They’re used to researching Shoppers and customers in order to help solve problems. Now it’s time to turn the spotlight on Everli’s UX Department as we do our own research into what it’s really like to work for this vital team. If you’re interested in applying for any of our open UX roles, Federica shares some brilliant insights into what you can expect at Everli and why she defines the company as “human”.
I’m a senior UX researcher and we are part of the design team, so a team within a team you could say. Despite technically being part of a design team, which as a whole is focused on user experience (and by the user I mean customers, shoppers, retailers and brands), the UX researcher’s role is quite different from that of a designer. We concentrate specifically on identifying problems and opportunities, whereas the designers are focused more on solving these problems and designing solutions that turn the opportunities into actualities.
A typical day for me could include analysing data, working on scripts for interviews and surveys, and testing the interface. I also have a managerial role and dedicate a good bit of time to working with my team. So, I would say no two days are the same but my main focuses are research design, data collection, analysis reporting, and meeting with stakeholders.
I would say the mission is in two parts. First and foremost, our aim is to help people by meeting their basic needs. We want to make our customers’ lives easier by eliminating problems that prevent them from successfully reaching their goal, their goal being to get their grocery shopping done.
Secondly, we then want to exceed their needs by making this experience unique. So, solving a problem but in a cool way. By succeeding in this, we may change a person’s habit from shopping in-store to shopping online but that’s a knock-on effect, it’s not the mission. The mission is to help people in their daily life using human-centric UX design.
The biggest challenge is understanding what people need. It sounds easy, but it’s actually harder than you think because there is always a gap between what a person expresses the problem to be and what the problem actually is. Our main challenge is to help people in their daily life, because if we misidentify the problem and put all our energy into solving it, then we’ve just wasted a lot of time and resources.
Another big challenge is being able to balance user needs and business needs, because they don’t always align and yet they are both important to the success of Everli’s shopping service. Our role in UX is to be in the middle, to talk with both sides and figure out ways to compromise or align in a way that is beneficial to both.
I have been working here for two years, having previously worked as a clinical technician and then as an academic researcher. Although they are completely different industries, it’s actually not unusual for UX people to come from highly contrasting backgrounds. UX is a relatively new field, so most of us started out doing something else. But rather than it being a negative thing, this difference in experience is something that we actively look for in new employees. The more different our industry backgrounds are the more we are able to combine our far-reaching knowledge to face different challenges. My colleague has a background in economics, for example; she was doing research at a university. She doesn’t know anything about clinical neurology, and I know equally as little about economics, but we are able to work together because research technique is our common ground. We then have the opportunity to expand our knowledge by talking to each other.
When I first started working as a UX researcher, I wasn’t aware of the difference between the structure of big companies, medium companies, young start-ups, or agencies. Now I know that the goals in terms of UX, culture and career development are quite different between them all. So, first I would advise applicants to identify the kind of company they are applying to so that they can be sure what they will be doing matches their needs.
Once the candidate is employed, or even throughout the interview process, I would encourage them not to feel too overwhelmed with all the information, all the people, etc. Between B2B and B2C we have four different user groups for example. It seems complicated at first, but it’s a good complexity, it’s exciting!
I prefer B2C because I like working with people and doing something that has a positive social impact. Even something as unassuming as helping people do their grocery shopping has a social impact because it could be that the customer is immobile, or has children, etc. so getting to a grocery store is not an easy task.
The same goes for our Everli shopper employees. The UX team researches their jobs to make sure they are working in a good environment. We don’t want them to just deliver groceries like robots, we want them to be part of Everli, so we try to figure out where they get stuck and how to make their jobs easier and more rewarding.
Having the freedom to move around is my strongest motivation. Since I started working almost 15 years ago, I had to move from my village to big cities, so I was never able to work in a place where I truly felt at home. No matter how much I loved my job, this was always a strong pain point for me. Now, working remotely, I have the freedom to decide where I want to live and even to easily move to a holiday destination and work from there for a week. This is what keeps me motivated, knowing how special it is!
Everli is not the kind of company that offers these kinds of benefits as a superficial gesture, you know where they say you’ll work remotely, but really it’s more hybrid and you can’t travel anywhere. They really do trust their employees and understand how allowing that flexibility is beneficial for the company in the long run. As part of the UX team I help to write their employee surveys, so I have seen first-hand the genuine excitement in getting the employees’ feedback, the commitment in reading the responses and the desire to implement employee suggestions.
It’s for these reasons that I would define Everli as ‘human’. Not only in the logo, or the deliberate human-sounding company name, but Everli’s human touch extends into the day-to-day activities of everyone connected with the brand from their customers, to their shoppers, and employees.