Research & Design, Strategy, & Speaking

Discovery Research: Spain and Netherlands

Discovery Research: Spain and Netherlands



I went to Barcelona and Amsterdam to help uncover insights about the European market. The main goals were to

  • Discover why our customers were not engaging with and using our web application
  • Discover how mobile technology is currently being used in the space
  • Develop recommendations for the European market 


I conducted interviews and contextual inquiry with six customers in Spain and the Netherlands. They performed a variety of roles, from managerial/owner to desk user. During our visits, we observed their usual workflow, what technology they are currently using, and used a semi-structured interview guide to ask about barriers to technology use as well as what works well for them currently. 


Web app usage

  • I found that the major barrier to use and adoption of the web application was a gap in instruction on behalf of account managers. Users weren't adequately trained on the benefits of the app nor on customization possibilities. The users' perception was that the app was "too bloated" for their needs, and they were concerned about being able to personalize access based on role. 
  • The other major finding was that the users were unaware the company even offered a web app, and were using a third party solution. 
  • We recommended to the Product Owner to increase training for both account managers as well as customers to provide a customized web solution that meets their customers' needs. 

Mobile technology

  • I found that one of the major stoppers to adopting mobile technology in Europe was the cost of roaming charges, which were often prohibitively expensive. 
  • The other major stopper was the low adoption of smartphones by desk users. 
  • Customers who had users without smartphones and/or data plans relied heavily on WhatsApp and SMS messaging to keep costs down. They also developed creative solutions that would not use as much data. 
  • There was a great deal of interest in a mobile solution. Users felt it would be beneficial and really streamline their workflow, but there was a major concern over data cost.
  • We recommended that the Product Owner consider holding off on releasing a mobile solution for now being that roaming charges were slated to go away in summer of 2017, but that once that major barrier was removed, a mobile solution would be extremely valuable to their customers.