Microsoft believed that if we’re living in a 3D world, doing something 2D is unnatural and forced. Keeping that thought in mind, they wanted to experiment if they can leverage technology using AR/VR to give the users an immersive experience on data visualization and analysis.
An intrapreneurial initiative in Microsoft was creating a new experience on how people will examine and use data. 2D representation of data is restrictive, not experiential and limits the ability to explore different facets of data, so Microsoft created a low-fidelity prototype of the product.
UCC was approached for three purposes: to validate and recommend if this was the right stage for conducting user research, identify the right approach for tackling the challenge, and articulate the steps to reach the next stage of product evolution.
A combination of in-depth interviews and concept validation studies was conducted with varied target profiles recruited from across industries ranging from individuals who create data visualisation, use it to present and share forecasts to the decision-makers who interpret the data. UCC created scenarios for product evaluation, conducted studies in a usability lab and gathered feedback from users.
New critical stages in the user’s journey were identified that helped Microsoft understand the current functions of the people using the product. UCC uncovered how people create and use data and mapped the entire user journey.
Initiatives like these bring the confidence in the leadership to get the required funds and resources to make a product a reality. User research at the right stage helps you answer questions like should we go ahead with this idea or kill it? Is it worth spending our money on it? Is it aligned to our corporate goals?