Case Study: Moderated prototype usability study to determine the viability of new service offering.

Client Background

The client is a global network company serving the commercial construction industry with a wide range of products that help project leads find and win new business. They had recently acquired another legacy brand in the commercial construction industry, whose online listing platform serves as a connection portal for general contractors and subcontractors to list and grow their businesses.

This was a white label project for which we collaborated with another UX design company that outsourced the research work to Experiment Zone.

The Challenge

The company was looking for new ways to grow and monetize their current service offering. They were exploring the question of whether there was an opportunity to monetize a service dedicated to their general contractor (GC) audience. If they created a user-friendly experience that helped their core customer base of GCs more efficiently complete a key task in their workflow, would the GCs see value in becoming a paid customer of a platform to which they previously had free access?

To find out, they tapped Experiment Zone to conduct user testing on a high-fidelity prototype of the potential new service offering.

Our Strategy

As the lead researchers, we developed the high-level research question and 10 supporting questions for each participant’s test. We were looking to understand if general contractors see the value of becoming paid users of the new search and listing service. We were looking to identify any potential confusion they might experience regarding the free vs. paid services. Also, we asked whether they viewed the services offered as valuable to their workflow.

We worked with a design team who created a desktop prototype of this potential new feature for the client’s online platform.

We conducted usability tests with 5 general contractors who were representative of the core audience for the new feature on the platform. Ensuring that all participants were current users and familiar with the platform offerings allowed us to focus the conversation and insights specifically on the new feature. These participants were able to discuss how the new feature may or may not benefit their needs. Ultimately, we asked if they saw the value in becoming a paid customer to access this new feature.

Experiment Zone led the collaboration with the design team to organize and uncover key insights from the user tests. We presented our findings as an executive summary to key stakeholders.

The Results

We were able to confidently answer the client’s main question of whether their new service offering provided value and could be a viable new product for their customer base of general contractors. In addition to sharing detailed results, quotes, insights and questions that arose from the user tests, we delivered a list of potential iterations to the prototype and recommendations for further testing. Ultimately, the client gained confirmation that there is opportunity to bring in additional revenue and provide value to their core customers by iterating on and launching this new service.

“Give them the freedom to determine the approach and help you scope the activity you’re using them for — they’re an excellent team, and their expertise is extremely valuable.”

- Quote from the white label partner

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