At XebiaLabs, we take pride in leading through example, building DevOps tools with the expertise from our own DevOps organization. But we also know that the software world is diverse, and our team’s experience building and releasing products is really just one voice of many that shape our products. That’s why talking to users is an important part of our process, right up there with integrated testing and blameless retrospectives.
Sometimes it’s visiting and seeing a user’s list of running releases. Sometimes it’s just listening to them talk about their most stressful deployment experience. Sometimes it’s asking for specific thoughts on a design idea. Regardless of why we reach out to users, it always helps us do a better job for them.
But the DevOps world moves quickly, and we know our users are busy! Sometimes it’s hard for us to know who to contact at an organization or what is the best time to reach a user with questions. So we’re launching a new system to help us help you: the XebiaLabs User Panel (XL UP).
User Research Leads to Great Products
The word “research” can summon images of clipboards, confusion, and hours in the lab or library. At XebiaLabs, it means inspiration, breaking the status quo, and releasing high-quality products. That’s why it’s so important for us to understand things like the headaches release managers feel when a release is delayed by a failure, or the complex infrastructure a developer has to consider when determining where to deploy their application. It helps us create great products that make a difference in the lives of our customers, to better understand their daily tasks and think of innovative ways to alleviate some of the challenges they’re feeling.
Research also helps our team capture the context that impacts user challenges. For instance, when the XebiaLabs team started thinking about how to improve notifications, they spoke to XL Release users. The team discovered that a lot of users struggle to know when they need to log in because they are rarely at their desks, so they don’t always see notifications. By expanding our inquiry to include not just the use of our product, but the world our users work in beyond XL Release, we were able to start brainstorming a more flexible and effective notifications feature—coming soon in the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 7.0!
The Benefits of Membership
For the XebiaLabs team, understanding the diversity of our users means talking to them regularly, so that for every feature design, release launch, and iteration we learn more about how our products fit into users’ workflow. To do that, we need more insight into who we can talk to about what, and when they’re available. So, if you’re a XebiaLabs user, we need your help!
By joining the XebiaLabs User Panel, you’ll:
- Help make our products better for your specific context
- Tell us when and how we should contact you for feedback so it’s convenient for you
- Get a unique voice in the future of our products, sneak peaks at upcoming releases, and other special member benefits!
Inspiration is Priceless
For us, one of the best outputs from user research is the excitement and inspiration it brings to our product team. Listening to users describe their workflows and challenges, seeing their realities, and taking the time to think from their perspective can open up a whole world of new ideas and possibilities. Research also reminds us that our products support real people, with unique experiences.
We hope you’ll join us!