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Always Customer Obsessed - Spotlight on Anisa

How do we bring our company values to life? Easy – through our people! That’s why we asked Anisa, Head of UX Research, to give us a peek behind the curtains of how being Always Customer Obsessed leads us in informing our product and business decisions. She’s a true expert in customer research and a part of our incredible Women in Tech network, so let’s learn more from her... 

Tell us a bit about your role at Checkatrade and the UX team: 

When I joined Checkatrade in June 2023, we didn’t have a research function. As well as conducting research, my role was also to establish processes and best practices. We don't want limited UX research resource to stop teams from making user centred product decisions, so educating and coaching the design team has been a big part of my day to day – and now we're looking to do this with product managers too. I also discovered that we had lost a bit of connection the core motivations and needs of our customers, so with the support of design, we conducted some foundational research, which went on to inform our company mission.  

My role has since evolved allowing me to lead and shape research cross functionally, making sure we’re sharing learnings and working together to build user centred products. For example, we’ve been working closely with commercial teams to re-think our monetisation models, and with brand and strategy to rethink how we think about the market.  

I am really proud of what has been achieved so far and realise that having a voice at the table, and a leadership team that understand the value of research, has helped to enable the boldness of the research team, both tactically and commercially. The future of research will go from strength to strength as we settle into the recent org optimisation changes and bed in to new rhythms of how we work to become more customer obsessed every day.   

My favourite thing about my role is seeing designers and researchers evolve their research practice! I also love hearing stakeholders talk about things they've heard from user research and triangulating data from different sources to ensure we're painting a broader picture of customer needs and behaviours. 

What was your route to UX like? 

My route into UX was unconventional and through technology. Funnily enough, when I started my Natural Sciences degree at UCL, I was a total technophobe. Curious about people and how they behave, I specialised in brain, behaviour and cognition and in my courses, and I began to understand the impact of technology on behaviour and cognition in a clinical sense. In my masters, I ended up evaluating the impact of real and virtual environments on people's memory. This sparked my interest in immersive technologies, which is where I began my career search. I've spent a lot of my career researching the worlds of innovative technologies like Augmented Reality. After working in that problem space for so long, I was looking for a different challenge and one which had an impact to a broader group of people. At Checkatrade we think about small business owners but also consumers who need tradespeople to make their home a better place.  

How does Checkatrade stay on top of its game when it comes to research and design? 

We stay on top of our game by attending events, following blogs, reading books and building strong relationships with our partners like Figma and Seeking mentors and feedback is also key to growth. 

Tell us a bit about yourself outside of work. What do you get up to? 

Outside of work you’ll probably find me at the local community centre (I volunteer and help manage a local food bank), in the kitchen (cooking is a relaxing creative outlet for me) or exploring all the amazing things the world has to offer! 

Huge thanks to Anisa for sharing her experiences with Checkatrade and beyond. We love watching her in action speaking to our consumers and trades alike and sharing her insights regularly at our company All Hands updates!