Research, Analysis, Strategy

Case Study: Project and Customer Managment App for Design Agencies and Freelancers


The app’s stakeholders knew that they had a niche product to fill a big gap in products specifically supporting the design industry. Utilizing a complement of psychological research methods, I was able to test our hypotheses regarding reasons for the lack of stickiness and consult on opportunities to improve.


  • Research (Quasi-longitudinal Study)
  • Analysis of findings
  • Consultation and recommendations based on results


  • Comparative analysis for context and benchmarks
  • Contextual inquiry, questionnaires and other methodologies as needed
  • Analysis via qualitative and quantitative methods


  • Conducted stakeholder interviews defining product objectives
  • Heuristic review
  • Comparative analysis for context and benchmarks
  • Advised on simple usability tweaks to accomplish prior to conducting study that would make testing easier

Research & Analysis

  • Sought out and engaged high-value users as test participants
  • Conducted in-depth interviews with users
  • Hypothesis testing via contextual inquiry, creation, and analysis of questionnaires and other methodologies
  • Creation of video for hypothesis testing
  • Remote contextual inquiry via video, which also served as an ad hoc diary study
  • Analysis via qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Consulted on design recommendations based on research determinations


Considering the application was designed with the design community in mind, it was important to recruit the pertinent “high value” users being higher-ups in design agencies and/or freelancers. The main sticking point, after finding these individuals, was getting them to actively participate and report their experiences remotely, which was predictable considering this was the exact difficulty the app was contending with—fostering consistent use.

Other challenges included keeping users ‘on-script’ and using the research tools as requested in order maintain a valid research environment.


We were able to support our hypotheses to varying degrees, which was unfortunately not what the founders wanted to hear. They, in the end, decided not to continue development of the application as they considered the ROI on “fixing it” based on my recommendations not viable.

It’s been great to have our assumptions confirmed [more empirically].

Project Stakeholder


Takeaway–Talk is NOT cheap

This project was a terrific opportunity to stretch into using remote tools. I learned that I need to work on techniques to keep participants enthusiastic and on-script without rigidity for these more tedious and longitudinal studies. Reaffirmation was received that some of the most profound and interesting information was simply gleaned during the many interviews wherein people extemporaneously described their experiences and needs.