Juliana Cammerer joined our team in 2017. Initially a part of Customer Service, she quickly transitioned into our UX Research team to become a Recruiting Coordinator. In today’s post, she details her role, the process she manages with each research project, and her learnings thus far.
I joined GetYourGuide at the end of April 2017 as a Customer Service representative.
I’ve been a part of the User Research team as a UX Research Recruiting Coordinator since January 2018. Moving to the product side of the company was a big change but a positive one. This change brought different teams, a new office location, new colleagues and new work dynamics, not to mention all the new names for the meeting rooms.
My interest in user research comes from a mix of elements. In university, I learned about customer needs, adaptability of products across countries, psychology, and marketing strategies. After that, I gathered experience both in performance marketing and hospitality.
Over the years, I built a strong empathy for customers across different industries, and always had an interest in UX, data analysis, and project management. Working in UX research coordination is the perfect mix of all these interests.
My day starts by creating a bullet point list of tasks and meetings. Having a coffee by my side is essential! During the day, I make sure to work on more urgent tasks first and then move to long-term projects. Prioritization is key here.
Among the bullet point list, you will find tasks like closing a recruiting project with an agency, creating a screener survey for our upcoming study, writing in our internal research blog, communicating the schedule of sessions to the team, confirming an interview with a participant, and much more.
Recently I worked on a research project with the Mobile User Experience and Traveler App teams. Every 2 weeks we had a full day of sessions where we tested prototypes to understand how we could create the best experience on small screens. In total, we had more than 20 in-house interviews with non-customers.
The beginning of this research project, like all the others, didn’t just start with these interviews. It actually began a few weeks prior.
With all research projects, I first sit down with the Researcher to understand what questions the team wants to answer, what method we’re using, and what type of users we are looking into. After this initial phase, we use the participant criteria to build screener questions. We work with an agency when recruiting non-customers, so my next step is to send the agency all the important information then they can start finding participants.
In the meantime, we work on the set-up of sessions: video recording material, blocking meeting rooms, and making sure the team doesn’t get hungry during the day. In this stage, it’s also important to keep the team updated on the profiles and schedule of interviews.
The interview day demands a lot of coordination and attention to detail. I welcome participants, update the agency on the sessions, make sure the video conference is working, etc. On this day, anything can happen, from no-shows to a participant bringing a dog to the interview. Clear communication and ability to improvise on the spot are crucial.
Not every interview day goes the same way. One of the reasons we have these research efforts is to be able to test and iterate in a short amount of time. Recruiting is the same. For almost every session day, we make little changes to the screener or schedule to find the best participants possible.
With this particular project, one of the most important things we learned was that it’s essential to have backups when we’re working with such a large number of participants. In the end, we’re working with people, so we need to be prepared for no-shows or changes of plans.
Every day is different from the one before. We focus on a few different research projects per quarter. For each project, there is a different level of involvement on my part and on the part of the Researchers. It all depends on team priorities. While the Researchers work on one specific project at a time, I support them with the recruiting of participants and the coordination of sessions.
Every week we sync on current projects. We also participate assiduously in the UX weekly where we receive and give feedback to the team about the latest projects.
I work with different projects with many stakeholders on a daily basis, so over the past 11 months, I’ve become more organized and more clear in my communication. I’ve also become a better project manager. I now follow a process for each research effort, which has helped me keep everything on track and avoid mistakes.
Having an eye on everything is essential and demands extra attention at the same time. Each part of the research process is interconnected and can’t be thought of as a stand-alone element.
Making sure every participant shows up is also challenging. Accidents, delays, or even forgetting about a session are all possible. For this reason, the backup participants are our life-savers. After all, there are no research interviews without participants.
Providing an environment where designers, copywriters, and engineers can validate their ideas and test prototypes through research is the best way to understand what our users want. The teams have a lot of questions and in order to validate their hypotheses, we conduct different methods of research. For me, it is rewarding when we finish the last session of a long day of interviews knowing that the team was able to discover and learn new things. Being involved very early on in interesting projects is as well one of the coolest parts of the job.
On a larger level, it’s also gratifying when colleagues who were not involved in a study are interested in user research and leverage the findings in their own projects.
In the near future, we will start a project to create a panel for research participants. It consists of a website to which people can subscribe in order to engage in research projects at GetYourGuide. This panel will allow us to recruit customers faster and avoid inviting people who are not interested. It will also reduce the steps of the screening process since people will answer some questions when they fill out the initial questionnaire. We want to put a lot of effort into building something that will take recruiting participants to the next level.
Thank you, Juliana, for sharing your experience. Interested in joining the UX Research team? Check out our open positions.
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