Firstbeat Life is a subscription-based wellness solution for companies. It’s main goal is to support employees’ physical and mental well-being. The company’s success is founded on two decades of research in heart rate variations and a strong focus on user experience. Qvik provided Firstbeat with an objective expert evaluation of their user experience, evaluating Firstbeat Life’s flow from the first email all the way to the steps following measurement.
The customer and the product
Firstbeat Life helps companies engage their employees by improving their well-being on their own terms, making data-driven decisions and building an employee well-being strategy. In addition, it gives measurable results that boost efficiency, reduce health costs, improve employee resilience and foster a caring work environment. Over 10,000 organizations have benefitted from Firstbeat Technology’s analytics, and over 300,000 employees have already improved their well-being with Firstbeat.
The service includes four key components:
- Company-level reporting to manage wellness trends and risks;
- A clinical-grade ECG-based sensor for leading HRV and autonomic nervous system analytics;
- Firstbeat Life app for meaningful stress & recovery insights; and
- Personal coaching for additional support and advice.
Firstbeat Life bases its services on two decades of heart rate variability research. Participants first wear sensors for HRV (Heart rate variable) and 3D motion tracking for the specified time. After this, the Firstbeat Life app creates analytics and gives insights into the results. The company’s own HR or Firstbeat coaches help and support the employee along the way.
Impact-driven collaboration from the first
Before starting the evaluation process itself, we put our wise heads together with the customer to determine which parts of the customer journey would benefit from it the most. From the very beginning, the team went for creating real impact instead of writing nice-to-know reports.
“We’d already done several usability evaluations and a lot of user testing before starting the project with Qvik”, says Firstbeat’s Product Manager Jussi Järvenpää.
“Our main goal was to get a second expert opinion on the service journeys and product experience. After that, we wanted to get tools for realigning and prioritizing our focus. We chose Qvik as our partner because of their holistic approach and domain expertise.”
Customer factory analysis
At Qvik, we often use a tool called customer factory analysis to help determine which areas need the most attention. The process divides the product into five steps:
1) Acquisition 2) Activation 3) Retention 4) Revenue 5) Referral
Since Firstbeat Life is a B2B product, we didn’t focus on customer acquisition. Instead, the team identified the overall flow of using the app as the most important factor in this case.
Evaluation based on the end-users’ point of view
Even though the product is bought by companies or HR departments, users need to enjoy using the service. Otherwise you won’t be able to engage the actual end-users and keep them active.
A service like this should be built using best consumer service practices simply because it competes for the users’ time and attention with B2C services.
Our approach to evaluating Firstbeat Life was to review the whole flow from a customer’s point of view. The team evaluated the product from the very first sign-up message all the way to the last steps after measurement.
“As we had done plenty of end-user testing before, it was eye-opening to see and realize how much work there remains to be done and how even the smallest details can affect efficiency and the service experience”, Järvenpää says.
“We had already identified many of the issues, but it was still surprising to learn there were so many more.”
Qvik wanted to evaluate the user experience from a fresh perspective and give valuable feedback on what the product already does well and which areas need polishing. We used both iOS and Android to see if there were major differences in the app between the operating systems.
Seven phases of flow
We took screenshots of every screen in the flow and analyzed what was good about them and what could be improved.
The seven phases are sign up, delivery, packaging, onboarding, starting measurement, during measurement and after measurement.
When a user signs into the service, they get access to the app and have a measuring unit delivered to their home. The unit then measures their data for a specified time and generates results that give the user a deep dive into their wellbeing.
In addition to analyzing the digital product itself, we also audited how the user experience worked in real life. How the package was delivered, how it felt and what it was like to use the measuring unit for three days.
Documentation and keeping track
During the evaluation process, we took images and screenshots of every message and event we saw. We put everything into one humongous report and wrote our analysis based on that.
We analyzed the UX of each individual part, but also deep-dove into every single screen to analyze what was good in them and what could be improved. We commented on everything from inconsistent content to colors, use of icons, illustrations and CTAs.
“Qvik provided us with very detailed and easy to understand results regarding the defined user journeys and tasks. That helped us prioritize the findings in the product roadmap and plan concrete actions. Overall, it gave us confidence in the direction we are heading”, Järvenpää says.
At the end of the report, Qvik gave overall feedback and proposed next steps. This gives the customer a clear understanding of what we think could improve the product even more, and they can then implement those ideas into their roadmap if they see value in them.
Why hire outside experts?
One indisputable benefit of using outside expertise in evaluating your product or service is objectivity: An outside expert doesn’t have any stake in the company’s internal matters and relationships. They are thus free to focus solely on the user experience and can give unbiased feedback.
“Qvik always listened to us and answered our needs really well throughout the project. The results were brutally honest, and hence really valuable”, Järvenpää says.
“The feedback from the expert evaluation also really made us discuss and rethink things we might have overlooked earlier. Overall, the project had a superb ROI.”
It’s a familiar phenomenon: Something drives us crazy at first, say in a digital product or in your house, but then we get used to it with the passing of time, and it just stops bothering us. When you see a product for the first time, however, it’s easy to offer a fresh perspective.
In addition, a broad base of experience in the design of similar products gives experts an insight into which solutions tend to work best. At Qvik, we have worked with hundreds of companies and their digital products and services, learning the best practices of each industry along the way. It is our passion to make that knowledge available to our customers and help them build market-leading customer experiences.
Text: Mirkka Ollikainen – Senior Product Designer & Johanna Farin – Business Lead, Illustration: Mirkka Ollikainen