Empathizing Through User Interviews

At a glance


Elucd needed a way to boost cross-functional transparency and collaboration in their user interview process to ensure each interview was as valuable as it could be for their entire team.


With Slab, the user interview process, instructions, and questions are documented to create a templetized, easily discoverable, and long-form record of the user's answers.

Key Points

  • Enables cross-functional participation that encourages team members to get involved
  • Democratizes valuable information for increased visibility
  • Ensures smarter product decisions that are backed up with real user insights

Elucd is a startup that helps city leaders and law enforcement learn more about their communities and the effects that their actions can have.

For a police force, for example, knowing that residents in a certain precinct don't feel safe around officers is a vital piece of data. Elucd helps them turn the gathering of such information into a science.

To understand what kinds of data local leaders need in order to be most effective, Elucd runs user interviews—an art that Slab has helped Elucd turn into a rigorous and ongoing science.

With Slab, the readout that we're getting from our users is more granular and more fruitful.

Picture of Kamille JohnsonKamille JohnsonSoftware Engineer

Each user interview that Elucd performs runs off a checklist created in Slab. New interviews start from the appropriate standardized template, run off the included script, and can then be organized in the right folder, to be found later.

Kamille Johnson, software engineer at Elucd, says, “We created scripts as an opportunity to empower everyone on the team to be able to perform user interviews. With Slab, the readout that we're getting from our users is more granular and more fruitful.”

Meticulously documenting their interview process in this way ensures that every member of the team has the tools they need to conduct an effective user interview. It democratizes the process, aligns interview goals, and creates empathy for the customer across the entire team. Standardized user-interview documentation in Slab also makes it easier to dig back into that customer data in the future.

“Sometimes we want to return to those user sessions two or three months out, and it's helpful to have the granular notes in Slab that outline verbatim what the user was saying. We can go back and have a good context of the conversation,” Johnson says.

It's that kind of contextual documentation that, for Elucd, leads to smarter product decisions. For their customers, it means better data on their communities—and new insights into how to keep their communities safe and happy.

Get buy-in through cross-functional collaboration

Conducting user interviews gives every member of the Elucd team an opportunity to connect with customers one-on-one. These relationships provide valuable context and help showcase the real-world value of the product—making it easy to align daily tasks and commitments with a larger company goal.

“It has upped the ante in terms of the buy-in that each person on the team has about making sure that they are holding themselves accountable for their own work,” Johnson says. “That kind of opens up the opportunities for people on the team to expand the work that they're doing.”

By documenting best practices for their user-interview process, Elucd makes it easy for their whole team to get involved. A team member who is empowered to speak directly with customers is better able to understand the specific needs and goals associated through that feedback.


Make information more accessible

With user interviews directly accessible and easily searchable in Slab, the Elucd team can have more-informed conversations about the product. Everyone has access to the same background information, decreasing the need for catching up and leading to more value-driven conversations from the start.

Because one of Elucd's core values is bringing data to the conversation, the information collected needs to be accessible at all times.

“We strongly encourage everyone on the team to read the sessions, because we normally just have one, maybe two people from our team in each session. It's really important that everyone on the team and everyone in the company understands what feedback we're getting from our users,” Johnson says.

By focusing on cementing the groundwork for how user interviews are conducted in Slab, conversations are documented, and information is distributed throughout the company.

Build a more customer-focused product

As a tool that tracks qualitative data, such as community sentiments, it's vital that Elucd understand how to provide actionable data for their users. User-interview documentation in Slab provides high-resolution feedback on how Elucd's users interact with the product, as well as what kind of data they find most valuable.

“Once we have a feature really thought out and we have conceptually validated it, then we'll start to build designs and prototypes,” Johnson says.

“We'll return to users and ask, does this make sense? Does this user experience actually get at what you're after? Or do you have more questions? Are things confusing?”

A growing repository of user feedback in Slab helps Elucd see how their product is either meeting, exceeding, or falling short of customer expectations. This informs their ability to make smarter product decisions that support the customer's goals as well as the company's.

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