Human Insight Podcast

Hear from top experts in the fields of conversion optimization, UX research, design, product, and more.

Creating a process for a successful product launch

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This week on the Human Insight Podcast, Karthik Suresh joins Andy and Janelle to discuss just what goes into making a successful product launch.

Suresh is co-founder and CPO/CTO of Ignition, a collaborative hub for product teams to plan, execute, and measure the GTM side of launching a product.

In their conversation, they discuss:

  • What are some ways to ensure you successfully launch?
  •  Whether that changes  based on the business size (small or large), or model (B2B or B2C)
  • What are the elements of a GTM plan?
  • What are the key ingredients in building a culture of innovation?
  • How can digital product leaders best support a culture of innovation?
This episode originally aired September 22, 2022.

Uncovering your customers' key moments as a design target

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We all have special moments. There are signature moments, critical moments, key moments, moments that matter, moments of truth and so forth.

For this week's episode of the Human Insight Podcast, we talk with Patrick Quattlebaum, Co-founder and CEO of Harmonic Design and author of Orchestrating Experiences

Quattlebaum believes moments are a powerful concept worth exploring. 

"What I have been fascinated by is this concept of moment and how it can be an architectural element that we can think about: this moment occurs and this event occurs that we can actually observe and that we can collect data on and that we can then do additional research to then really understand the dynamics around that moment," he said. "And that taps into some systems thinking in terms of drilling into structure and mental models and can we then start to see moments as a design target together? 

"We can measure it, we can try to understand it, understand how moments are connected to one another.  And if we start using that similar language, and using the term the same way, it can unlock that cross functional collaboration that companies find it really hard to get everybody focused on the same thing."

Besides the concept of moments, we also discussed: 
 

  • How do you engage more stakeholders in the process, especially when not everyone is a designer?
  • The concept of zooming out
  • The role storytelling in sharing insights across the organization
This episode originally aired September 12, 2022.

Why your organization needs a Radical Product Thinking mindset

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We talked with Radhika Dutt in this week’s episode of the Human Insight Podcast. Radhika is an engineer, entrepreneur and product leader who has participated in four acquisitions, two of which were companies she founded. She has built products in industries including broadcasting, media, advertising technology, government, consumer, robotics, and wine. She is currently Advisor on Product Thinking for the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. 

She is also the author of Radical Product Thinking: The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter

Among the topics discussed included: 

  • Why do you think iterative product design is a bad thing?
  • How can product team leaders best mitigate risk in developing products?
  • What are the challenges with Lean and Agile with product development?
  • What are the seven diseases of product strategy & development?
  • What are Three Pillars of Radical Product Thinking?
This episode originally aired September 5, 2022.

Season 5 Recap: The customer experience, the 'only we' strategy, sharing insights, UX writing, web3 integrations with real life

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Today we’re recapping our fifth season of the Human Insight Podcast.

Maybe the biggest change to the podcast this season you’ll have noticed is we started including into episodes more clips from our opt-in contributor network. These are people from around the world, responding to questions we asked either related to that episode’s guest and topic, or to a current news event or trend.

This week's insight

In many episodes, as well as in our book User Tested, we’ve talked about the rising importance of the customer’s experience with your product or service.

In fact, Google's search trends for the term “customer experience” has increased 400 percent in the last 10 years. For this Insights segment, we asked our contributors what does Customer Experience mean to them, and for examples of good and bad experiences. Here is what they had to say:

[video] What does customer experience mean to you? 

This season's episodes: 

Thank you to all the listeners of the podcast, wherever you may be. And thank you to all the guests for making time for us and sharing their stories.

Season 6 will launch in September. If you have an insight you want us to investigate, or a guest you recommend, please email us at podcast@usertesting.com

Until then, you can go back and listen to any of past episodes of the Human Insight Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you.

This episode originally aired June 14, 2022.

Building deeper web3 relationships between creators and their fans

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Ethan Song, Co-founder and CEO of RareCircles, joins the Human Insight Podcast this week. 

Ethan was previously the co-founder and CEO of Frank And Oak, a leading direct-to-consumer brand, and he’s an active investor in Web3. As RareCircle’s CEO, Ethan empowers a new generation of entrepreneurs and brands to build deeper relationships with their communities through NFTs and blockchain technology. Its intuitive platform allows anyone to make, sell and manage powerful NFT memberships under one operating system.

