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Automattic + UserTesting

How Automattic drives customer-centric improvements on 36% of the world's websites
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About Automattic

Automattic is based in San Francisco and operates WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, VaultPress, Akismet, Gravatar, Crowdsignal, Cloudup, Tumblr, and more.

Automattic Achieved
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Better alignment around user needs
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Improved design and feature planning
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Renewed focus on customer experience

Challenge

Approximately 36 percent of all websites are built using Wordpress, one of the most popular website platforms, managed by parent company Automattic. As an open source project run by the Wordpress Foundation, the platform is built and maintained by hundreds of community volunteers as well as several ‘Automatticians.’

Due to its open source nature and because there isn’t tracking analytics on Wordpress.org, the team didn't have deep insight into what’s working and what’s not working on the site. And this was a serious issue for the organization, which actively cultivates a culture that is focused on its customers.

Solution

The team turned to UserTesting to identify potential pain points and areas of friction for users. Collecting user feedback and sharing findings has enabled the team to make strategic product improvements before each release.

Additionally, without a central office and with teams meeting in-person only a few times each year, the ability to easily share insights has been invaluable. Design Engineer Mel Choyce notes, “It’s particularly useful for us as a distributed team because we can’t all do everything in person. Having something recorded online and in a central place makes it easy to be able to share with our co-workers.”

Shaun Andrews, a Designer at Automattic, adds, “We’ve watched the study recordings at team meet-ups, with people gathered around a TV. Sometimes, it’s mind-boggling to watch these videos.”

Results

The insights have helped align teams, ensuring everyone is on the same page and focused on providing quality products for users. And whereas the team had previously made updates based on feedback from support requests—a reactive process that didn’t necessarily move the product forward in overall experience—gaining objective insights from UserTesting has resulted in the team’s ability to build better products for their users.

Getting the customer perspective with qualitative insights that explain the 'why behind the what' has been invaluable to us.”

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Shaun Andrews UX designer, Automattic

"Our team loves the insights we get from the user testing highlights. Sometimes, it’s mind-boggling to watch these videos.”