Ongoing Research Program Case Study:

Building a UX Research Program for an Enterprise Service Application

Learn how an enterprise company created a scalable research program that transformed its call center user experience and drove measurable business results.


Many companies invest heavily in the UX of their customer-facing software yet ignore the usability of employee-facing systems.


Here’s an overview of the key steps we followed to create this program.

1. Discovery & Pilots

We started with a discovery research process that included stakeholder interviews, industry research, and most importantly, call center field visits. At the call centers, we observed and interviewed 20+ service reps, helpdesk staff, supervisors, trainers, and more — providing critical data for the following steps.

Based on what we learned, we quickly launched a few pilot usability studies with reps. We captured key learnings about recruiting, moderating, and working with the design and development teams.

2. Research Cycle Design

An initial design of our repeatable 10-day research cycle. 

3. Program Design

4. Phased Rollout

The initial research schedule for the program.

5. Panel Building

6. Story Sharing

7. Constant Iteration



UX Transformation

In 3 years, we completed over 60 research studies through this program — across a wide range of software features/flows and supported by a diverse set of research methods. Even high-quality, recurring UX research often gets forgotten in a report and fails to drive change. By creating a highly collaborative research process that syncs with the company’s agile development cycle, we’ve helped the UX team achieve a high implementation rate for research study recommendations.

Corporate Visibility

The program received praise throughout the company, from executives to HR. It was a finalist for a company-wide quality award and was promoted in public-facing employee recruitment materials.

New Units, New Programs

As word has spread, new business units have approached the UX team about rolling this program out to their applications and teams. We’ve helped to launch spinoff programs for other call center applications. The program has also served as a poster child and a starting framework for new research programs in other product areas.

Business ROI

Best of all, the UX team has shown a return from the program that resonates with metrics-focused executives: significant cost savings from faster and more productive call center reps, tied back to research-driven usability improvements.

GEICO promoted the research program on its public-facing careers site on

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