How GE scaled UX through rapid testing with Maze

Naomi Francis

Feb 22, 2021

GE helps drive the world. It’s an organization of 205,000 strong that spans a series of sectors that impact the way we live, from powering the light in our homes to the commodity of aircrafts. Having such a global employee base of different industry professionals calls for a sector that helps them function in their day-to-day role as efficiently as possible. 

GE Core Tech and Cyber Security does just that, focusing on modernizing Enterprise IT, digital workplace technologies, and services. Their design team works on the technologies to enable productivity across the entire organization. In the beginning, it was a team of engineers creating these products, where functionality was the core deliverable and user experience was not being considered in the most optimized way.

The driving goal of their product team is to exceed user expectations but to achieve this and improve the usability of their products they needed to bring in a design team. Working alongside a small design team, Melany worked to develop a user testing mindset and implemented a process to quickly understand their global users and optimize usability. That’s where Maze came in. 

“Just the fact that we have Maze in our design toolbox gives us a sense of ease. Whenever we need quick usability assurance across multiple flows or quick feedback on the perception of a design, it is easy to jump into Maze, run a test and launch.”

Melany Valderamma, Sr. UX Interaction Designer at GE

Driving buy-in for user testing 

Before Maze, the team didn’t have a user testing process in place. This meant a period of evangelizing the need for user testing from the ground up and communicating its value, which is not as tangible as delivering a design to an engineer. “We had to communicate the value of the time that’s invested; how it saves money, time and makes all of our deliveries to engineers more assured because we’ve vetted them multiple times.” 

With such a broad user base, there were questions around how they could ensure they were meeting all persona needs. There were learning curves around best practices, like the ideal number of users to test with and why a smaller pool of users is often representative of the wider audience. 

The design team achieved buy-in by: 

  1. Explaining the different use cases, from usability testing to concepts and ideas validation
  2. Researching and sharing success stories from other organizations helped to support how these processes help improve user experience, usability, and also save on resources
  3. Exploring solutions and processes that fit the team's goals and how to get the right people involved, so that she could quickly communicate the value of user testing. 

Adopting a culture of rapid testing with Maze 

When it came to finding the right partner, they landed on Maze because they needed a universal tool that could be adopted into the workflow of those new to user testing. Adoption like this was essential because implementing a culture of rapid, continuous testing would enable their team to bring data to strategic design decisions. 

Day to day, the team is using InVision, which integrates with Maze effortlessly, enabling the team to import prototypes to test in a few clicks. “For someone who has never done UX research, Maze allows you to really easily create a test and identify the results and data very quickly.” Bringing in a tool that quickly integrated with their existing toolstack and was easy to use, meant every team member could test autonomously, wherever they were in the design process. 

“Now everyone is taking the reins and are able to set up tests on their own—making the designs themselves to run different variations. Adoption is still ongoing but it's a tool that every designer has and can use regularly within their design process.”

Melany Valderamma, Sr. UX Interaction Designer at GE

“Some of the tools we were exploring rely on data synthesizing, and at times we didn’t have the confidence or time to be sure that we were finding the right insights to share. With Maze Reports, it’s easy for us to understand what is successful and what we can improve because it generates the data so quickly.”

This helped bring data-minded stakeholders onboard that were hesitant to adopt rapid testing. Maze made their transition easier with the available design metrics and analytics like heatmaps and click paths. Melany explains, “It was really attractive to them to quickly be able to see the results without it being more polished or biased. It was just hard data from our real users.”

Informing design decisions and driving UX 

One of the main products the team is focused on is the employee platform, where employees can complete software requests, track statuses, and managers can oversee requests. This platform supports the entire company and acts as the face of IT. 

Melany and the design team have used Maze for initial discovery to understand more about their users and their needs for things like persona development. They’ve also run usability tests that have helped them identify many opportunities to improve the user experience across the platform. For example, the findability of certain features within their platform, like where to find the historic information of a ticket or language settings. 

Utilizing the different Maze blocks, like Card Sorting, Open Responses, and Missions, the team has been able to test wireframe and concept designs alongside checking perceptions and ideas. Diving into question by question data helps them understand what was the first click, second clicks, and further. With these tools on hand, they’re hoping to see an overarching improvement in the user experience of their platforms and see impact on the bottom line, like their NPS. 

“We launched a few products this year where we used Maze and it just helps us feel more confident when we're defending our design decisions. It helps us show engineers some suggestions that we otherwise probably wouldn't have been able to prove. We’re able to show our stakeholders that sometimes our assumptions are not always the right ones. Things like that are big wins.” 

Melany Valderamma, Sr. UX Interaction Designer at GE