Why We Created Inkling Labs, in Five Questions
Welcome to the first entry in our Product Team Blog series, written by members of the Inkling Product team.
Innovation is the lifeblood of any cloud software company and is critical to serving the needs of existing and future customers. That is why Inkling is demonstrating our commitment to customer-focused innovation through Inkling Labs. Today, Sasha Blanton and Kathryn Dufau from the Inkling user experience team (UX) share what Inkling Labs is all about, why they conduct user research, how they do it, and what they achieve in the process.
1. What is Inkling Labs?
First, it’s important to note that Inkling is a user-centered organization. Working with our users is foundational to our product development process. We use research and insights to guide our decision-making.
Inkling Labs is our research program for getting feedback on new features & ideas. Those that sign up will be on the “go-to list” of customer users the Inkling Product team reaches out to when they need feedback on upcoming features. Signing up is among the best ways to ensure your needs get incorporated into our product development process.
Customers who sign up for Inkling Labs receive unique benefits, such as:
- Complimentary research visits. In these research visits, Inkling will investigate an issue or need that your end users are experiencing with Inkling. We’ll also provide you with our learnings and recommendations, which include general content feedback.
- Participation in our beta/early access programs for pre-released features. Customers that choose to opt into one of these are first in line to use and provide feedback on new features. Changes then get made to the final release based on customer feedback received during beta periods.
- Providing feedback via short, bi-monthly surveys. Our goal with these surveys is to engage with our Lab members in a lightweight way in between the longer, more formal research sessions we conduct. We use your feedback to inform future exploration into new features or pain points.
2. What types of research do you do in Inkling Labs?
We focus on getting quality feedback from customers and end users, i.e., qualitative research. Specifically, this includes interviews to: better understand problems and needs, get feedback on potential new features, and test the usability of new functionality. We also give Labs customers the option to pilot/beta new features so that we can get insights and make improvements before fully releasing them. Lastly, we conduct on-site visits with end-users and customers to learn more about how Inkling works in our users’ environments alongside the other tools they use.
3. How do you decide what projects you will get feedback on in Inkling Labs?
- We prioritize features and requests internally with our Product managers and Customer Success Managers.
- We also look at needs and pain points that we hear a lot from our customers.
- Sometimes it’s about exploring new technology, i.e., augmented reality.
4. What happens with the feedback gathered from Labs?
We summarize insights for stakeholders and customers to make better decisions in various ways. We also explore areas for new products and summarize customer pain points to evaluate in the future. This feedback can alter the course of whole products or have an impact all the way down to simple things like the placement of a button on a user interface.
- Stakeholders we often work with are: Product Management, Designers, Executive Staff, Customers, Engineering, Customer Success Managers
5. This sounds cool! How can I learn more?
If you are a current Inkling customer, reach out to your CSM to let them know you are interested and we’ll schedule some time to learn more! You can also sign up directly by clicking here.
TLDR: If something needs to be explored or researched to improve an Inkling product, it goes through Inkling Labs. If you want to make sure we build the features or products you want, sign up for Inkling Labs.
Disclaimer: Research on a specific topic is not a commitment to feature development.