Human Insight Podcast
Building a design-driven culture
In this week’s episode, James Lane shares the evolving story of how AAA is becoming a design-driven organization.
James, a Senior Product Design Manager at AAA Club Alliance, joins host Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, and Andy MacMillan, UserTesting’s CEO, to share AAA’s story, which is one of many being shared in the upcoming User Tested and that will be 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. The book is being released on February 15th, but you can pre-order it today here or on your favorite book seller’s website.
James said becoming a design-driven organization is similar to how organizations evolved into being data-driven, moving data insights from just the math wizards in a corner office to enabling everyone in an organization to use data to inform and improve their work.
“We can all use design processes, just as we all use data, to understand our world a little better, as a process for exploring what customers are looking for,” he said.
The results are impressive. Following their customer-informed design changes, organic conversions for the website were up 30%, including a 55% lift for Premier memberships (AAA's top-tier membership type), a 39% lift in revenue for this channel.
In their conversation, they go on to discuss:
- Going from pilot to launch
- What he means by design-driven
- And how customer insights are informing new initiatives, such as a recently rolled out new website
Strengthening your startup with customer feedback
2022 may turn out to be the big bang of the metaverse, but no matter the reality- augmented, virtual, extended or mixed- doing business in an increasingly digital world needs to begin the human experience.
This week on the Human Insight Podcast, Krikey co-founders Jhanvi Shriram and Ketaki Shriram join host Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, to share how they are putting customers first for their mobile augmented reality (AR) gaming app.
Jhanvi, the CEO of Krikey, and Ketaki, the CTO, have been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, and Fast Company’s Best Apps and Games of 2020.
Krikey’s story is one of many shared in the upcoming User Tested and that will be 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. The book is being released on February 15th, but you can pre-order it today here or on your favorite book seller’s website.
With insights from UserTesting, Krikey has surpassed more than 2 million users, saw a 45% increase in app conversions, and they are now bringing their app to new markets worldwide.
Listen to their interview to hear how the Krikey co-founders:
- How and why they started the business
- How customer feedback fits into Krikey’s business priorities
- How testing the user experience helped evolved their offerings
- How customer feedback is tied to user growth, retention and engagement
Scaling insights across your organization
In this episode, Jennifer Lee, UX Research Lead at Wise, shares her experience being the company’s first qualitative researcher to scaling insights across the company.
Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a publicly-traded, London-based technology company founded in 2011. Wise is building the best way to move and manage money around the world, helping a community of over 10 million like-minded people and businesses.
Wise’s story is one of many shared in the upcoming User Tested and that will be 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. The book is being released on February 15th, but you can pre-order it today here or on your favorite book seller’s website.
The book gives both individual contributors and executives an approachable, pragmatic playbook for stepping beyond standard business metrics and infusing real human insight into every business decision, design, and experience.
In her interview with, Jennifer tells Janelle and Andy about holding monthly UX Research 101 classes that anyone at Wise could join to learn about qualitative research. This began the democratization of the research function, as requests to get involved came from their HR/People Team, Engineering, Project Management, Marketing, Design, and more.
In their interview, they go on to discuss:
- What role does the user experience play at Wise in securing and retaining customers?
- How her team partners with the product organization to ensure they create and deliver an exceptional experience for Wise customers?
- What metrics or KPIs does your team directly or indirectly influence?
- How to build the case for customer listening?
The flywheel of customer feedback
Join Andy MacMillan, CEO of UserTesting, and Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting, as they recap Season 3 of the Human Insight Podcast.
And in January, Season 4 of the podcast launches with a focus on the success stories, examples and playbooks from User Tested, the new book co-authored by Janelle and Andy, now available for pre-order.This episode originally aired December 27, 2021.
What is (and isn't) customer centricity?
This week on the Human Insight Podcast, we interview Brent Leary, CRM industry observer, author and speaker.
Leary is co-founder and Managing Partner of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta based CRM/CX advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. He writes regularly for CRM Magazine and ZDNet, and is a founding member of Newseek's Expert Forum. He hosts the weekly One on One conversation series for Small Business Trends, the A Few Good Minutes livestream series, co-hosts The CRM Playaz show, and is a regular on the Gillmor Gang show on TechCrunch.
In his conversation with Janelle Estes, UserTesting's Chief Insights Officer, Leary discusses:
- Can a company actually be customer centric? Or are they just data centric about their customers?
- The tension between tracking our customers and transparency of what that information is being used for?
- Building stronger customer relationships
- How technology is making things easier to do, except it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier to find, catch and keep good customers. Why?
Making a difference in HealthTech UX
You could design UX for a B2C to increase conversions. Or you could oversee UX for health tech company and, ultimately, save or improve lives.
For Andrew Frueh it was an easy choice.
Frueh is the senior vice president of UX design at Health Catalyst, a leading provider of data and analytics technology and services to healthcare organizations.
This week, he joins Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, on the Human Insight Podcast where they talk about:
- What metrics or KPIs does his UX team directly or indirectly influence? How does that map to his team’s strategy and purpose?
- When it comes to customer-centricity and experience, what is unique about the healthcare space? How does it compare to other industries, such as retail or financial services?
- Is there a difference between UX in B2B vs. B2C? If so, what are those differences?
Our 2021 guest-recommended books to read
If you're a regular listener to the show, you know Janelle asks our guests about a book they’ve recently read and would recommend.
In this episode, we’ve rounded up all those recommendations from the past year and share them with you, whether you are looking for a holiday gift, you’re planning your 2022 strategy and are looking for some help, or just want to get in some quality reading over the holidays.
Before we jump into our guest recommendations, I should also note that five of our past guests are also authors of some great books.
