As the sole interaction designer/researcher, I led my cross-functional team to develop a long-term strategy for QuickBooks Enterprise through distilling insights from 20+ in-context customer visits.
With a mix of people who had been working at Intuit 10+ years and others who started only months ago, the 35-person Enterprise team comprised of engineers, product managers, marketers, designers, and content designers needed to connect to customers to develop a bold new product vision.
- Get the team comfortable with leading and attending customer site visits
- Empathize with customers and think about them as we develop the product
- Get answers to questions related to six different strategic topics
- Generate ideas that will inform the product roadmap
Trained team on customer interviewing techniques
Many of the people on the team had no prior experience speaking with customers and were excited to learn interviewing best practices. You can view my entire presentation on Slideshare.
Co-facilitated large group synthesis workshop
After a brief intro, we broke out into our six different research groups to tell stories and identify patterns and insights. Later we all gathered to share out and reflect on our experience together.
Translated insights into a vision
I facilitated a follow-up synthesis session with the five other group leads to distill insights from all the post-its and drawings shared during the big team workshop. We communicated insights and prioritized initiatives for the coming year to the broader team.
Created a mandate to keep customers at the center of what we do
Core teams (Product Management, Design, Engineering, and Marketing folks) working on initiatives are responsible for maintaining customer-centric culture.
- On-going product development — Regularly speak to customers at key stages of projects, including when we are developing use-cases and validating solutions.
- Onboarding process — New team members are required to go to at least 3 Follow Me Homes their first month
- Quarterly one-day offsite — Visit customers in morning, synthesize as group and then debrief as a whole team
New projects based on research insights
In 2015, Intuit changed how it sold QuickBooks Enterprise. Rather selling premium features such as Advanced Reporting à la carte, Intuit began to sell a yearly subscription that includes these features.
We learned in our research that subscribers aren’t aware of what’s included in their subscription. Also, a higher subscription cost may mean that customers now have higher expectations and are more critical than in the past.
Problem & Solution
To ensure high retention, I created a proposal for how we might help subscribers realize their subscription’s full value.
User Roles and Permissions
Based on significant customer feedback, we also wanted to improve the software’s user roles and permissions.
Previously, permissions did not allow restriction of specific data that appears on forms.
The new design that I created enables common use cases:
- Sales Reps can only see their customers
- Payroll clerks can run payroll for all employees except company officers
This design would help small business owners protect their sensitive data in QuickBooks without preventing their employees from having the rights needed to do their job. It would also make users more productive by just displaying the data relevant to them.
The initiative succeeded in its goal of getting people more comfortable speaking with customers, and keeping customer needs and mental models top of mind as we develop the product. The company restructured soon after we did this, so larger projects including improved subscription experience and user roles and permissions were put on hold.