Brandie Smith, Senior User Researcher
Learn how Pay-per-mile car insurance provider, Metromile, streamlines research with their own users with Research Hub from User Interviews.
User research at Metromile is not perfectly predictable, but it is nonstop. The main focus for Brandie’s team at Metromile these days is shipping new features and updates to their existing products to create fiercely loyal customers, and that means lots of talking to their users.
“Unlike traditional insurance companies that charge a flat fee, our pay-per-mile insurance provides customers with control over how much they spend every month—so, the less they drive, the less they pay. Insurance can already be a confusing or intimidating space and we really want to understand how our innovative technology can better enable our customers’ experiences,” Brandie explains.
The constant drumbeat of research is a good thing. It means The Product team can release and iterate rapidly. The challenge is finding participants for remote usability studies, user interviews, and occasional surveys.
Metromile is one of the earliest users of Research Hub. They joined our beta months ago, providing tons of great feedback—in-app messaging is coming soon!—and have launched six research projects through Research Hub.
Research Hub lets Brandie and team invite their own customers to participate in the research. They can easily upload users to their private population, then quickly invite them to any study with just a couple clicks. They can see the last time someone was invited to a study, applied, or participated to avoid user research-fatigue. Research Hub even takes care of distributing incentives to the participants. This means Metromile can move fast and flexibly while building a smarter and more robust system over time.
The main goal for Brandie and team is to improve mobile web and app experiences—from helping people get fast and accurate quotes, to understanding their pay-per-mile bills, all the way to helping customers file and resolve claims with AVA, their artificial intelligence claims system. Research Hub has allowed them to find quality participants faster and more effectively. This is a critical piece in keeping the feedback cycles moving and constantly improving the mobile experiences.
More broadly, bringing the voice of the customer into product discussions is a top priority at Metromile. Being able to get insights or feedback on a topic at any time allows the design team to bring that voice into conversations in a very real way.
Talking with their own customers regularly provides an important bonus opportunity as well—Brandie is able to uncover insights extending beyond the topic of a particular study. Recently, the warm-up portion of interviews with new customers yielded interesting insights into their onboarding experience. Brandie aligned these insights with Metromile’s consumer journey and shared it broadly within the company, highlighting wins and areas for improvement. Insights spanned across multiple streams of work and several teams were able to build empathy toward their new customer onboarding experiences.
Brandie has also launched two projects through Recruit, sharing “I’m always impressed by the quality of participants I’m able to recruit and schedule within such a short time frame, usually within 24 hours or less after launching my project.” By conducting a series of research sessions using both Recruit + Research Hub, Metromile’s design team learns about people’s pain points with car insurance in general (through Recruit), applies these learnings to their products, and then gathers actionable insights and feedback from their own customers (through Research Hub) to iterate on the designs before launching.