We asked Ethan about what brands and the general public should know about NFTs, as well as:  

  • How creating a community is the foundation to today's businesses
  • How does he connect with his customers? And why that is important.
  • How brands may start to include NFTs in the products and services, such as loyalty programs, they offer their customers
  • How NFTs will be integrated into our real life experiences. 
This episode originally aired June 6, 2022.

The three survival metrics for building better products

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Adam Thomas believes the role of a product manager is one thing only: how do you help the organization make better decisions consistently? 

Part of that is knowing when to stop work on a product idea, when to pivot on a product, and when to double down on a product initiative. Adam, lead product manager at SmartRecruiters, as well as a speaker, consultant and technologist, has developed what he calls  Survival Metrics to help product managers do just that. 

Adam joined Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, on this week’s episode of the Human Insight Podcast. They talked about his Survival Metrics, the difference between them and success metrics, and more. 

Insights this week

In this week’s Insights segment, we asked consumers what advice they had for brands to consider as they advertise between Memorial Day through early fall?

For many Americans the Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, family vacations, grilling in the backyard, swimming at the pool or lake, and enjoying the longer days. 

That’s also the time we start seeing and hearing more advertising and other brand messaging for such things as travel and outdoor activities, yard and home improvement projects, as well as for events such as Pride Month, the Fourth of July or going back to school.

But consumers are also living amid the third year of the pandemic, rising inflation and gas prices, the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as other national and global violence and other issues.  

So we wondered what advice do people have for brands to consider so that they can be both human-centered and innovative. You can also watch their response in this highlight video

Help us, help you

We’re looking for your input in helping us improve the podcast. Please take this short survey to help us improve the show. There is also an opportunity to take a UserTesting test about the show, where we can hear about your experiences directly.  

Survey: https://forms.gle/nCSTZFR5affEs2k1A

This episode originally aired May 31, 2022.

Understanding the accessibility and usability of UX writing

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Good UX writing begins with usability and accessibility. 

Bobbie Wood, founder and CEO of UX Content Collective, joins the Human Insight Podcast this week to discuss UX writing and the importance of making it inclusive to everyone and all abilities. 

Bobbie and co-host Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, also discuss how Artificial Intelligence will impact UX writing.

We also solicited feedback from UX writers and content writers from around the world, asking their thoughts about AI and how it may affect their careers.

You can watch highlight reel videos of what they said. In the first, they answer whether AI will take their job. And in the second, we ask what advantages do you think humans have over AI when it comes to writing

This week’s insights

Last week, the U.S. Congress held its first hearing on UFOs in 50 years. At the hearing, a Navy intelligence official told lawmakers no evidence of aliens had been found. However, a database of reports of UFOs now includes about 400 incidents, up from 143 assessed in a report released about a year ago.

The military says improved sensors, an increase in drones and other non-military unmanned aerial systems, and "aerial clutter" such as Mylar balloons as causes for the uptick in reported incidents. 

In a Gallup poll in June 2021, one-third of Americans said they believed some UFOs are indeed alien spacecraft, and a resounding three-fourths of Americans said that "life of some form" exists elsewhere in the universe.

If you had one question to ask someone from another planet or solar system, what would it be?

We asked UserTesting contributors if they had one question to ask someone from another planet or solar system, what would it be, here is what they said. 

We'd love your feedback

And as a listener of the show, we'd love your feedback. Please take this short survey to help us improve the show. There is also an opportunity to take a UserTesting test about the show, where we can hear about your experiences directly.  

Survey: https://forms.gle/nCSTZFR5affEs2k1A

This episode originally aired May 23, 2022.

Delivering value to both your customers and your business

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One of the rules of product research is “insights are best shared,” says C. Todd Lombardo.

The subtext is never write a report that no one is going to read. 

C. Todd is the vice president of product and design at Openly, an insurance-tech company empowering agents to deliver a higher standard of service through cutting-edge technology and comprehensive options.

He joined UserTesting’s CEO Andy MacMillan and Chief Insights Officer Janelle Estes on the Human Insight Podcast to talk about all things product management, such as how he shares insights and aligns the company with what customers want. 

Instead of writing reports, C. Todd said, product leaders should ask themselves how do you bring people along for the ride? How can you share the insights you’re getting from your customers? Can you involve others in your organization before the insights are even generated? 

For example, he is often asked how he involves an executive in a design sprint. 

