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For parents across the country, finding the best educational environments for their children is a top priority. GreatSchool’s guiding principle is to provide the most accurate and helpful information about K-12 public schools for all families. They provide important information about schools and enable parents to leave reviews of their child’s experience. Parents rely on this information to help them choose the best possible school for their children. In addition to adhering to the organization’s guiding principles, GreatSchool’s product team, led by Ji Kim, Lead Product Manager, knew they also had to meet the high expectations of consumers—people expected the same level of experience as the likes of Amazon or eBay—with less funding, time, and resources. Ji notes,
We have challenges with resources as a nonprofit. That means that we have to do a lot of things with very little resources. We have to utilize our time, money, and our people really well.
The team noticed a pattern with reviews left on the site—they didn’t reflect a representative sample of parents in some of America’s most diverse school districts. This prompted the team to find out why. For GreatSchools to stay relevant, Ji’s team needed to get quick feedback from parents all over the US. The team was limited by time and money, making it nearly impossible to get this necessary feedback. Ji’s team looked to UserTesting to get quick insight from parents in communities across the country. UserTesting’s diverse panel of testers enabled the team to quickly gather valuable feedback and continuously iterate and improve their product throughout their development cycle. Ji adds,
UserTesting helped us achieve something that was nearly impossible before. Once we had access to the UserTesting panel, we were able to connect with a diverse group of parents, more accurately representing our target audiences.
The team found that about 50% of parents only accessed GreatSchools via a mobile device. This discovery led the team to pivot to a mobile-first approach. Fast insights from parents enabled the team to quickly make substantial improvements to the site. Ji notes,
Having the ability to quickly iterate and reach multiple, diverse audiences simultaneously not only represented huge cost savings, but it also helped inform more accurate and relevant product decisions as we continued to improve the site.
Ji’s team quickly recognized the value of incorporating rapid feedback into their regular development cycle. By leveraging UserTesting’s on-demand Human Insight Platform, GreatSchools was able to better fulfill their mission to be a valuable resource for parents across the country, all while saving valuable time and resources. Ji said,
The UserTesting platform immediately proved to be a necessary and invaluable way for us to be useful to all parents.