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I'm the problem, it's me — User Research

Updated: Mar 18

User research is a sweet pain. Almost addicting? 🙁

This image is a joke, and a hyperbole.

Over the past few months, I've conducted hundreds of user research interviews.

  • For marketing like mapping out our JBTD and Buyer Journey

  • For community and sales like customer stories and case studies

  • For product like activation and retention

  • For monetization like Van Westerdorp and MaxDiff

Here's my template:

With every result, I am more humbled.

So humbled that I even ̶w̶r̶o̶t̶e̶ stole a song.

I have this thing where I get users but just no retention Activation's become my attention When my product team works the graveyard shift All of the projects I've cancelled stand there in the room I should not be left to my own lousy onboarding They come with prices and vices I end up in crisis (tale as old as SaaS)

As a kid, my parents discouraged me from songwriting. And I'm forever grateful to them for that. 😅


The weapons we choose is half the battle won

I've tested with our own users, and I've tested with users from 3rd party platforms.

Here are some tools that were on my radar:

  • — Usertesting costs $110 for a remote, unmoderated interview. For live, moderated interview, it was $220. This was for startups.

  • — $45 for a B2C study. $99 for a B2B study. Live testing.

  • — $39 for an unmoderated test. Tester pool isn't great though.

  • Hotjar Engage — $90 +$20 for a 30 minute moderated interview.

  • — $5-10 per unmoderated test. They have a startup program too which gives out free credit.

  • Dscout, Suzy/suzylive for quick turnaround; qualtrics or ipsos for bigger surveys.

  • We used Tally (cost-friendly alternative to Typeform) for some surveys but not many. I found that the drop of rates in Tally were higher, even when identical surveys were set up in Typeform. 😢 Also, Tally can't help with thinks like MaxDiff surveys but works for Van Westerndorp, for example.

  • — Enterprisy. Someone who used it once told me that their experience wasn't great.

  • Wynter — for message testing. It costs $900 per test to start out. It's per test though, not per interview which is a better value metric than the others. Although, that makes it harder to compare.

  • — Enterprise, and I couldn't see a clear differentiation. But did have a recommendation.

  • — would've helped manage the payout process but we didn't use them.

Internal tools:

We triggered in-product notifications and emails.



I really like how Todoist does feedback sessions. They don't pay, but it is displayed under "support". And they use a lot of segmentation with Calendly. Only a 15-minute call is less commitment and they also offer an async option if you're not interested. Call option wouldn't show up for free users.

Lets be friends on Twitter? My content is absolutely non-educational.


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