I decided to take a very low-key approach and conduct individual open interviews because I wanted to gather people’s sincere opinions and avoid group conformity. I asked questions such as “What are the major problems with the current website?”, “What would you change on the website if you were in charge?”, “How does the current website impact your work?” and “How can we improve?”.
The product team gave me great insights on user personas. Three types were uncovered: the Lighting Designer, the Lighting Programmer, and the Production Manager.
The interview with the CEO was one of the most insightful ones because he was not only one of the people who had a better understanding of the system but also because he was directly handling sales. He said that Blacktrax should be perceived as selling a solution to a creative problem that needed tracking, so our role was to hand the client's hand until it's fully working. Those amazing nuggets of information were not communicated on the old website but they needed to be there. When I asked questions such as “What are your growing pains?” he mentioned the request quote form was terribly confusing (a four-page long PDF that needed to be downloaded and sent via email). The CEO was manually copying and pasting the answers to make proposals. People contacted him several times before sending the PDF quote because they were just plain confused.
Marketing was able to tell me that there were still persistent questions on product features and how the system worked, despite the old site having this explanation on features pages and in the FAQ section. These interviews revealed we needed some serious work done in order to make things more clear.