User problem: the human condition
We helped millions of people in areas ranging from home repair to computer programming to law. Finding focus was not a small epic.
JustAnswer.com gives thousands of users a month affordable access to one-on-one answers from doctors, lawyers, mechanics, veterinarians and many more. Since 2003, people around the world have asked an average of 250,000 questions a month. But as UX lead for innovation efforts, I started noticing lots of people doing much more: using the platform as a tool to live more empowered lives than most. Working closely with cross-functional agile teams, I tried to find out if there were ways we could help more people do that.
Learning what to solve
Getting insight into where the product needed to go next required a deeper, more intimate level of knowledge about what our users were trying to get done. I worked to build foundational research about customers like user personas, created systems to uncover and share insights, and looked for ways make user research a bigger part of our daily process and culture.
Optimizing for empowerment
User research helped transform our roadmaps, prioritizing what we needed to work on first and revealing new opportunities. Driven by better data, we focusing on improving core functionality, prioritizing the needs of mobile users and building tools that made root tasks more effortless.
A key revelation from studying powerusers was how people got ongoing support for complicated, intimidating situations in their lives, often saving thousands of dollars. They were maintaining their own cars, remodeling their own houses, starting their own businesses, recovering from emotional traumas and representing themselves in court. Using Justanswer, a testing platform in Pearl.com and lots of creative prototype test, we tried both bold strokes and highly focused experiences to try to get more relevant for the people who could benefit from us the most.