His strategy, he said, is to apply a multitouch-inclusion strategy. Include them the first half hour of the first day when you are doing your assumption storming and trying to understand the problem you are solving so that they have the opportunity to co-create with you and shape the problem you’re trying to solve. Bring them in again at the end of the third day when you’ve gotten your sketches ready and your starting prototyping. “These are the solutions we think we’re going to to try and build, prototype and test, what do you think.” And then bring them in again at the end of the last day. “We tested this and here are some of the videos from our conversations, these are some of the things we learned.”

By doing that, they’ve had more visibility—and buy in—into the whole journey. It’s not easy, C. Todd says, but it’s the best way he’s seen teams get executives involved. 

Listen to the episode to get more insights from C. Todd. Also, in a new podcast segment we’re calling UserTesting Insights, you can also hear what podcast listeners thought about the Human Insight Podcast’s old introduction and its replacement.

This episode originally aired May 16, 2022.

Growing your audience with an "Only we" strategy

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What makes a podcast worth listening to?

That is an overarching question we’ll be asking as we kick off Season 5 of the Human Insight Podcast. After four seasons, we're reaching out to listeners to see what's working and what needs improvement.

In this episode, we interview Dan Misener, Director of Audience Development at Pacific Content. Pacific Content helps brandssuch as Ford, Charles Schwab, Adobe, Mozilla and many othersdevelop and produce award-winning podcasts.

If anyone knows what makes a great podcast, it will be Dan and the team at Pacific. 

We also asked avid podcast listeners from around the world what they like and dislike about podcasts; whether that is show notes; how they discover new shows; whether they leave a rating or review and many other questions.

We’ll be sharing those insights with you throughout the season. 

In his conversation with Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting, Dan explains the “Only we” strategy for creating a podcast. And it is advice you could apply to just about any endeavor. 

“Only we is the idea that podcasters of all stripes should make the show only they are uniquely suited to make,” Dan says. “What is the show only we could make? What is the show no one else could make even if they wanted to?”

Sometimes the “only we” is the access you have; it could be a point of view or a world view; it could be that you’re the subject matter expert on a particular topic. 

“Could someone else make this show and would it be the same?” Dan said. “If the answer is yes, I don’t think your show is designed especially well.”

Listen to the episode to get more insights from Dan. In addition to expanding on the “Only we” strategy, Dan responds to UserTesting contributors sharing their thoughts on how they find a podcast, and whether they leave reviews. You can watch the videos, too! See and hear what podcast listeners say about how they discover podcasts, and whether they leave reviews

 

This episode originally aired May 9, 2022.

Season 4 recap: keeping a human connection with your customers

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In this episode, cohosts Andy MacMillan and Janelle Estes recap Season 4 and talk about what to expect in the next season.

And as a listener of the show, we'd love your feedback. Please take this short survey to help us improve the show. There is also an opportunity to take a UserTesting test about the show, where we can hear about your experiences directly.  

Survey: https://forms.gle/nCSTZFR5affEs2k1A

This episode originally aired April 10, 2022.

The three pillars of a great customer experience

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Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight, believes there are three pillars to a great customer experience and he points to Peloton as an example. 

One thing great about Peloton is they combine human and digital, Nick said. 

First, you need a human connection. That could be a customer success manager at a B2B tech company. And for Peloton, it is the relationship with a coach. Nick’s favorite instructor Cody Rigsby for example. 

The second pillar is the product. Nick said Peloton’s digitally-connected product delivers what he (the customer) needs and wants to know for a workout. 

The third pillar is a community of other human beings. This is the leaderboard, which allows you to compete with the rest of the Peloton users in the same class as you and your type of equipment.

“That triad is the future,” Nick said.

In this bonus podcast episode, a previously recorded LinkedIn Live conversation, Roberts joined Andy MacMillan, UserTesting’s CEO, to discuss the concept of design thinking and why it’s so important for businesses. Their conversation was part of the User Tested book tour. The new book was co-authored by Andy and Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer.  

Listen to the episode for further insights. 

To learn more about User Tested: www.usertesting.com/usertested.

This episode originally aired March 28, 2022.

Understanding how your customers think and feel

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If you asked someone shopping for a new truck whether they would purchase an electric truck what do you think would be the answer?

Now ask those same potential customers if they want to run their power tools off the bed of the truck? Or in an emergency, would they want to be able to power their homes off their truck so the ice cream doesn’t melt?

