Human Insight Podcast

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

The flywheel of customer feedback

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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?

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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?
This episode originally aired December 20, 2021.

Making a difference in HealthTech UX

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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?
This episode originally aired December 13, 2021.

Our 2021 guest-recommended books to read

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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. 

Here are our 2021 guest-recommended books to read: 

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

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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
This episode originally aired November 29, 2021.

Why great product teams adopt a continuous discovery mindset

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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?
This episode originally aired November 15, 2021.

Developing continuous engagement with your customers

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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
This episode originally aired November 8, 2021.

Identifying your best fit customer

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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
This episode originally aired November 1, 2021.

Season Two insights and takeaways

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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?

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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?
This episode originally aired June 7, 2021.

How to become a great product manager

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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
This episode originally aired May 24, 2021.

Reinventing how we work: a roundtable discussion with MURAL and UserTesting

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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
This episode originally aired May 17, 2021.

Building strong design teams that scale: a conversation with Susan Rice

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How do you build a customer-focused design team that scales?

Susan Rice has done it three times. She’s the Vice President of UX at Workiva, a global SaaS reporting compliance platform that enables the use of connected data and automation for reporting across finance, accounting, risk, and compliance.

In her Human Insight Podcast interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, Rice discusses: 

  • Building a customer-focused team
  • Her favorite UX design KPI
  • UX design differences between B2B and B2C
  • Advice for those embarking on a design career
This episode originally aired May 10, 2021.

Retail trends that will outlast the pandemic

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The pandemic has changed so much about retail, but some retail trends will outlast the pandemic, such as providing a personalized experience, says Sean McKee, the former Director of eCommerce and CX at UK footwear retailer, Schuh.

In his Human Insight Podcast interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, McKee discusses: 

  • His 25-year career at Schuh from storeroom to boardroom
  • The biggest changes to retail and ecommerce over that time
  • Keeping a customer focus in a sea of ecommerce data points

“What retailers have to think about is the question of experience and what experience looks like because if doing things that were at the experiential end of the spectrum were important before COVID, they're even more important now,” McKee said. “Customers really need to have a compelling reason to visit your store because they've just had an education that tells them they can do other things. So, the experiential stuff is important.”

This episode originally aired May 3, 2021.

Creating a framework for customer listening

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Dan Storms, CookUnity’s Chief Product Officer, said adding steps to their sign up process had a positive result on the business. 

It was a counterintuitive action  from a design perspective. Usually, you want to eliminate steps. But listening to their best, most raving fans, yielded insights that a few added questions initially would result in an even better experience for customers. 

And it was great for CookUnity, too. They saw a 50% increase in conversions. 

The three-year-old startup is a direct-to-consumer meal delivery platform that allows its customers to choose a range of ready-to-eat meals from celebrity and up-and-coming chefs. It’s based in New York City, recently opened its second community kitchen in Los Angeles, and delivers to twenty-seven states.

In his Human Insight podcast interview with Janelle Estes, UserTesting’s Chief Insights Officer, Storms goes on to discuss: 

  • How they leveraged two bestsellers to create a framework for customer listening that they then applied to their product and market strategy
  • How to validate customer feedback with surveys
  • Insights on planning the NY Product Conference
This episode originally aired April 26, 2021.