Meet the team — UX Research at Compare the Market

Kate Shipp
Aug 21 · 6 min read
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Nick in action!

Hello and welcome!

My name is Kate, and along with Juliana, Nick and Owen, we are Compare the Markets UX Research team.

Why not come in, take a seat, and let us share more about who we are and where we’re going.

But first a bit of history. Our journey starts back in summer of 2017 when Compare the Market were hiring their very first UX Researcher — me!

Fast forward three years and we’re a team of four, looking to grow further.

As the time frame suggests, our growth hasn’t happened overnight. A lot of hard work has gone into getting us here. And let’s be honest, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. We haven’t always got things right and we’ve got plenty of bruised heads from all that desk banging to show for it!

It’s been perseverance, support of the wider, and truly amazing, Customer Experience team and a lot of love from the Product community that’s got us to this point. A point that means we’re positively impacting the customer and the business in more ways than ever before.

We’re proud of our achievements so far and we’re keen to share a bit more about who we are, what we’re about as a team and where we want to get to.

Over to the team…

Nick

Hi, I’m Nick and I joined CTM back in April 2018 to become only the second UX Researcher. Since then I’ve worked on a huge variety of projects, been involved in strategy and showcased the work we do to the business in new ways. During that time I’ve also had the pleasure of watching the UX Research team expand, both in terms of people, but also influence.

One of the great things about CTM for me personally has been the range of work. For instance, my first project was tackling our Open Banking proposition which, after interviews, a diary study, four rounds of usability testing, and card sorts, is now live in the app. More recently I’ve also been involved in the hugely exciting Meerkat Music project, running a multi-stage discovery workshop over two weeks with two rounds of remote interviews and testing which are helping to steer our approach.

Alongside the project work though, I’ve really enjoyed the freedom CTM has given us to build the team and promote what we do, through things like showcase videos and presentations on behavioural psychology, all the way through to accessibility workshops with the RNIB. Crucially they’ve also given me the support, both in terms of flexible working, managerial support, tech and software, to bring it all to life.

Juliana

Olá! Juliana here. I’m in my first year as a Senior User Researcher at CTM and already have so much to share with you.

The Customer Experience team started working in cross functional mobs just after I joined. With that change we had the opportunity to discuss and create new ways of working and embed UX Research in most projects we work on. The UX Researcher dream, isn’t it?

I’m supporting our Energy, Broadband, Mobile and Business products Mob. I’ve run countless Userzoom studies, varying between usability testing, card sorting, benchmarking, and so on.

Luckily, we have an Insight’s team at CTM who help us to investigate specific markets, helping us to identify key users and come up with focussed research questions for our studies.

The variety of products and their different stages don’t leave space for boredom, believe me! But also bring the opportunity to be involved in other types of UX Research initiatives: discovery sessions at our own Lab, innovation workshops with external agencies, and the integration with third party companies who have their own UX Research function. Lots and lots of opportunities to learn and grow.

Overall, I find that I have the freedom and autonomy to do my work alongside fantastic colleagues who not only listen and implement my work-related suggestions, but also listen and care about me as human being.

Owen

Hello, I am Owen. Another newish member. I’ve been embedded in the car and motor teams since January 2020. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of scoping — designing, and delivering high impact research day in, day out. I’ve also taken on the mantle of resident lab tech support, developed video editing skills for creating insight videos, brushed off my old experimental psychology chops to become a userzoom wizard and even got a puppy.

For me, the standout Compare the Market UX Research experience has been twofold. First, I love my team and our open culture. I work with designers, optimisation specialists and product managers who rock and are on top of their game. They are very empathetic and human colleagues, who will support and cover you as you develop in your role.

Second, if you want to really own your research. I mean really own it. CTM’s UX team gives you the trust and opportunity to do so. I’ve tackled a boat load of research questions, dipping into a diverse toolbox of methods to deliver insights. I’ve never been told to reign in the scope because of costs, access to tools or because the approach I chose wasn’t how things were normally done. This has enabled me to deliver quality research I feel confident about. For me, a developing ‘mid-level’ UXer, this has helped consolidate years of research experience and enabled me to get much more seasoned in my practice.

Developing our future

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Sarah our graduate in action

CX are fortunate to be part of the company’s Digital graduate programme. That means we have a bunch of eager beavers keen to know more about what we do and how they can be involved. We’ve been working hard to build out a UX Research academy to support our grads, using our current crop as guinea pigs to help create and test our various learning modules.

Three of our grads, Sarah (who will be joining us full time as our very first Junior UX Researcher!), Omar and Rosie, have joined forces share their story about what they’ve been up while working in the team.

https://medium.com/p/808b23991f1f/edit

Mob life

Now you’ve met the team, let’s share more about our set up and future.

Just like the meerkats (Compare the Market’s lovable mascots) we’re set up in mobs. Each CX mob is made up of people (or mobsters) from each of our core disciplines — UX Research, UX Design and Optimisation.

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Our mobs are embedded into product areas across the business, helping to ensure the services we design and build meet the needs of our customers.

Since moving to our embedded mob structure at the start of 2020, we’ve seen the impact of our work shoot right up.

For a start, we’re much more efficient — spending less time getting up to speed with new product areas, less time reviewing briefs (a conversation usually does the trick) and less time producing chunky reports.

Instead we’re spending more time understanding user needs, building empathy and helping our product teams to prioritise the stories and features that will add the most value to our users, and ultimately the business.

Future thinking

We’re really excited about the future of UX Research at Compare the Market.

We’re confident our new set up will support our ambition to do more of the discovery work we’ve been craving to get stuck into.

We’ve also got a community of researchers who can share new ideas and build on some of the positive work and initiatives we’ve already kicked off.

Yes, they’ll be more challenges along the way. Yes, we still might not get everything right. But we hope our team first mentality and shared ambition to embed UX research into businesses decision making will make for fun and interesting times ahead.

Want to chat? You can find me on LinkedIn

Compare the Market

The people behind comparethemarket.com and the Meerkat App

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