Mikyal — Researching Independent Professionals Workflow
Mikyal is a solution built for creative professionals and freelancers to plan, manage, and automate their workflow in the simplest way possible. Its vision is to be an integral part of a creative’s workflow, helping creatives to plan, manage and ease their work. Website: https://www.mikyal.com
Timeline: 3 month (Freelance)| Role: UX Researcher | Project: Mikyal
Note: due to NDA, product details (verbal and visual) cannot be disclosed.
Mikyal’s team wanted to start user testing activities to obtain user feedback before development. Up to this moment, the existing artefacts included three personas, a website and Figma prototype. The latter included several user flows representing different features that were assumed to create value to the user.
How Might We create a relevant automated workflow solution for creative freelancers (and others) that can be incorporated in their pipeline of administrative activities.
The objectives for this research were defined with the following set of targets:
- Validate the assumptions related to the customer segment
- Test the platform with target users to get their first impressions.
- Analyse the strength of features to be included in the platform, which are a must, nice to have or nice to have.
We aimed at reaching out to freelancers in the field of graphic design, development / programming and digital marketing. The research methodology used for this project was:
- Kick-off meeting to identified certainties, doubts, questions and ideas together with the team representative
- Online questionnaire to gather qualitative data and contacts
- User interviews to validate learnings from the questionnaire and showcase the prototype for first impressions
- Remote user testing to consolidate data and test new user flows
Software: Figma • Useberry • Google Forms • Typeform • Miro
Design: User flow • Wireframing • Persona • User Journey Mapping • Interviewing • Surveying • Usability Testing
Business: Value Proposition•Workshop Organisation & Facilitation • Miro • Notion • Trello
We started by exploring the certainties, assumptions and the biggest doubts surrounding Mikyal’s business in a workshop together with its CEO. It was thanks to this constant exchange of information that it was possible to dig deep into “blind spots’’. From this workshop, we identified 5 main questions that had to be addressed to better understand the audience of Mikyal.
We then crafted a questionnaire that was spread in Mikyal’s channels — for. The goals of this questionnaire were the following:
- Validation of assumptions about designed personas;
- Contribution to value proposition with quantitative data;
- Capture of emails for further analysis, including interviews or marketing;
- Understand that “jobs to be done” by the target audience;
- Translation of features into problems to be solved and validate the magnitude of those problems.
With the data acquired in the survey, and together with the knowledge given by Mikyal, we built the value proposition canvas. This allowed us to have a better overview of what features should be given more prominence and focus by Mikyal.
“When Independent Creative Professionals are trying to manage their administrative tasks in a situation where they have loads of projects or lack of experience, they struggle to balance busy and productive work.”
We created two proto-personas whose differentiator line was their level of experience and time spent working independently — it seems that experience (and consequently, the amount of clients one has to manage) creates a different kind of impact and needs. These two personas are The Veteran and The Rookie, representing an experienced independent professional and a recently-started-freelancer, respectively.
For this activity, we first created an overview of the different use case scenarios that Mikal’s product was going to cover. Secondly, we created a script for a semi-structured interview. Finally, we recruited participants via a Typeform link and email, making use of the business’ communication channels. The goals of these user interviews included:
- Get the first impressions on the platform from users;
- Observe their natural user flow and how they perform tasks;
- Identify touch points in the user journey for potential improvement
Finally, with all the learnings and UX design improvements in the product, we created a remote test using Useberry. We considered that the test was meaningful since there was an in-depth feedback response to the flow and questions posed. For this usability test, we included multiple-choice, likert and open questions. A heatmap for every step was also used for interpretation of results.
- Value Proposition — The customer segment was better understood. More importantly, we established realistic personas that enables us to identify better the people we wanted to interview and test the product with.
- Change of direction — We identified the main features that the product should focus on. Through interviews, we noticed that some aspects of the product considered to be secondary were actually the main value generator which lead to a change of focus and direction for the design team.
- Early-adopter acquisition — The first questionnaire had over a 65% email conversation rate, which translate into 21 new emails that can be used by Mikyal for further surveys, interviews and prototype testing. This should also be seen as a strong indication of the pertinence of Mikyal as, through the questionnaire, they are attracted to enough to be linked to next steps.
- Flow improvement — through the 1:1 interviews and remote user testing, we noticed the changes that had to be done in the product. In terms of value, the team nailed where it needed to act but the product was not quite there yet to de developed. Throughout this research, improvements were constantly made.