UX Research & Strategy
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Discovery Research for New Business Opportunities at ecobee

 

How might we explore new business opportunities with a service platform?

 

Synthesize discovery research from 20+ remote user interviews and deliver a service experience map to guide service design decisions


Objective

Challenge

One of the product teams was exploring new business opportunities in developing a new service that aims to achieve high recurring revenue for ecobee. They have conducted 15+ remote user interviews to further understand their potential customers and business opportunities but didn’t know what to do next with their collected customer call data.

My role

I was assigned as the user researcher to support this new product team and guide them through the research synthesis and reporting process. I have established a framework for data synthesis, led two collaborative synthesis workshops, and created a discovery experience journey map to help inform service design decisions and strategies.

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Project Detail

timeline

November 2018 (1 month)

Team

1 Product Manager + 1 Product Marketer + 1 User Researcher (me!)

Research Method

Remote user interview, journey mapping, jobs-to-be-done framework, service design

*Due to confidentiality, specific detail of the actual service cannot be revealed.

Roadmap

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About ecobee Inc.

ecobee Inc. is a smart home product company with ~500 employees that creates smart thermostats and light switches with built-in voice assistant that help millions of consumers save money, conserve energy, and seamlessly bring home automation into their lives. ecobee just wrapped up a $61 million Series C in May 2018, bringing the Toronto-based company’s total funding to $146 million.

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Research Synthesis

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Jobs-to-be-done insight

Since this new service involves both the users, customers and service providers, it is helpful to use the JTBD framework to capture the big picture of what users want to achieve when they use certain service. When the business opportunity is undefined, JTBD insights can effectively help us break away from the current solution in the market and discover new opportunities based on what users really want to achieve.

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Collaborative Workshop

I led two collaborative workshops with the team to create, cluster, merge, and prioritize JTBD insights together. Through these workshops, we built consensus and understanding of the user data together. During the collaborative workshop, we followed the following structure:

  1. Define the main actor and journey scope

  2. Identify stages and steps in the service process

  3. Iterate, refine, and add perspectives (i.e. lanes) on the map

  4. Discuss and merge different thoughts and perspectives

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Journey Map

I chose to create a journey map as the research deliverable for this discovery study because it can effectively visualize an end-to-end complex service experience with various actors and tools, so that each moment can be individually evaluated and improved. For this case, there were many observations and supplementary information that we need to include within the journey map to provide context for both the service provider and the user, where I have added additional lanes and backend support processes to visualize the journey.

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Next Step

Based on the discovery experience map for both the users and the service provider, the product manager was able to identify specific areas and steps where ecobee could create great value and solve the pain points of potential users. The experience map serves as a great reference for the product team when they design their business strategy and market strategy.