UX Product Benchmarking

The Challenge

In the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) business, highly sensitive documents need to be shared quickly and confidentially to close to the deal. Intralinks created a secure environment online, known as virtual data rooms (VDR).

Our development teams have been improving the speed at which new capabilities are added to the VDR, however, the quality of the user experience had never been measured. Additionally, the user experience team needed to demonstrate return on investment for design activities within the agile environment.

In 2019, the UX research team completed our first qualitative longitudinal benchmarking exercise. As the UX research lead, I was responsible for selecting the method, training team members to build unmoderated usability tests. I also worked alongside my team members to complete analysis and present the findings to the organization. 

My Project Contributions

UX Research Strategy
Team Project Management
Unmoderated Usability Test Adminstration
Data Analysis

Method & Participants

This benchmarking exercise was completed through a series of unmoderated remote usability tests. With the help of UserZoom’s recruitment panel, we tested 10 features with participants in the legal and finance industries.

This method allowed us to evaluate the key capabilities and workflows with over 50 participants in just a few days. Prior to benchmarking, testing similar flows would take up to three weeks. Pulling from a recruitment panel and eliminating the need to moderate sessions has helped the team to scale research and cover all capabilities within the data room.

Team Analysis

Given the fact that our research & design team at Intralinks spans across three-continents, remote collaboration sessions were critical. Each researcher reviewed the footage and recorded notes in Miro.

The team came together to run an affinity diagramming exercise. Reviewing notes from three researchers allowed the team to better identify trends and reduce bias in the findings.

The ability to group findings in real-time helped us to visualize results that could quickly be shared with the scrum team.

Key Finding

Customers experienced difficulty when attempting to upload documents. As demonstrated in the video clip, only 1 in 10 participants used the drag and drop feature. As a secure file sharing platform, this is a critical action banker must take when setting up a data room.

One of the key changes had to do with resolving upload findability. We collaborated with UX writing to change button terminology as well as improve interaction designs for drag and drop.

Actionable Feedback

In lieu of a full report, we facilitated brainstorming workshops.  We reviewed the data and sketched out solutions for the low hanging fruit. The defined and prioritized feedback items were logged into the scrum team’s backlog for implementation.

This exercise has been continued in 2020. The data collected has been used to inspire feature overhauls, measure UX investment on new capabilities, and educate the leadership team of the value research can have on product development.

Research reports have become a time-consuming exercise that does not fit within an agile development environment.