Democratizing UX

Tomer Sharon
5 min readJan 12, 2017

I’m excited to share Polaris, a new tool WeWork UX has launched to help WeWork become a better listening organization.

Update: watch my 28-minute Leading Experience 2017 conference talk titled, WeWork’s Polaris: A System for Deciding What to Work on.

The problems we wanted to solve

We identified the following problems:

  1. Bad research memory. Here’s a scenario that should be extremely familiar to researchers in relatively large organizations: Every day or so, a researcher sends an email to the entire group of researchers in the organization asking if anyone conducted research about a certain topic, what did they do, find, and recommend. By the end of the day, about 10 responses come in with a glorious YES as the answer. 10 other researchers fail to respond although they should have because they did not remember what studies they ran 3 years ago. The researcher decides to run the study he or she is planning anyway. Repeat.
  2. Research silos. Many departments, teams, and individuals are conducting all sorts of research in an organization. The Data team, Analytics, a group that does A/B testing, researchers who do usability tests, and ethnographers who focus on fieldwork. Marketing is doing focus groups, product managers are interviewing users and go on roadshows, the call center is producing a top 10 list of call topics every month, somebody is measuring NPS, and for whatever reason everybody is doing surveys. Everyone is sharing their reports, results, and updates. Nobody is making sense of ALL of the piles of data being collected.
  3. Reports. The atomic unit of a research insight is almost always long, fluffy reports and slide decks. If a VP asks, “What do we know about how our users in Germany decide to buy from us?”, there is no one easy way to answer the question. Reports are extremely centered on what was found in a study and are not granular enough to be used in the future. Many studies start with specific goals but end up finding additional important data. Reports fail to convey this data and make it accessible in the future. In addition, you will not be able to persuade me that there is one person on the face of this Earth that wakes up in the morning saying, “YES, I AM GOING TO READ A REPORT TODAY!” Not even one. And I’m not even talking about…

--

--

Tomer Sharon

Cofounder & CXO at anywell, author of Validating Product Ideas, It's Our Research, & Measuring User Happiness. Ex-Google, Ex-WeWork, Ex-Goldman Sachs. 2∞&→