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How Credit Karma uses Design Research and Thinking to improve its CX

| April 19, 2018
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Credit Karma helps people make financial progress through a variety of personalized recommendations. The company has adopted Design Research and Design Thinking as a core part of their process. In a recent webinar, we sat down with Yasmine Khan, Senior Design Researcher at Credit Karma, as she walked us through how her team implements Design Research and Thinking and the impacts it’s having on the customer experience.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the discussion, or you can listen to the full webinar here.

Different research for different situations

Credit Karma discovered something interesting when they began conducting research on their suite of products, all of which related to personal finances. They quickly realized that traditional remote customer research wasn’t something participants were comfortable doing. Personal finances weren’t something most people felt comfortable chatting openly about, especially if they couldn’t see who they were talking to. So the team decided to try conducting one-on-one interviews with participants instead to see if they could gather more valuable insights.

The team started out with the quantitative data that pinpointed the areas where people were having difficulties, then leveraged live, one-on-one interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the experience.

Empathizing with the customer journey

Before conducting design research Yasmine sat down with a Product Manager to see what their thoughts were on upcoming features. The product manager had a strong business point of view but was less clear when it came to the customer experience.  

Since the team used a lot of workplace shorthand, they didn’t have a clear understanding of how everyday people would describe or frame the same ideas or features. Initially, the team had a lot of feature ideas but weren’t sure how much their customers would value and prioritize them.

To help bridge the gap between what the team thought customers wanted and what they actually wanted, the team set up interviews to better understand the different touchpoints of buying a car to see if any of their initial ideas resonated.

The interviews provided a major revelation. While the team knew that many people felt buying a car would be a hassle, they didn’t realize how much of a hassle most people endured. Every person they interviewed had a car dealer horror story. Hearing these stories inspired the team to rally around the feature that addressed this pain point best. It also helped the team change their perspective on what they originally thought were the priorities.

After the interviews, they were able to refocus their efforts down to the features most impactful to customers.

The power of human insights

When the team at Credit Karma began incorporating human insights into their research they were able to understand the “why” behind what wasn’t working on their site. They were able to discover the right features they should create, putting their time and effort into what mattered most to their customers.

Want to learn more?

Learn how to apply the three basic rules that increased sitewide revenue lift at Credit Karma by listening to the full webinar here.

If you’d like to learn more about how UserTesting can help you understand your customers through on-demand human insights, contact us here.