- Teresa Torres, author of Continuous Discovery Habits
- John S. Couch, author of The Art of Creative Rebellion
- Tamara Adlin, co-author of The Persona Lifecycle
- Jim Kalbach, author of The Jobs to Be Done Playbook
- April Dunford, author of Obv!ously Awesome
Here are our 2021 guest-recommended books to read:
- Tiny Habits
- Turning Pro
- User Friendly
- UX Pioneers
- Never Split the Difference
- Never a Dull Moment
- The Jobs To Be Done Playbook
- No Rules Rules
- Caste: The origins of our discontent
- Creativity, Inc.
- Gentleman in Moscow
- Klara and the Sun
- Who Not How
- Think Again
And last but not least, we'd like to recommend User Tested by our podcast co-hosts and co-authors Janelle Estes and Andy MacMillan.
In their book, you’ll discover why the company that offers the best customer experience always wins, and that real, three-dimensional people can’t be reduced to data points on a graph.
The book is being released on February 15th, but you can pre-order it today on your favorite book seller’s website.This episode originally aired December 6, 2021.
The three skills of successful product managers
This week on the Human Insight podcast, we interviewed Carlos Gonzalez de Villaumbrosia, Founder and CEO of Product School.
Product School is the global leader in product management training with a community of over one million product professionals. Product School instructors are real-world Product Leaders working at top companies including Google, Facebook, Netflix, Airbnb, PayPal, Uber, and Amazon.
In his interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting's Chief Information Officer, Carlos discusses:
- The role of a product manager in today’s world
- The skills and experiences product managers need to be successful
- The role customer feedback plays in a product manager’s day-to-day life
Why great product teams adopt a continuous discovery mindset
This week on the Human Insight podcast, we interviewed Teresa Torres, author of Continuous Discovery Habits.
Teresa teaches a structured and sustainable approach to continuous discovery that helps product teams infuse their daily product decisions with customer input. She’s coached hundreds of teams at companies of all sizes, from early-stage start-ups to global enterprises and has taught over 6,500 product people core discovery skills through the Product Talk Academy.
In her interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, Teresa discusses:
- What is continuous discovery?
- What role does customer input and feedback play in a product manager’s day-to-day life?
- Who should manage continuous customer feedback?
- What do we do with those customer insights?
- How do we align those insights with business goals?
Developing continuous engagement with your customers
This week on the Human Insight podcast, we interviewed Emily Carrion, VP of Marketing at Esper and veteran of the Seattle startup scene.
In her interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, Carrion discusses:
- Her observations on the progress being made in getting more women startup founders, board members, and senior leaders
- Why it’s important to hear directly from customers, in their own voices
- How marketing benefits from customer feedback
- What startups should prioritize with their customer feedback and testing?
- Her advice developing continuous engagement with customers
Identifying your best fit customer
This week on the Human Insight podcast, we interview April Dunford, a tech executive, board member, CEO and founder of Ambient Strategy, and author of Obv!ously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It.
In her interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, Dunford discusses:
- Is positioning just for startups
- How has the pandemic changed the role of positioning
- How our biases inhibit our positioning efforts
- Who should be involved in positioning
- The importance of customer feedback in developing your positioning
- And how to identify your best fit customers
Season Two insights and takeaways
In this episode, Andy and Janelle recap highlights from Season 2 of the Human Insights Podcast, as well as offer a sneak peak at what’s in store for season three, which kicks off in September.This episode originally aired June 14, 2021.
What does it mean to be customer obsessed?
Catherine Richards said one way Tesco Bank builds a CX culture is through positive disruption.
“And what I mean by that is, as leaders, you need to know when to make a call to positively disrupt how you're working,” said Richards, who is head of design at Tesco Bank.
An example was introducing Customer Wednesdays, a day dedicated in the week to spending time with the bank’s customers. They started that four years ago, bringing in customers to get feedback early in the design process. That’s continued during the pandemic, just that now they get that feedback remotely.
“When you tell a story about a customer that you've seen, or you've spent time with, there's just something about that, that people remember. They remember the customer stories,” Richards said.
In her conversation with Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting, Richards goes on to discuss:
- What is the role of leadership in driving customer-centric design and experiences
- What metrics or KPIs does her team directly or indirectly influence
- How has the financial services/bank customer experience evolved over the course of your career?
How to become a great product manager
Christian Idiodi has led or consulted on nearly 200 successful product launches for a range of companies from startups to big banks. So, you’d think he always wanted a career in product management, right?
“Actually, I wanted to be a doctor,” said the partner at Silicon Valley Product Group, a global product consulting firm. “I wanted to solve hard problems like cancer or HIV. That was always what I had dreamed and aspired to be.”
Idiodi joined the Human Insight Podcast to discuss what makes a great product manager, how companies and managers should invest in coaching their product managers, and how product managers work with teams to ensure customer satisfaction.
In his conversation with Andy MacMillan, CEO at UserTesting, and Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting, Idiodi discusses:
- His role today at SVPG
- His new initiative, Innovate Africa
- How the product world has evolved over the years
- Best practices for developing and coaching product managers and leaders
- Staying close to the customer
- Balancing processes and innovation
Reinventing how we work: a roundtable discussion with MURAL and UserTesting
As Jim Kalbach likes to say, work is not an office it is what we accomplish together.
As many companies are now planning if and when their employees return to offices, the questions of what work is and how we accomplish it are top of mind.
This week’s Human Insight Podcast dives into the topic in a roundtable discussion with Mariano Suarez-Battan, co-founder and CEO at MURAL; Kalbach, Chief Evangelist at MURAL; Andy MacMillan, CEO at UserTesting, and Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting.
In their conversation, they discuss:
- Distributed collaboration
- Digital Transformation
- Diversity & Inclusion