What is User Research?
User research involves learning about our customers’ needs and pain points, with the end goal of making the best possible product. A variety of methods are used to expose problems and opportunities, including discovery calls, in-product surveys, and usability tests. Let’s dive further into these types of research and how users like you can get involved!
Average Duration: 30-60 minutes
During discovery calls, a member of Shelterluv’s product team will ask you questions about a topic of interest (e.g. adoptions, foster, scheduling, etc.) with the goal of deeply understanding your team’s processes and any associated pain points. A typical discovery call involves the following:
- We might ask you to describe your interactions, thoughts and feelings in relation to the product area being discussed.
- You can also share ideas on how we can improve the product area - we get some really great ideas from our users!
- We’ll want to capture all of your great feedback and ideas, so—with your consent—the call may also be recorded.
We’ll then use the information we gather to help inform updates to the product, or even for future product development. At the end of the day, we want to know how we can improve Shelterluv to meet the needs of its users, and discovery calls are a great way to do so.
Average Duration: 1-5 minutes
In-product surveys allow us to gain further insights from our users. The work that you do is important and your time is valuable, so we’ll try to keep these fairly brief. Within these surveys, we might ask you to rate something on a scale or provide written feedback regarding the current Shelterluv product or new things that we might have in the works. These are fun, interactive ways to voice your opinion and help shape the future of Shelterluv.
Usability Testing Calls
Average Duration: 30-45 minutes
Usability tests are done with the aim of perfecting the product’s experience for our users. Here’s what a typical usability test looks like:
- We’ll ask you to complete a series of tasks (don’t worry - we’re not putting you to the test, but the product design).
- During the test, we’ll pay attention to any feedback you provide and also keep track of details like how long a task takes, or if you find anything confusing along the way.
Usability testing allows us to learn about areas of improvement within our product, as well as test solutions that we come up with as a result. This type of research can be extremely beneficial for both Shelterluv and you - a win-win!
Average Duration: 2-4 weeks
In circumstances where there is new product development, you can join in on the fun and be a beta tester! We’ll provide you access to a nearly finished product with the following goals in mind:
- We want to evaluate product performance in the real world before launch.
- We may ask you for general feedback and to report any bugs you may find.
Beta testing is a fun way to get early access to new Shelterluv products or features, and it allows us to make sure that they’re ready for wider release.
Average Duration: 1-2 days
Field studies involve us visiting your organization rather than talking on a call. This helps us to learn the unexpected by observing you use the product within your own environment. Field studies may involve any of the following:
- We may observe your workflow and usage of the product.
- Usability testing might occur on current or new product development.
- User interviews could be conducted, which is basically an in-person discovery call.
We’ll perform this type of research less frequently than the previously mentioned methods in order to limit disruptions, but they can be invaluable sessions for us to learn more about you and your organization.
Signing up to participate in user research is easy! In your Shelterluv account, look for the magnifying glass near your username and click on it. (Note: It will not appear on mobile or smaller tablet devices, so please use a laptop/desktop to sign up.)
Next, you'll fill out a (very) short survey about your user research preferences. Then, your magnifying glass will turn gold to represent your participation in our user research community!
We look forward to working with you to make Shelterluv products better for the thousands of shelters and rescues on our platform!