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Research Project


Project Focus

  • The research project aimed to understand personas and analyse any knowledge gaps, specifically in relation to an MDL product.

User Pain Points

  • During the exploration, a recurring pain point emerged, indicating that users were spending excessive time on debugging, maintaining, and fixing pipelines.

Research Goal

  • The goal of the research plan was to determine the support needed by users to improve efficiency in maintaining and fixing pipelines, while also evaluating the effectiveness of the current MDL support system.

Research Process

User Research

  • Creating an empathy map: Developed an empathy map specifically for the product area to gain insights into the pain points, needs, and jobs of the persona (data engineer).
  • Formulating the research question: Derived a research question based on the identified pain point, which focused on evaluating the MDL support system and suggesting improvements to reduce the time spent by data engineers on debugging, maintaining, and fixing pipelines.

Primary/Secondary Research

  • Creating the research plan: Developed a research plan outlining the primary and secondary research methods to be used, the information to be gathered, and the recruitment process.
  • Secondary research: Conducted a heuristic analysis of the current MDL support system and reviewed documentation in the confluence space.
  • Primary research: Planned usability tests with internal users, specifically data engineers or individuals working closely with them. Created a script for the tests and scheduled participants using the calendly tool.
  • Challenges of usability tests: Ensured the avoidance of leading questions during the usability tests, which required careful facilitation to gather unbiased insights from the participants.

An outline of the script used within the usability tests.


Analysis and Results

  • Usability tests: Conducted five successful usability tests, gathering valuable information for analysis.
    Infinity diagram analysis: Utilised an infinity diagram to analyse and breakdown the collected data.
  • Key recommendations and takeaways: Identified and derived key recommendations and takeaways from the research findings, aimed at assessing and potentially improving the MDL support system to alleviate user pain points during pipeline debugging, maintenance, and fixing.
  • Academic preparation: This research project served as valuable preparation for an upcoming dissertation, offering hands-on experience in the complete research process, including participant recruitment, analysis, and presentation of findings.