Being Customer Inspired means thinking about how each and every decision we make, from the products we design to the service and support we provide, will impact our end-users.
But staying connected to the needs of our customers wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of our UX Research team. This team is laser-focused on unearthing the pain points, wants, needs, and concerns of our customers so we can identify solutions that make their lives easier.
As our UX Research team grows, they’re looking for a few good participants to join their efforts, including upcoming panels and testing groups for a variety of WP Engine features and products. If you’re interested in participating, fill out this brief form. You do not need to be a WP Engine customer to take part!
A Growing Team of UX Pros
While individual product teams and engineers have been focused on UX since the early days of WP Engine and the design side of the team formed in the early 2010s, our dedicated UX Research team was technically created in late 2018 with just a single member. Rebecca Wood-Spagnoli, who currently heads the team, has since been joined by seven additional researchers.
One of Rebecca’s first projects was focused on understanding the information architecture and navigation of our User Portal to better assist customers in their daily use of our platform.
Research from the project led to key navigation updates—including the addition of a universal search bar—within the portal, and it served as an early proof point for the potential of greater UX research across our products and services.
“As a researcher, one of my favorite parts of working with a new team or company is watching them have that “aha” moment of the value UX research delivers,” Rebecca said.
“This early project was one of those opportunities. We were able to observe research participants, and determine that the methods they were using to find their sites was an area where we could make improvements that would have a large impact on their workflows and overall satisfaction.”
“We’ve used this research to keep a pulse on our users’ needs and to ensure the products and functionality we provide are not just usable, but valuable.”Rebecca Wood-Spagnoli
Over the past four years, the UX Research Team has been instrumental in the development and adoption of some of WP Engine’s most beloved products and features, each of which was inspired by honest feedback from our customers.
The team has touched everything from WP Engine’s MU (WP Admin) plugin and Genesis, to ongoing, widespread updates across our User Portal including the Go Live Checklist for new customers, improved error and access log user interfaces (UIs), and updated caching functionality within the customer admin dashboard.
Our UX Research team continues to serve as the backbone behind our efforts to remain Customer Inspired—but what goes into the process of UX research, and why is it necessary?
Why UX Research?
UX research is crucial for the online success of any business, but especially those with products and services that are technically inclined. Researchers use a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research to gain a better understanding of their audience’s needs and wants.
Typically, the process begins with an observation phase in which researchers view how customers interact with a website or piece of software. Then, they’ll construct a mental model through which researchers dissect the behavior of their users to get a better understanding of how they believe the software functions.
Once product and design have established a direction, UX research will test how that idea resonates with research participants. From there, research and design will participate in iterative circles progressing from early ideas to hi-fi designs before starting usability testing on prototypes.
Ultimately the goal of this research is to:
- Understand users, their experiences, goals, and pain points
- Confirm that new ideas for products are valuable and solve pain points
- Ensure that new designs are usable and don’t introduce new pain points
If the above piques your interest, and taking part in UX research is something you’d like explore. the team at WP Engine is ramping up, and will be conducting research in the coming months aimed at a number of user personas and experiences.
As our team keeps growing, we’ll need all hands on deck to help us continue creating the product innovations that improve our customers’ lives. Want to be a part of the solution?
Follow this link for a brief survey we ask users to take if they’re interested in participating in our User Research Group, and keep an eye on our Careers Page for open roles in UX Research as our team continues to grow!