Improving Research Practices

UX Designer
UX Researcher

Everfi is a large for-good company that values the practice of design and research. While at Everfi I have worked to advocate and implement more impactful research practices.


Although Everfi has a very comprehensive research practice baked into their product development process. I discovered that Everfi may not be getting the most impact or meaningful results out of their user test. Some of the problems that needed to be addressed were:

  1. A majority of users on our course side are students we need parental consent in order to conduct test. This frequently created issues where parents stepped in for students to complete the test, which in turn resulted in inconsistent testing results.
  2. Testing is a baked in process within the Everfi product development cycle. This practice, while not inherently bad, typically prompts us to usability test without having a real goal in mind. This takes time away from more meaningful testing.

The solutions to the problems we faced were as follows:

  1. A team member and I worked to reframe the testing directions. This iteration explicitly asks parents to take a step back and allow their children to be in the driver seat. This change was a success and allowed us to generate more accurate results and gauge if students actually understood the information.

  2. Work with Key Stakeholders to uncover the root reason for testing. This allows us to really understand what we are testing for and what success looks like. This also pushes us out of the need to test every little interaction and/or established pattern, and push for more meaningful testing that really drives results.


Identifying pain points: While each problem is faced with its own challenges, it all begins with identifying the pain points that are impeding the team from being as efficient and impactful as possible.

Stakeholder Buy-in: After identifying the problem, I brought the information to my my VP of Design. I made a case for why these changes were important, and how improving these areas could make a positive impact within our team.

Taking action: Since I had the buy-in of senior stakeholders, it made it much easier to take action and implement solutions I believed would help the team. This also prompted the VP of Design to set aside time for us as a design team to surface other issues we may have been having, and propose solutions

Measure Results: While on this journey to improve research practices I have noticed that there has been an increase in the accuracy of results produced as well as a new found resurgence of design taking more ownership over the research process.

  1. Buy in is just as important as identifying the problem: As designers we are trained in identifying problems but often times we forget that identifying the problem is the first step. If you can't get the support of others, the change you are trying to drive can often times fall on deaf ears. So, selling and hypothesizing why a change could be impactful is crucial.