We are excited to announce the launch of Tanium User Research, a new research program that gives our User Experience team the opportunity to learn directly from the people who secure, control, and manage IT assets. Great products are useful and usable, not just one or the other, and first-hand research is necessary for designing solutions that accomplish both goals.
At Tanium we understand that a strong commitment to ease-of-use is a win for everyone. Let’s look at why this is so important.
A look back at usability in enterprise software. Enterprise software largely manages complex domains and is traditionally known for being hard to use. Historically, companies that created this type of software invested little in user research and design. Perhaps because its users were “technical” people—special beings who, due to their knowledge base, were somehow exempt from the pain and suffering that mere mortals feel when dealing with frustrating online experiences. Perhaps also at play was the assumption that the complicated subject matter could not possibly be made easier to learn and use, because you know… complexity.
In the past, it was far too common to hear people speak about “administrators” as if they were superhuman, discounting the need to make anything easier for them. Designers focused much of their time on smoothing and improving experiences for non-technical users, and the technical folks were the last to be tended to, if at all.
Attitudes have shifted. Whether it’s controlling a rocket, performing brain surgery, or managing and securing your entire IT infrastructure, there are now designers like ours who focus on ensuring these types of complex operations can be performed as effectively, efficiently, and easily as possible. We believe the real superhero magic happens when User Experience teams and the people they serve connect and work together.
Why create a formal program? At the heart of Tanium User Research is our mission to build an ongoing research practice that supports the User Experience team’s ultimate goal: creating world-class user experiences. Our design team will leverage the knowledge we learn from you to make evidence-based, user-focused decisions. This greatly reduces the guesswork and assumptions that can lead to frustrating experiences. The designer’s long-held maxim—“You are not your user”—very much holds true. You are the expert at what you do everyday, and we are here to learn.
How does the program work? We are creating a direct line of communication between our User Experience team and you, the people who use our products. Using investigative approaches with a rigor that serves to limit bias and recall errors, we will observe, listen, and learn.
We hope many of you will collaborate with us in activities such as field studies, interviews, surveys, and usability testing. While other avenues exist for Tanium customers to offer formal and informal feedback, this program uses more scientific approaches to ensure the User Experience team gets the information it needs. We target and recruit participants in the appropriate numbers, use techniques that uncover details and observations that are otherwise missed, and elicit and collect data in ways that can be normalized across participants to show patterns. Through meaningful research methods such as these, we glean the insights that ensure our design decisions directly benefit you.
How to get involved. In a nutshell—we want to make your job easier by designing “frictionless” experiences. We need your help to make that happen. If you are excited by the opportunity to influence the direction of Tanium products, join our program now to be notified about upcoming studies that match your areas of interest. If you would like to learn more first, have a look at our Tanium User Research program page or send an email to u[email protected].
We look forward to this new chapter in Tanium’s story, and hope to see you featured in it!
About the Author: Sonia Weaver is a Senior Design Researcher and Program Director of Tanium User Research. She has spent decades giving a voice to those who use software to achieve their job goals, helping to create product experiences that change people’s work lives for the better.