Snapask's Homepage Usability Study

As a user researcher intern at Snapask, I led a mixed-methods usability study for the new homepage of Snapask’s mobile app. I delivered an in-depth usability report that resulted in four design changes to provide easier navigation for 200,000+ users.

My Role
UX Researcher  
2 weeks
Unmoderated & moderated usability testing, survey,
1 UX Researcher (me)
3 Product designers
2 Developers
1 Product manager
How can we ensure a seamless user experience for both our current and new users with the new landing page design as Snapask evolves into an integrated Q&A and content learning platform? 
As the only UX researcher on the team, I was in charge of designing, conducting, and overseeing this research project.
Understand Team's Assumptions
Research can often begin with a broad and vague directive. I scheduled one-on-one chats with different stakeholders to understand what they wanted to learn and what assumptions they had about the new homepage. Here's what I've unpacked:

and it led to three research questions: 
Scoping, Planning, Recruiting
Optimize Cross-Country Research with Mixed-Methods and Tools

Considering the cross-country scope of our research in Hong Kong and Taiwan, I recommended a mixed-methods approach consisting of unmoderated usability testing, moderated usability testing, surveys, and interviews to obtain user insights. Our plan for Hong Kong involved unmoderated usability testing and interviews to uncover general patterns, whereas in Taiwan, we aimed to observe user behavior in real-time through moderated usability testing and interviews.

Our designers mentioned different paths for the task. To determine the most effective one, I used research tools like Maze, which provide valuable insights such as success rates, time taken, and heat maps to give my team more usability context.

Unmoderated - (HK)
Moderated & Interview (TW) 
Survey - (HK & TW)
Maze - unmoderated testing
Figma - moderated testing
Miro - insight synthesis
1.  Ask a math question
2. Select specific tutor
3. Check available question token
4. Review purchased plan
Usability for All: Recruiting Both Existing and New User

Since most of our hypotheses focus on existing users, we recruited HK & TW users for testing using a screener sent via in-app notification. We ensured representativeness by screening students by age, gender, and purchase plan.

We recruited 27 users for the Hong Kong unmoderated test and 3 users for the Taiwan moderated test, along with 5 Taiwanese high school students who had never used Snapask to provide insight into how students might interact with the new homepage.

Pilot Testing
Good Research Requires Iteration

Before the official research sessions, I sent an unmoderated testing link to six colleagues - three UXers and three non-UX professionals - to identify any confusion in the testing tasks and survey.

Making Sense of Data: Connecting Quotes and Clicks

The three data we used were from from interviews, surveys, and click data from zoom unmoderated usability testing. For both moderated and unmoderated testing, I record my observations and transfer them, along with user quotes, to a Miro board for further research synthesis.

Due to the time constraints of this program, I used affinity diagramming to quickly group together data points and identify key insights that could help address my hypothesis.

From Findings To Actionable Design Recs

After the analyze and synthesis the findings, I transformed them into actionable design recommendations to help my team quickly grasp the key takeaways from the research sessions. Here are some example slides that I've shared with my team: 


Implemented design recommendations
I proposed four design recommendations and they were all accepted and implemented. These design changes have made a significant impact on the experience of over 200,000+ students who use the new home page.

Help team talk in number
In our product meetings, I've been noticing a lot of discussions on the misclick rate. It made me realize that, just like quotes, numbers can be a powerful tool in telling the story of the user experience and helping designers visualize the impact of their work.


Let good tools help you
Knowing what research tools to use is a crucial skill, especially for unmoderated testing. These tools offer vital context that compensates for the absence of in-person observation.

Involve your team asap
UXR multiplies team learning about users. Since stakeholders have limited time, lightweight methods like displaying user quotes in meeting rooms can give them a taste of the research process.

Moving Forward

Build impact framework
My report resulted in design changes, but I'm uncertain of its impact on stakeholders. To measure impact, I'll ask stakeholders how quickly they make decisions after receiving an insight.

Document more
Including my design reasoning, research influence, and user impact would help track my progress and provide context for future team members.

Feedback from the team
"I was able to see that not only is she smart, she also has a growth mindset and is able to reflect and learn through asking the right questions. The answers to her questions even led to changes in our 3 year product plan. I was constantly surprised and impressed by her creative approach, which is a testament to how her understanding of human-computer interaction theories has penetrated and become part of her thought process. We often rely on Meng-Hsin's comments to help us gain a new perspective and to come up with solutions that open doors full of possibilities for our product going forward."
- Jason Wang (VP of Design @ Snapask) 

"Sonia is a brilliant and gifted UX researcher who really understands how to find valuable insights and advocate for users. She has a strong desire for creative problem solving and the ability to plan, manage and execute end-to-end UX research projects."
- Ben (UX designer @ IBM) 

"Inspiring, motivating, and fun! I had the pleasure of working with Sonia in the UX team at Snapask for over 6 months. She's great at handling multiple projects simultaneously, sharp at analysing and finding insights, and creative in storytelling. She also brightens everyone's mood in the office!"
- Vera (UX writer @ HelloFresh)