MapInfo Pro

Subject: Results of the London UX Workshop and next steps

  • 1.  Subject: Results of the London UX Workshop and next steps

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 07-03-2019 15:37

    During the User Group Meeting in London on June 4, 2019, we conducted a wonderful User Experience Workshop with over 100 people working at 13 different tables.  When it was over we had generated over 400 new ideas!  What a great opportunity it was for us to learn from our clients. Here's a summary of the activity and what's next.

    We focused on three primary questions:

    1. Thinking about your spatial activities, how are you most productive, and in what ways might you be more productive?
    2. What learning resources would be most helpful to you? Consider this from the standpoint of your own learning as well as other roles in your organization.
    3. Every organization has a different approach to analytics. How might your overall process be improved (not just within MapInfo Pro)?

    Participants came up with three types of ideas: 

    1. Roses - positive comments about the question
    2. Thorns - comments about painful experiences or those that should be improved
    3. Buds - ideas that could enhance the value and experience. 


    After an intense hour of discussion we gathered around the sticky notes and voted on the ideas, 70 of which received one or more votes (each participant could vote twice).

    Needless to say, this is a lot of data!  @Harvey Blenkarne transcribed the sticky notes into an online "virtual whiteboard" for further review and analysis, and @Lucas Beitzel entered them into excel for quantitative analysis.

      I feel like a kid in a candy store with all these great ideas!  Many validate our current direction, some brought things to our attention that we didn't realize were such a concern, and of course there were some great opportunities for innovation raised based on actual user experience. Your contributions again exceeded my expectations. 

    We're ready to take this conversation to the next step.  I'm sharing some big insights in this post, and I'll be asking for your input and feedback on specific ideas to make sure that we understand you in the coming weeks.  We are actively planning our work for 2020 and your insight will fuel efforts to make MapInfo Pro better and more valuable. 

    What did we learn?

    Workshop participants created a total of 57 different categories ("affinity clusters"), and ideas that received votes were in 37 different categories.  This input laddered up to 7 "superclusters" and "word clouds" below show the frequency of mentions. As shown, collectively the big topics were Learning, Usability, and Data. However, when viewed in segments around buds (new opportunities) and thorns (things to fix or improve), the picture changes somewhat.

    For "thorns," usability and Integration increase in importance, and for "buds," Learning remains the top priority, while visualization takes on more significance.

    Another way to tease out insights is to look at the relative index of ideas by "supercluster" and type.  In this chart, a value greater than 100% indicates an item that occurs more frequently than expected for the overall distribution of votes.  The top three vote-getters are important by their absolute counts, but the high indexing items can point us to specific ideas for further consideration. 


    For example, the "thorny" index for usability of 171 (highlighted in the center above) includes ideas like "hot spotting is clunky" and "layout window is not lockable."  A new "heat map" capability in the 2019 release will address "hot spotting," but the layout window is an ongoing issue that requires more user input to determine how to improve the user experience.  We know there are tradeoffs between a map in a layout that is "locked" or "not locked," and we need to do more research to make sure that we have the best solution and the training and documentation to support it.

    In the "bud" category, high-indexing superclusters are "Data" and "Analytics."  Some of the ideas include "Support vector tiles," which we're looking at for 2020, and a "develop simplified version" (top vote getter in the data category) is also on our roadmap for 2020.  We need to get a lot more guidance from our customers on these ideas to bring them to life in a way that truly adds value. 

    My next post will present specific topics for discussion and feedback as we look ahead to our 2020 roadmap.  Please comment on this post and let me know if this is a worthwhile conversation to be having and give me any suggestions you may have on the best way to use the MapInfo Pro community as a forum for transforming your great ideas into greater productivity and insight for you and your organization. Some of you know we have a sub-community called the MapInfo Pro Lab and I'd ask anyone wishing to roll-up their sleeves and help us build these new capabilities message me and we'll bring you into that work.

    Thanks again to all who contributed to this workshop!

    Jim Stone
    Pitney Bowes
    Senior Product Manager, MapInfo Pro
    Reading, MA