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February 2017: How FreshBooks persuaded its customers to accept radical change

Posted: January 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Change can be hard. Join Aaron Wright and Jeff Kraemer as they take us on a journey of change at Freshbooks:

At FreshBooks, we realized that we had to reinvent our 10-year-old product; it was inflexible, and riddled with tech- and UX-debt. But we had a problem: our customers generally loved the old product. So, we designed and built a new product in stealth. We tested and iterated every week for almost two years, until we had a product we believed our customers would love.

But how to get them to switch? Most companies just push users to “upgrade,” but the new product had fewer features—isn’t that a downgrade? Lots of companies force users to change, but we heard loud and clear that our customers needed to be in control. And we’re determined to give our users extraordinary experiences, so what’s an extraordinary “change” experience?

This is the story of how we learned just how much our customers hate change, and how we persuaded them to change anyways. We’ll go into detail on how we tackled this as a design problem, starting with phone call interviews in which we simply told them a new FreshBooks was coming, and listened. Then, onto a technique from the Lean Startup framework called the “Concierge MVP” that gave us cheap and early insight into how our customers would react. You’ll also hear about our Lean UX process, which gives our designers a way to pilot and test radical changes, validate them with our customers through usability testing, and iterate from their findings.

About the presenters

Aaron Wright stumbled into the field of UX while pursuing a degree in Graphic Design at York University. Originally just trying hone his web design and app-building skills, he soon learned that there was, in fact, an entire field devoted to the study of user experience itself and immediately changed focus. And hasn’t looked back. Now a UX Designer at FreshBooks since 2012, he’s livin’ the dream of taming complexity and trying to make boring work (like accounting) as close to fun as humanly possible.

Jeff Kraemer ran his first usability test back in 2001; this was before screen-recording software, so recording the test meant pointing a VHS videocamera at the screen. Since then, he’s spent time specializing in content strategy and instructional design, but he really loves being a UX generalist. Previously at Workopolis and Usability Matters, Jeff is now Principal UX Designer at FreshBooks.

Please register for this free event


Thursday February 16, 2017
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Communitech Hub, 3rd floor theatre
[View on Google Maps]

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