping behaviours, which included their perception of Zalando services, and other local competitors.
The nine tips she revealed after her field research was to include a variety of cities when researching; work with customer-facing colleagues to recruit participants; invite colleagues from different departments to research trips, be prepared to send colleagues reminders; plan the commute for research trips; be organised by booking dinner tables etc.; take pictures; share results; and give colleagues a crash course in UX research, in hope to positively influence others and to help gain customer satisfaction.
“Research trips of this scale raise high expectations among colleagues in the respective teams. In the beginning we underestimated how many parties would benefit from our insights and made the mistake of only sharing the insights with the people that were involved. When we started to invite more people to our presentations and share results more openly throughout the organisation, we noticed a positive influence on the interest in user research and an increase of buy-in for what we do,” says Kuhr.
“Take these tips to heart and take home – like we did – great insights about your international customers. Use them to build products that your customers love.”
Edited from source by Leah Alger