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How Biteable's product team conducts research

An illustrated image of Method in Madness interviewee, Niels Oetjen.
5 November 2020
Lucy Denton

Dovetail chatted with Niels Oeltjen, a Product Designer at video creation platform Biteable. Founded in Hobart, Australia, with staff dotted globally, Biteable enables anyone to put their message in motion.

Can you tell us about Biteable?

Communicating through the medium of video is increasingly important. Biteable ensures that organizations and individuals can tell stories through the power of video. Regardless of budgets or existing skillsets, Biteable helps you create professional videos in minutes. The Biteable platform empowers millions of people to engage and grow their audience with video.

How does design and research work?

At Biteable, product designers and product managers work in small, cross-functional, autonomous teams under the guidance of our Co-founder and Head of Product, James MacGregor. We are all responsible for understanding the needs of our users and developing practical solutions in response. While user research is led by the product team and managed by product designers, almost every function at Biteable communicates directly with our users. The product, engineering, customer success, sales, marketing, and leadership teams all conduct user research in some way or another.

What challenges do you have with research?

With four designers working across multiple countries and timezones, our design team struggled to coordinate our research efforts in the past. Participant recruitment and insight creation proved to be two of the major issues we faced within our research process. Our workflow and tooling were fragmented and not optimized for gathering insights. Despite being in a relatively good place, we felt we could do better and began to look for tools that would improve our data collection and analysis.

We were facing significant company growth, hiring loads of people in the product team, and investing heavily in user research. It was clear that we needed to centralize our user research so that anyone in the organization could access and benefit from it. We created a research repository that everyone could contribute research to, and we optimized it to identify patterns, gather evidence, and produce insights.

How does research fit into your design process?

As part of user research investment, we conduct weekly customer interviews and collate user feedback via our customer success, product, sales, and marketing teams. We also capture information when our CEO conducts customer interviews.

Initially, we spent some time migrating our historical research into Dovetail, which has been key to informing new projects during the discovery phase and understanding key customer concerns over time.

We’ve found the following features particularly useful:

  • Tagging has been incredibly impactful because it’s allowed us to identify trends and patterns.

  • Automatic transcriptions are proving to be a time-saver, and we expect it will improve our documentation as we continue to use it.

  • Commenting and insights are becoming a significant part of our workflow as our research database continues to grow in the next few months.

How has Dovetail improved upon what you were doing before?

Despite only moving to Dovetail a couple of months ago, we feel its impact. It enables us to distill information, patterns, and insights into our raw data and maximize our research efforts across teams and geographies. As the design team grows and our research methods improve, we expect Dovetail will streamline our data collection and analysis workflow by removing duplication, minimize dead-ends, strengthen the coordination amongst teams, drive insight gathering, and ultimately save us time, effort, and money so we can focus on doing what we do best — creating the best online video maker for everyone.

How has your organization adopted Dovetail?

The appetite for more qualitative customer data is strong amongst all of our teams. Until now, the product designers and product managers are the heaviest adopters of Dovetail, but as we continue to use the platform, we’ll collect essential information and gather more data to assist other groups in informing and augmenting their quantitative data-gathering activities.

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