The South Florida Business Journal celebrated their 2014 award breakfast naming the top 40 Under 40 in business leadership in Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, which included Key Lime Interactive’s Founder and CEO Ania Rodriguez in this year’s esteemed group. Rodriguez has rightfully claimed her spot as an honoree and her thriving Doral based company has proven why she is an asset to the user experience industry and gained recognition as a young entrepreneur.
July 9, 2014 – There are individuals who let life happen to them, and there are others who drive the direction, pace and outcome of their days. Ania Rodriguez is the latter. A decade ago Ania was neatly inserted into large corporations, managing projects and conducting research in proper form and fashion. All the while she was taking careful note of what was working and what was failing around her; both professionally and socially. When the opportunity presented itself, 5 years ago, Ania, without hesitation, immediately sprang into action. With an entrepreneurial spirit, armed with wisdom and experience, Ania founded Key Lime Interactive and within 5 days was hard at work on her first client engagement. Her first client was a Fortune 500 company, and in her heart she knew she could only go up from there.
Flash forward to present day. Ania is surrounded by products that she and her team have played a role in improving. From auto insurance mobile applications to fetal heart monitors, from the processor in your laptop, to the signage at your local pharmacy to the tablet checkout process at your favorite clothing retailer, Key Lime Interactive is touching the lives of users far and wide. “It’s satisfying to play a role in the development of products across so many different industries! Go KLI team!” exclaims Ania in a recent interview with a journalist seeking her feedback about the “future of the mobile wallet”.
The South Florida Business Journal had a tough decision to make during their selection process, with nearly 1,400 applications submitted and only 40 available slots for recipients of this admirable and respected award.
In the last year alone, Key Lime Interactive has accomplished several commendable achievements:
Opened Brooklyn, N.Y. and San Francisco offices
Established a new syndicated report servicing the Cruise Industry
Expanded their client list by 20%
Expanded their employees by 100%
Joined the UX Fellows Global UX Consortium
Selected to deliver a keynote presentation on Key Lime Interactive’s eye tracking study at the 16th annual Human Computer Interaction conference in Crete, Greece.
“Women Owned and Operated” should be adjusted to “Mother of Young Children Owned and Operated”. A glimpse into the day-to-day of Ania Rodriguez, CEO, should inspire (or scare!?) women to pursue their professional careers and maintain family balance. With two young children (under 5) at home, a traveling husband and a booming international company, Ania has no choice but to find balance. A single day can feel like a marathon with looming client deadlines, cupcakes needed at preschool, new hires, webinar presentations to a global audience, catching early flights or redeyes to share her smile with prospective clients, negotiating which shoes are weather appropriate with a toddler and so much more. Ania carries this balanced approach to care and nurture Key Lime Interactive’s employee development programs. Continued dedication to focusing on the strengths of her hand selected team, Ania perpetuates the long-term growth of Key Lime Interactive and its greater team by focusing on personal and professional development from the inside out. The South Florida Business Journal will be hosting a luncheon on August 1st to honor these young achievers for all their notable success. Learn more about the thirty-nine other 40 Under 40 honorees here.
About Key Lime Interactive
KLI is a customer experience research agency with proven excellence in both quantitative and qualitative user and consumer testing. To serve our growing client list of Fortune 100 companies, we conduct competitive research, true intent / voice of customer studies, and prototype studies using quantitative methods. Additionally, we’re experienced in moderating one-on-one interviews/ usability studies, focus groups, and eye-tracking studies for both the traditional and mobile web. Ultimately, our goal is to empower teams to use consumer/user experience data at any and all phases of product development; from strategy to implementation. We aim to provide the true perspective of target users and build exceptional consumer-driven solutions.
By: Jonathan Knopf
Today’s last click technology model of advertising has become the bane of the users. They are flooded with various types of schemes to convince them to click on an advertisement in hopes of becoming the 1% of traffic that generates profit. If companies play their numbers correctly and have a large amount of capital to invest in high volume synthetic traffic, they will most likely see monetary results, but at what cost? Those tactics don’t give rise to the type of viral media that makes a brand demanded; positive user experiences do just that.
