KLM x Happy Coach
Welcome to Happy Stories! Every week we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in the area of UX research and testing of digital applications. Tests ensure happy users and that makes us happy. Hence the name: Happy Stories. Besides making use of a Happy Lab, where you can conduct the user test yourself or let us test for you with Happy Test, you can also make use of the Happy Coach. With the Happy Coach you are performing the user test yourself, but you are getting help from a coach who guides you throughout the process. The Happy Coach also gives you tips and tricks, which you can use with your next user test. In Happy Stories #19 we show how KLM experienced the Happy Coach!
What kind of experience did KLM already had with user testing?
At KLM user testing is an essential part of the delivery process, so we already have quite some experience with user testing. For example, we have set up a process of performing regular guerrilla testing in departing gates or lounge area of Schiphol Airport. And now we are exploring how we can expand and combine different testing options to also integrate it better into the delivery process.
Why did KLM chose the Happy Coach option?
We found that the Happy Coach option was an ideal way to start with. We had experience with conducting user testing ourselves (and we absolutely love doing that!), so that’s why we did not go with the Happy Test option. On the other hand, we wanted to do the ‘try-out’ first and see how Happy Labs worked. So the Happy Coach option was an ideal match! We were very enthusiastic to do the interviews ourselves and having guidance and support from an experienced UX researcher. It just sounded like a perfect plan. We also valued having a non-biased, fresh eye on the topic. This brought additional value to our research.
What was the main reason KLM decided to conduct a user test with a Happy Coach? What did KLM wanted to find out with the user test?
Usually when we do guerrilla user testing at the airport, we test a rather small functionality or feature, to keep it short and to not take too much of the travelers’ time. While if you think of a full customer journey, it is not only filling in your personal data or choosing the cheapest fare, it is also preparing for your trip, doubting which seat to choose and finding out how to bring 3 mountain bikes with 2 cats and a dog. There is so much more user information and we really wanted to know more about this. All of this could be done while switching from desktop to mobile app or from email to the kiosk. A usability lab allows us to observe customers through a longer journey and to see whether all the bits and pieces that were done by separate teams come together in one sensible puzzle.
What was the overall experience with using the Happy Coach?
We really appreciated the support of our Happy Coach! She guided us through the whole process from preparing for the test until debriefing. First we figured out what our main topics were that we wanted to address and the Happy Coach helped us to keep focus on the important ones and to frame the ones we were still in doubt about. Together we made a better storyline for the script and prepared the necessary questions. She has also shared a template for the test script, which saved us a lot of time! And the way it was structured had some meticulous details in it that we especially appreciated during performing the interviews.
For example, the highlighted research questions in the test script – first they gave more context to those who observed the test and second, they were conveniently easy to spot while trying to formulate a better question on the go during the interview itself. You know, it’s all these small things that makes your process smooth and create confidence during the day. One of the crucial things was actually an advice for the prototype tool we could use for our specific use case to test! Apart of the research support, we also visited the lab beforehand to get more familiar with it.
Can you give a short overview about the course of the testing day with the Happy Coach?
The day started quite early of course! We came in way beforehand to check if everything worked fine, to try out all the equipment and to go through the scenarios with our prototype. We had invited many people to observe the sessions and our Happy Coach also gave them a short briefing about how to better note their observations (and we also got a handy template to do so!).
The first participant came in – a little nervous to start the first interview, especially knowing how many eyes are looking at you, but also feeling like being a detective! But after 5-10 minutes you are already in the flow and feel like you could do it forever. After the first two participants, our Happy Coach gave us some additional tips and tricks, for example how to use our time more efficient during the interview or how to elegantly segue from introduction to tasks and to make participants a little more relaxed. The atmosphere was very enthusiastic and uplifting, between the sessions everyone was discussing how we should change a boarding pass page or a copy for entering a seat map. Happy Labs also set up a stream link, so we could get some comments from colleagues who joined remotely. We thought this was very useful!
After all the sessions it was a time for the debriefing. Everyone put their observations on the wall and our Happy Coach helped us to summarize key insights. And again it was very fruitful to have a coach there, since she kept steering us in a direction of highlighting problems, rather than solutions. And during the whole day it really felt like we were all one team, figuring out how to improve our product together.
What were the most important learning points you gathered from the testing day?
Of course we have seen people being confused by some of our design decisions, no testing goes without it! And we’ve also seen users being engaged and content. Conducting a user test emphasized how important it is to think of your product in the context of the whole journey and not only from a silo view. One of the most powerful outcomes from the session was the participation of developers, product owners, business analysts, copywriters and other colleagues. Nothing could stress the value of user testing more than just being there and observe it with your own eyes. We could feel how this uniting empathic feeling was in the air and teamed everyone up to strive for the best. So in the end of the day everyone could remember for who we are creating this all.
And now? What are the next steps for KLM?
After we performed the user test with Happy Coach, it boosted our confidence and demonstrated the value of user testing to our stakeholders everyday colleagues. Most of the insights gathered during the user test are translated to user stories, some of which are actually already live, or picked up for further research. And we have already used a Happy Lab again soon after! This time we’ve just rented the lab, since everything was already more familiar. And for sure – more to come 🙂
Do you also want some coaching while conducting a user test, just like KLM? We are happy to help with the Happy Coach! Check out our different options!