Why does this service exist?
“No new product survives first contact with its users”, we could say, as a variation of a well-known quote by Moltke, the 19th century German field marshal.
Creators of new software products are often surprised by their users’ behaviour when their product or service gets into a user’s hand for the first time. Users are confused, they click the wrong buttons, they get stuck in the process or they abandon on-boarding altogether, let alone become an enthusiastic user of the new product.
User experience (UX) experts have known this for a long time. They run interviews with users or they watch customers regularly when they are using a new product or new feature. Why wait until product release when you can do this during product design or development?
But here’s the problem: User experience research (or UX research, for short) can become messy. You need a well-coordinated team to work on things like…
- What are the product design questions we need to answer?
- Who are the target users that could give us the answers?
- Where are these users?
- Which kind of research method will we use to work with them?
- Where and when does it all take place?
- Who will do what in order to make it happen?
- What will we do with the results?
- and so on…
You will need to plan, organize and track all the work that needs to be done and get the answers to your design questions.
What is Just Ask Users and what does it do?
This is where the online service called “Just Ask Users” comes in handy. It helps a team run one or more UX research projects.
Each project consists of a set of research questions like “How do email senders currently update their lists?” or “How does a hotel clerk send a missing item to a guest in a hotel room?”
For each question, you can define a set of tasks that the team needs to execute in order to get the answers to the question. Example: “Go into the XYZ hotel and watch Ms. Anderson handle a call from a room where a guest is missing an item”.
You can assign each task to one member of your team and optionally give it a due date. You and your team members can work on those tasks and check them off as done.
With one click, you can see your own tasks, regardless of which project or question they come from.
And the best thing is: Creating a team, defining design questions and tasks, assigning tasks to people and tracking the tasks until they’re done – all this is totally free!
Who cares (and should care)?
UX experts and product designers like this new service because it frees them from a lot of administrative tasks: The status of the research is always visible. No emailing back and forth, everyone knows exactly what to do and sees what the others do (and what they have already done), regardless where they are in the world.
As a product creator, you can focus on what you do best: Make feedback-based, informed decisions about your product and enhance it according to the feedback you got. Just Ask Users saves you a lot of time.
Who are the people behind this vision and product?
“Just Ask Users” has been founded by Matthias Bohlen, a German expert and coach for software engineering. He has spent the last 20 years with lots of product development teams, helping them get their software out the door without losing their minds in the process.
OK, well … what does this have to do with UX research?
Originally, Matthias created this new online service in early 2016, for startups and young companies to help them run customer interviews to validate their product ideas. He got this idea when he saw various teams struggle when they built software that no customer really wanted. What they needed was input from real people: future users of their product.
From the first feedback that Matthias got, it became clear that this service would also be very attractive to UX researchers because they have to communicate with their target users, too. It became clear that planning, organizing and tracking user research work is such a common problem that a highly automated solution was needed to make it affordable and fast.
OK, what now?
So, whether you are a startup or a UX professional : Be most welcome here!
To get started, sign up, create a team and a project. Then, add the design questions for which you need your team to find the answers. Add tasks for each team member that contributes to finding an answer. Optionally, give the tasks a due date. As a team member, click on “My tasks” to see exactly what you need to do. Create more tasks and delegate them to your colleagues when you see that someone else can do it better.
Enjoy the new clarity, transparency, and focus and produce great results!
Sign up here
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