Earned media is the term used to describe positive reviews, high net promoter scores (NPS), and the word of mouth buzz that seems to skyrocket companies into success. To earn that media, you need to create a good user experience by researching the motivations and trends of your target audience. User Experience (UX) research finds great value in the SMART approach for ROI by emphasizing the importance of the user while defining Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Track-able goals. Lets illustrate a breakdown of how this methodology works well for UX with examples from previous studies and best practices. S.M.A.R.T. Specifying a target area of improvement allows businesses to spend their resources efficiently by clearly defining expectations and goals. This clarification should answer the 5 W’s and provide a framework for documenting the starting point of their UX research.
o What’s expected?
o Why is it important?
o Who’s involved?
o Where is it going happen?
o Which attributes are important? Measurable and concrete criteria allow businesses to discover and delineate areas for improvement and set benchmarks to track the effects of modifications. If it’s not measurable, it’s not possible to know whether a team is making progress towards successful completion. 5 H-questions that UX researchers could ask include:
o How much will it cost?
o How many participants do we need?
o How will I know when it is accomplished?
o How will we capture the data?
o How will we present the findings?
Achievable and realistic short-term goals establish a conduit and ensure long-term business objectives are met. Promising attainable results builds confidence in your research objectives and encourages continued collaboration. It’s important to accurately assess resources prior to defining objectives, thus some questions UX researchers should answer are:
o What goals are most important?
o What personnel will conduct the research?
o How long will it take to deliver results based on current resources?
o What improvements can be made?
o What would be the impact of improvements? Relevance is critical throughout all stages of research. Goals must certainly be relevant to your clients’ business objectives but the study design must also be relevant to your target audience. Where the user clicks first or last may not be enough to simulate the user’s true experience. Some important questions take into consideration include but are not limited to the following:
o Are the tasks relevant to your participants/focus group?
o Does the environment mirror the true user experience?
o Are the recommendations relevant to your client?
o Do the goals match, leverage, or further the previous research efforts?
o How can I make qualitative results relevant to my client? Time-related goals are perhaps the single most important aspect of any business. Research is a production on many levels, thus it’s absolutely essential to set goals within a time frame and clearly define a timeline for deliverables. A commitment to a deadline is important to establish a sense of urgency for producing results. It’s imperative to know:
o When will the research be conducted?
o When will results be delivered?
o When will adjustments based on the first round of testing be made?
o When can you begin follow up testing to measure the impact of improvements?
o When will all long-term goals and payments for research be fulfilled?
The SMART protocol brings about many important questions that encourage proactive solutions to common problems. Designing research to reflect the answers to these questions will remove all of the guesswork out of testing and align your goals with your client’s business objectives. UX researches can feel confident that they will increase their clients’ earned media by making the client’s satisfied users new and empowered brand ambassadors. This will be accomplished by making sure that the motivations of the specific users are measured in their truest forms, goals are attainable, recommendations are relevant, and they are provided to the client in a timely fashion.
At Key Lime Interactive, we’ve provided competitive research analysis in the Auto Insurance and Banking Industry mobile app offerings for years. Now, on the heels of TripAdvisor reporting a milestone of 100 million iPhone and Android app downloads, we decided to take a quick peek at four top travel booking apps to see how they compare. We selected four brands and evaluated the Android app flight finding and booking process to find out which have the best usability, ranking them not only on number of features, but execution.
Our Methodology The apps were awarded points or scored based on two criteria
The total number of available capabilities to users
The successful execution of each
In review, each app was credited for an integrated capability, such as sorting, filtering, alerts, or the ability to save flight information. After this we looked at the execution of each feature to provide more nuance to the rankings, such as the number of sorting/filtering options provided or the flexibility of alert settings for apps that had flight alerts. The final positioning of each app in our ranking is based on a combination of those two measurements.