“That insight is the beauty of understanding customers in a way that isn’t just what they say and do but in what they think and feel,” said Iain Roberts, Chief Operating Officer at IDEO, a global design and consulting firm; which counts Ford and others among its longtime clients

In this bonus podcast episode, a previously recorded LinkedIn Live conversation, Roberts joined Andy MacMillan, UserTesting’s CEO, to discuss the concept of design thinking and why it’s so important for businesses. Their conversation was part of the User Tested book tour. The new book was co-authored by Andy and Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer.  

Roberts said design thinking allows companies to drive real growth by seeing through your customers eyes. 

According to its press release introducing the electric F-150 Lightning, Ford relied on its deep understanding of its truck customers to inform the design of the all-new F-150. “We see it as our duty to deliver not just what our customers want and need, but what they might have never thought possible,” said Craig Schmatz, Ford F-150 chief engineer.

Early results are impressive. Ford has reported they have more than 200,000 reservations for the electric truck, of which 75% new customers to Ford. 

Listen to the episode for further insights. 

To learn more about User Tested: https://www.usertesting.com/usertested.

This episode originally aired March 21, 2022.

Building an insights engine for your organization

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During the writing and editing of User Tested, coauthor Janelle Estes reached out to Jim Kalbach to review draft chapters and share his feedback. 

Kalbach, the Chief Evangelist at MURAL and author of several books, loved the book but wanted more stories and proof points. 

In this bonus podcast episode, a previously recorded LinkedIn Live conversation, Kalbach and Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, discuss the writing of User Tested and the importance of talking with your customers. 

Kalbach reviewed the first two chapters on why Human Insights are important, and the last two chapters on how to make this happen in any organization.

He said his advice could be applied to anyone writing a book. He wanted more stories— or evidence— as a way to connect to a larger audience, who may be unfamiliar with incorporating testing and customer feedback into their business processes. Kalbach said you want to be able to talk with these people in a language they can understand. Ignore them, and you’re just talking with folks in an echo chamber who already believe and support your point of view.

It is a challenge many in the UX industry have experienced, explaining the need for user insights. But as Tamara Adlin in Episode 12 of the Human Insight Podcast said, you need to talk in a language your audience will understand. 

Listen to the episode for further insights. 

To learn more about User Tested: https://www.usertesting.com/usertested.

This episode originally aired March 14, 2022.

Deliver value at every stage of the customer journey

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When T. Rowe Price rolled out a new process for creating an online investment account, they discovered a 37% drop off on the very first step after users opened the webpage.

They needed to know “why behind the what” and for that they turned to UserTesting. Within hours they’d identified the problem and were making fix recommendations to product owners. 

The T. Rowe Price story is one of many shared in User Tested and that is being featured in Season 4 of the Human Insights Podcast. The book was authored by podcast hosts Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, and Andy MacMillan, UserTesting’s CEO. You can order the book here or on your favorite book seller’s website.

Harsha Thayi, Senior Manager of UX Research at T. Rowe Price, shares their story and other insights in his interview. In their conversation, he and Janelle discuss: 

  • How Thayi partners with other teams within T. Rowe Price to ensure they create and deliver exceptional experiences for T. Rowe customers 
  • What metrics or KPIs does Thayi’s team directly or indirectly influence and how that maps to company strategy and purpose
  • How they are building a “shared understanding” of T. Rowe Price’s customers across the organization
This episode originally aired March 7, 2022.

The #1 key to your startup's success

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Ben Hoggan's team at the Notre Dame's IDEA Center has mentored close to 200 startups and would-be startups  from concept to revenue over the last four years.

The best way, he said, to know if a company will be successful is by talking with its customers and potential customers. And after more than 6,000 customer interviews on behalf of those startups, he should know.

"It is very selfish to invest in customer research," said Hoggan, the Director of De-Risking at The IDEA Center. "You're saving yourself time. You're saving yourself money."

Standing for Innovation, De-Risking, and Enterprise Acceleration, the IDEA Center works with faculty, student, community, and alumni entrepreneurs on their commercially viable, early-stage product ideas and innovations.

The IDEA Center's story is one of many shared in User Tested and that are being featured in Season 4 of the Human Insights Podcast. The book was coauthored by podcast hosts Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, and Andy MacMillan, UserTesting’s CEO. You can purchase a copy of the book here or on your favorite book seller’s website.

Listen to the episode to learn more about: 

  • Ben's work as Director of De-Risking at The IDEA Center at the IDEA Center
  • What are some strategies he and his team use to identify if startup ideas will *stick* or be adopted by the market?
  • What metrics or KPIs does the IDEA Center own? And how does Ben's team work ties to those metrics?
This episode originally aired February 28, 2022.