Repeat this habit to build "stickier, easier-to-use" products
Tips and Tricks · 8 min read

Repeat this habit to build "stickier, easier-to-use" products

Melanie Crissey
Posted November 30, 2018

"SLARR ... what's that?" It's a simple, repeatable workflow Product Managers can use with FullStory to build and perfect their products

Product Management requires constant learning—learning about your customers, your market, your competitors, and the usage of your own product. Before you can dig into how you'll build a feature and take it to market, you have to know why you're making a change and what results you'll expect in terms of customer behavior and engagement.

As the product manager, you are always vigilant, looking for opportunities to drive more engagement to make your products stickier, easier-to-use, and more valuable.

When I'm looking for ways to improve and get results, I always return to my favorite, repeatable habit: searchlearnactreportrepeat.

Search. Learn. Act. Report. Repeat.

Here's how it works:

  • Search: You might be conducting research or looking for a segment of customers to measure their behavior. No matter what, conduct a search so you’ll know where to focus your attention.

  • Learn: Research and gather information. Once you’ve gotten enough data, you can form a hypothesis.

  • Act: Take action: Test your hypothesis. This could be as simple as experimenting with a change in your app's UI or as big as launching a new feature.

  • Report: Review the results. Did your action move the needle at all?

  • Repeat: (Optional but highly recommended.) Keep repeating this process, constantly improving your product and customer experience.

The more you run this looping, repeatable habit, the more your product will improve—or at least, suck less.

It's simple. It's obvious. It's hardly more sophisticated than a grade-school science fair project. And when you make this habit part of your workflow, you can discover opportunities for both incremental and game-changing results.

If you manage a digital product such as a SaaS application or an online store, you can use FullStory to capture customer experience data and execute your "Search, Learn, Act, Report, Repeat" habit in all sorts of ways.

We're going to dive into some of those ways next.

👋 If you're not yet a FullStory user, you can get started right away by signing up for a trial.

👉 If you already have FullStory, keep reading and explore the example scenarios below!

Search, Learn, Act, Report, Repeat in FullStory

Below we're going to cover some example scenarios about running the "search, learn, act, report, repeat" loop using FullStory.

Use the links above to jump ahead!

Running a Beta Program

Your next big feature has moved from "in progress" to "beta testing" and you've flagged on the feature for a select group of customers. Your goal is to get 80% of the customers who signed up for the beta engaged with your new feature in testing.

  • Search: Use FullStory OmniSearch to save a segment of customers who are engaging with a specific feature that's in beta. For example, if you were running a Beta program for a feature labeled "Profile," then in FullStory you would search for: Has | Clicked | Text is exactly | Profile to understand who clicked that label in your app.

Search and see User Trends.
  • Learn: In addition to using FullStory to watch sessions and glean insights about the usage of your new feature, you can use FullStory to understand quantitatively how many customers are engaging. View your Daily Active Users (DAUs) by referencing the User Trends card and check out the Top Users card to see which customers are most active.

  • Act: If you learn that most people aren't engaging with your beta program, you may need to send more proactive outreach or offer an incentive to get people excited. One idea: Use FullStory to download a .csv of engaged customers and compare that to your beta invite list. Then, send proactive outreach or incentives to those customers who haven't taken advantage of the beta program.

  • Report: Once you’ve taken action, keep an eye on your saved segment in FullStory that tracks customer engagement with your beta feature. Did your test move the needle? Did you hit your goal?

QA Testing a New Feature

Let's say you've got a new feature that you're slowly rolling out to new customers, and you want to make sure that nothing major is breaking in the process. Your goal is to minimize the impact of any bugs or performance issues, even across multiple browser and device types.

  • Search: Use FullStory OmniSearch to save a segment of customers who are engaging with the feature and who experience any errors or frustration—e.g. Error Clicks or Rage Clicks. Save that segment to replay sessions and analyze aggregate trends.

    » Pro-tip: you can set an Alert to let FullStory notify you when the trend of customers with errors or frustration exceeds "0" within 24 hours. That way, you’ll get notified by email when things happen.