Expedia is far and above the best looking app of the this group, from the landing screen that scrolls hotel and flight destinations via colorful pictures, to the search results loading screen that mimics the view out your airplane window. The app is also extremely quick and responsive, allowing both departing and return flights to be selected without any extended load time. However, there is not much that stands out in this app beyond those features. The flight search has only a few basic options. The results page and booking engine are relatively sparse, with only four sorting options available for results. Although the aesthetics are exceptional, the lack of functionality in Expedia’s app results in a lower ranking in comparison to the other apps we reviewed.
Priceline, which acquired Kayak in June 2013, ranked just ahead of Expedia in the find flight and booking analysis. The app has a strong branding message. William Shatner and Kaley Cuoco are available in the lower left hand corner to chauffeur you through a flight search. During the search process, Priceline saves recent airport searches in a list, which rewards the user for repeated uses of the app. The results page also provides six different sorting options, from Number of Stops to Airline, which is great for users who want to avoid specific airlines or too many layovers. While the remainder of the experience is solid, Priceline lacks to the bells and whistles of some of the apps in this competitor set.
TripAdvisor’s strengths are apparent from the minute you land on the results page, where sorting and filtering options are available. This allows users to select time of day for departure or arrival, the number of stops, or to view specific airlines. Additionally, users can request alerts for flight prices from within the app, and the bottom bar links to comparison rates from other providers making it easier for bargain hunters to find the best price. Finally, users who want to save their information for later can e-mail their itinerary after selecting flights – a very convenient feature for frequent travelers who need to keep their itinerary close at hand.
Kayak’s no-frills interface belies a wealth of functionality, and ranks first primarily due to stronger execution of features that can be found in the TripAdvisor app. Kayak has the most robust sorting and filtering menus available, as well as extensive options for setting alerts. The app is also the only one we evaluated that allowed multi-city flight searches. Anyone thinking of hopping around Europe this summer will appreciate this feature. During the flight search, the Kayak app allows users to add any nearby airports to their search, truly a plus when traveling to or from areas with multiple airports that may have better fares. The quality of Kayak’s many features make it best in class for flight finding and booking.
We hope you found this ranking helpful. Key Lime Interactive offers expanded custom competitive research. If you’d like more information, please contact KLI here.
As the New Year begins, Key Lime Interactive has been beginning the stages of performing regularly scheduled maintenance on the behavioral personas that have been developed for various clients. As tablet use increases across all industries, we’re finding that we’re expanding personas more and more to include on-the-go context. The goal: When our clients are around the figurative design table they can refer to “Sam the Skeptic” and all relevant parties from marketing to product development can understand the target and make decisions to meet that targets defined need.
What are behavioral personas and does your company need to spend time defining them? Traditional personas attempt to humanize your users and place them into segments. They allow you to empathize with who they are as a person and encourage you to develop ways to meet those personal needs. Behavioral personas, however, take this a step deeper; they focus not only on the person and their life, work, motivators, emotional drivers, etc. but they provide insight to typical behaviors and context for the use of your product. When KLI creates behavioral personals the results include experience goals and end goals; ultimately a cohesive meaningful set of identities paired with use cases/scenarios that help your product teams make relevant and appropriate design decisions.
We’ve recognized through the development of our own persona protocol, that the more exposure a given team has to users using products as they prefer and find functional, the better the design iterations become. As we conduct this maintenance and development with clients, we work to include a broad cross section of the client’s team in the persona building process so that internal teams recognize their role and importance in pulling these identities together. In our “crash course” talk that we’ve been giving at various events these past several months, we highlight the steps taken to speak to stakeholders, to of course interview end-users and to validate the results across a large sample of your consumer base. Validation becomes a desirable and unique part of persona building that not only provides that extra layer of confidence about the strength and integrity of the developed personas but it also begins the conversation about the various contextual use cases that emerge for a given product.
All are encouraged to contact us to learn more about KLI’s Behavioral Persona development or to receive a “Crash Course” instructed by KLI’s founder, Ania Rodriguez.