Smartphone Monitoring App
As an existing desktop and mobile application on the market today, the smartphone monitoring service that was the focus of the research provides features such as: limiting data usage and screen time, blocking websites, location tracking, and blocking contacts and social media.
To assess an existing service enabling parents to control and monitor their children’s smartphone usage, I set out to conduct qualitative research with my team to evaluate the current feature offerings, and to determine what areas need improvement from a holistic user experience perspective.
As the lead researcher for this qualitative product research, I led a team of 1 researcher, 1 project manager, 1 research director, 1 designer, and worked closely with the client stakeholders of the product.
As the lead, I oversaw the entire research project from start to finish, from designing the research plan to analysis and reporting.
Research Objectives
The objectives involved understanding what the user motivations and primary use cases are. The participants were either current customers of the product who were able to give feedback on their experience and satisfaction using the product, or prospective customers who could review a product prototype and reveal their overall perceptions on the available features.​​​​​​​
As the lead of the research team, I was tasked with defining the research plan, developing a screener to recruit qualified participants, composing a moderator’s guide and data sheet, followed by creating a report to deliver the findings and recommendations.
To address the objectives of the study, we recruited 12 participants who were either current or prospective customers. All participants were recruited to complete a 60-minute remote, moderated session, that consisted of discussing product features and completing assigned tasks of navigating through the product prototype. The emphasis of the study was on interaction design, prototyping, current and prospective customer user research, and task analysis.
Findings & Implications
One of the main challenges for this project was delivering research findings quickly to the client’s product team, to impact the development of additional features and modifications to the existing designs.
Although the initially defined timeline for the study was short, we were faced with changes in the schedule where we were to deliver research insights even sooner. This was particularly challenging as we had some scheduled participants withdraw their willingness to participate in the study.​​​​​​​
Because of these circumstances, I reduced the number of total participants required, recruited additional participants, and found a way to get rapid feedback from the participants that I could provide right away to the client. This involved gathering all the stakeholders together to create a modified roadmap of the research study. By doing so, I was able to figure out which topic areas of the research to focus on, specifically to inform how the development and product teams could quickly acquire insights in order for them to be able to move forward with product development.
Analysis & Recommendations
As a qualitative study, the data captured were qualitative metrics including user satisfaction, task completion, and assessment of features. We essentially measured Google’s HEART metrics: Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task success.​​​​​​​
The recommendations based on the sessions were focused on making changes to the interaction design, to modify the sequence of steps that product users must take to complete tasks. The goal of increasing the task completion rates, user satisfaction, and business value were of utmost priority.
Impact & Reflection
The project was valuable for my professional growth as I was able to experience leading a research study while concurrently being an individual contributor. By running the project, I was able to showcase my leadership skills and diversify my professional skill set.​​​​​​​
Although there were some unexpected and expected challenges, I was able to improvise and re-strategize on-the-go, which allowed us to successfully influence the product vision and strategy for the client company.

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