Best advice from customers
An in-house research team was created for user testing of digital services and applications
hat customers think is of vital importance to the carmaker. For this reason, user experience (UX) testing has become a priority for a dedicated team: the VX/1 – User Experience unit within the new VX – Customer Journey department. Testing with external users was also carried out remotely when restrictions were in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and recently there have been more opportunities for even more effective testing with face-to-face contact. The UX Team focuses on infotainment apps, the MyŠKODA Connect mobile app and Web services (e.g. the car company’s portal, car configurator and more).
After the UX Team was established in 2018, testing has only ever taken place with partner agencies once a year. Last year, the UX Pool initiative, which brings together employees interested in testing digital products, also helped significantly and is expected to continue (you can read about the UX Pool in the October 2020 issue of ŠKODA Mobil). This year, the transition to self-testing has been greatly accelerated, with the UX Team conducting such tests once every 14 days. “We started building our own research team, which has allowed us to be independent of external agencies and keep the know-how in-house. Having our own research team makes us faster and more responsive to the demands of the teams in the car company. In addition, it is advantageous that the same team conducts the testing and interviewing, so we can better see the results in a broader context”, says Johana Horáková from VX/1.
Thoughtful user selection
However, the three-person UX Team still works partly with external suppliers – for example, because of legislative restrictions, it cannot recruit real users itself. “Before each test, we define the target group with the product team and then specify the exact requirements for recruiting respondents. Among others, they must be half ŠKODA drivers and half owners of competing cars”, says Horáková. The required group of users acts anonymously. Sometimes, to be as objective as possible, it is important that the user not know which brand’s product they are testing. Of course, the respondents test the product on condition of confidentiality. Testing is carried out in several ways. In most cases, remote online tests prevail, and they work well, for example, to verify a car manufacturer’s Web services. “However, where possible, we’re increasingly testing in person, either directly with a mobile phone for the app, with a computer for the website or directly in the car for the app. This is how we’re best able to simulate real-life circumstances”, explains Horáková. ED
Take advantage of the UX Team’s support
The group responsible for user testing always plans its activities three months in advance. “We are constantly being approached by other teams with requests for new services, so we wish to expand our activities in the future”, says Horáková and urges her colleagues to bring their own ideas: “Don’t be shy to approach us with your testing requests.” You can contact her at this e-mail.
Dig deeper into the UX
The User Experience (UX) Design includes elements from a range of disciplines, from user research to interaction design up to visual design, with the unifying criterion of customer focus. To better delve into this, the carmaker created its UX1 – User Experience Design – Fundamentals course, which was completed by 300 employees from managerial and other positions. From the beginning of September, two more courses will be offered to help participants to deepen their knowledge and change their thinking in this area. The first of these is the UX2 User Experience Design – Insights for Innovation (from idea to action) course, where they will learn methods to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and learn tools and techniques to help develop new ideas and work with them. The UX3 User Experience Design – Insight-driven Innovation training focuses on rapid prototyping and testing and designing services and digital products, and it introduces suitable tools. Both one-day courses take place remotely via online collaboration applications. ED
Here you can sign up for the UX courses.