While completing my Hubspot certification on GDD (Growth-Driven Design), I came across this article in the resources section. The article talks about using live chat as a tool for user testing (in addition to being a customer support tool). Chat surveys can be the perfect low-budget tool used in the early stages of research to identify user needs and understand workflows whether it’s for developing a new product or revamping one that’s already on the market. The reason this platform is effective is because you are catching the user when they are in the thick of using your product so their account of their experience is in real time. While also providing feedback and (hopefully) eliminating any user pain points, chat helps bring the product team closer to the end user. The author recommends having the engineers on the product team chatting for these tests since they would know what to look for/ask. It also is great for gathering a lot of data in a relatively short period of time. Chat also enables the team to drive future UX & UI product decisions with the user in mind. The author notes, you shouldn’t use live chat in place of traditional user testing, but rather as a supplemental component in order to gain feedback from your user. This feedback can be both qualitative or quantitative based on the questions asked. Upon chatting with a certain number of customers (the article gives 250 chats as an example), you are ready to do some data entry. Once you have read through all chat transcripts, organize a data spreadsheet capturing the most common problems and start to tally where the most problems are occurring in your product. Lastly, you want to outline the top few things and see what can be solved with a product change, what can be solved with a copy change, and what can be solved with a documentation change. Reading this article has made me view chat in an entirely different way and also makes me think of how much sites without a live chat component are missing out on.
This method of research goes hand in hand with our reading from The Bressler Group on remote research. There might be some industries where this research is just not possible, the medical device industry being one. However, something they have found is that as more medical devices move out of specialized spaces like hospitals and doctor’s offices and into our homes, the value of remote research becomes more apparent and necessary. They also point out that right now the response rate for surveys may be higher now that so many people are staying at home due to the pandemic. Since the user is being interviewed from home, the chat feature allows participants more time to reflect and think critically about their experiences. All in all, chat can be an effective remote and low cost research method if used correctly.
Alex Visconti, Sarah Fairchild. “Our Four Favorite Remote Research Methods.” Bresslergroup, 3 Apr. 2020, www.bresslergroup.com/blog/our-favorite-remote-research-methods-for-product-design/.
Bilotti, Matt. “Customer-Driven Product Development: 6 Steps to Using Live Chat For User Testing.” HubSpot Careers, 16 May 2014, product.hubspot.com/blog/customer-driven-product-development-using-live-chat?_ga=2.165307071.1641869720.1625008441-505875480.1611786133.