Alert and view Error Clicks.
  • Learn: Watch for alerts and use session replay to observe errors in the wild. Check FullStory’s automatically generated analytics reports—right below your session lists—to look for correlations with browsers or device types.

  • Act: As issues arise, use Dev Tools to diagnose problems and use the "Report a Bug" functionality to escalate issues directly to Engineering.

  • Report: How big of a problem is this? You need some perspective. Here, again, you can use FullStory OmniSearch to make a copy of your segment. Modify this segment so that it specifically includes only the customers who experienced a specific bug. Compare the aggregate results of your more focused segment to those from all customers engaging with the feature. The resulting percentage tells you just how many customers who engaged with the new feature and saw the problem.

Driving Awareness for a New Feature

Your new feature won't help anyone if your users can't find it. Let's say you have a goal that 30% of your existing customers simply discover a new feature in your app.

  • Search: Use FullStory OmniSearch to save a segment of customers who have logged in since the launch but who haven't engaged with the new feature.

Find users who haven't engaged with a new feature.
  • Learn: Replay session recordings to understand where the disconnect is occurring. » Are customers skipping through the announcement modal? » Ignoring new feature alerts? » Is there no badge or indicator to help point people in the right direction? » Perhaps customers are coming from the announcement email but not able to find the feature because the email link didn't land them in the right place. Regardless of the cause, look for opportunities to connect the dots and get the feature in front of the customer at the right time.

  • Act: Run an experiment. Try swapping out—or adding—microcopy. Or, consider adding an additional visual indicator. “👋 Look here!”

  • Report: Create a new segment for customers who are part of the new experiment to drive awareness. Were customers exposed to the new experiment more likely to engage with the feature?

Driving Adoption of a Critical Feature or Workflow

Do you have a critical feature or workflow in your app or on your website? Maybe you know that this workflow is highly correlated to purchase behavior, but it's not clear why most customers who start the workflow never complete all of the steps.

For example, maybe you know that if a customer: visit your integrations page > adds an integration > enables the integration, then they're much more likely to experience the magic of your app. You could set a goal to increase completions of that multi-step workflow.

  • Search: Use OmniSearch to create a multi-step conversion funnel to quickly see what percentage of customers make it through the funnel completely and where the biggest drop-offs occur. Create a copy of your segment that's focused on the biggest drop-off point: people who take steps x and y but not z.

  • Learn: Watch sessions where customers dropped out of the funnel and pay careful attention to the Error Clicks, Rage Clicks, and other frustration heuristics in your Searchie results. Can you find a point of frustration that's throwing customers off? Maybe the workflow is difficult to complete on mobile devices or part of the workflow loads slowly for customers. Look for an opportunity to reduce friction.

  • Act: Introduce a change designed to reduce the struggle. Maybe it's as simple as a new affordance or streamlining some buttons above-the-fold.

  • Report: Compare your conversion funnels before and after the change. How'd you do? Did the change help drive up the completions?

Compare funnels, before and after.

Try This At Home

In this article, we've focused on how to apply the Search, Learn, Act, Report, Repeat (SLARR…?) habit in the context of making digital products better, but you can truly apply this simple concept within any department in any part of your organization.

Marketers use this workflow to optimize for conversions. Sales teams experiment with new cadences or content to drive more meaningful conversations. Support folks test new technical documentation and other tools to reduce friction in the service experience. Engineers tinker with ways to reduce processing costs or make systems more stable.

The important thing is to embrace a habit of simple experimentation and to take action.

Taking action can be hard: especially if you're trying to prioritize your experiment against other efforts.

Luckily, FullStory makes searching, learning, and reporting easy. And, together, the powerful combination of session replay (instant empathy and motivation for people who like to fix things!) and quantitative data (assurance for people who care about potential impacts) can help you get everyone onboard to try something new.

Curious to learn about the opportunities to drive results with your own product? Start searching in FullStory. Then, learn, act, report, and repeat.

Go, fight, SLARR!

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