My name’s Simon and I’m one of the user researchers on the Co-op Membership team, alongside my colleague, Vicki Riley. It’s our job to understand what members and non-members need from the service and find out what they think of it. This way we can act on their feedback and continually improve things. Whilst we’re responsible for user research, the whole team get involved in research sessions and meeting users so they can empathise with the people who use the services we’re building. This ensures they design with the user, and not themselves, in mind.
We don’t just rely on one method of user research to find out how people feel about the Membership service. We gather feedback in lots of ways and I wanted to share these with you.
Feedback through the website
The website has a ‘give feedback’ link. As of today, 7 December 2016, we’ve had 9469 comments. We’ve analysed them all and have been comparing them with what we learn from our other research approaches.
Phone call follow up
We often do phone interviews with people who have said they’re happy to be contacted about the website feedback they’ve given. This allows us to get more detailed feedback and also find out how people expect things to work.
We sometimes do online surveys of which allow us to range a wide range of people quickly and easily. These surveys are around 4 or 5 questions long. We’ve found that the easier it is for someone to give us feedback, the more likely they are to leave some.
Speaking to people in labs
We also speak to people in our research labs. These sound far more ‘scientific’ than they actually are. Research labs are usually a room with a computer, a microphone and a camera allow the rest of the team to observe the research. We invite people in, talk to them about shopping, loyalty cards, online services and Co-op Membership. We then watch people using the service as they complete tasks such as registering a temporary card or choosing which local cause to support. I ask them to talk me through what they’re thinking as they use the service so that we understand how they’re finding it.
We already visit stores but we plan to do more of this.
Tracking website traffic
Finally, we also gather analytics from the website. This allows us to understand which pages people are visiting, how long they’re spending on pages, what they’re clicking or selecting, and which error messages are triggered most frequently.
By using a combination of these research methods, we have access to a wide range of interesting data about how people use the service.
Using research findings to improve
So here’s an example of how we’ve used what we’ve learnt from our research to make a change.
We’d seen through lab testing that people didn’t always understand that they could choose their own cause to support with their 1% for your community reward. We found people thought that we decided for them, or that they would email us later on with their choice. They didn’t notice there was something on the screen that they could click to choose a cause. Here’s how the page used to look:
The comments from the feedback link told us the same thing. People had commented:
“I can’t find where to vote regarding where the 1% goes.”
“How do I select my preferred local cause please?”
“Should be able to select which charities I want to support.”
The analytics were backing this up too. We saw that a significant number of people were getting to the page with the ‘call to action’ (the bit where they could choose a cause) but they weren’t actually selecting one.
The team came up with an alternative design to try and make it more obvious how the user could interact with the page. It was a simple content fix. We added ‘See your local causes’ inside the box about ‘your community’. When we tested it with people in the lab, they understood it – they knew what to do. So earlier this week we put it live. Now the page looks like this:
It’s early days but we’ve already seen more people selecting their cause and therefore benefiting their community. We’ve seen a 10% increase already. We’ll be keeping an eye on the feedback to make sure we’ve improved the journey. We’ll continue to research regularly and as always we’ll keep using what we’ve learnt to improve the service.
User researcher on the Membership team