Eficode’s study offered new ideas on how to develop the Finnish World Wildlife Magazine

“Eficode implemented an excellent study for us and presented us with really interesting and important perspectives. We received some really inspiring development ideas for our work. This was a golden opportunity for us to make our great magazine even better.” - Joonas Fritze, Senior Communications Specialist, WWF 

From user testing implemented to content evaluation

At Eficode, we do UX research, user testing, and accessibility evaluations for varying digital services.  This time, we had the opportunity to implement a remote study for the World Wildlife Foundation in Finland. WWFT wanted an user-centric perspective for their publication, Finnish World Wildlife Magazine. The idea was to map out the user experience and collect development ideas to improve the magazine even more in the future.  

Customer research done 100% remotely

Our project started in March, right after COVID-19 started to hit Finland. In the project kick off we decided to implement the study by using a method called focus group interviews, which means inviting multiple people to discuss a chosen subject together (in this case the WWF magazine). Our first challenge was to find a way to conduct the research while simultaneously guaranteeing the health and safety of all those who took part. The solution was obvious: we needed to go 100% remote. 

“In addition to suitable and feasible technical solutions, remote research requires deep expertise from the facilitators in order to work.” - Mikael Sainio, Senior UX Specialist, Eficode 

Remote focus group interviews requires each of the following elements:  

A) technical solutions
B) plenty of skills and experience from the facilitator. 

Fortunately, we had a good handle on technical solutions. At Eficode, we use various digital tools in our day to day work. For this project, we needed a solution that was very easy to use for people who are not necessarily familiar with digital tools. After some consideration, we chose Zoom. With this choice, all our participants needed was a working internet connection, a laptop, and the meeting link. 

That’s when we encountered the tricky part. How would we organize a successful group interview digitally? According to our experience, the key to successful group interviews is to make the participants feel comfortable and safe. The atmosphere must support open communication and the sharing of personal opinions, otherwise the end result suffers

With the combined experience of a psychologist and senior UX specialist with a service designer and facilitator, we acknowledged that it could be challenging to create an ideal atmosphere in a digital environment. In live sessions, we create goodwill among participants with relaxed conversation starters, preparing all the needed materials and – most importantly – by offering tasty refreshments and snacks. So, before the digital session we brainstormed how we could optimize the circumstances and make them work in our favor. 

Thanks to our preparations, we were able to succeed very well in the focus group interviews, and WWF was very pleased with the results of the study.  WWF representatives took part in the interviews as listeners (of course, we were open about this to the participants), and they felt it was very important and useful to get feedback and ideas from actual end users. 

“I followed the focus group interviews as a listener. It made me realize how strong our brand actually is. We should treasure it in every possible way.” Juho Talja, Digital Communications Specialist at WWF 

WWF benefited from the research

Thanks to our qualitative research, Finland’s WWF was able to: 

  • Test and validate the user experience of their product (the magazine)
  • Understand their target groups needs even better and collect ideas for future improvement 
  •  Get feedback on their brand communication and brand image (which were both perceived very positively)