Lean user research with PingPong

Justin Busch, UX Researcher @ TomTom


Feedback needed ASAP

Justin's team was on a tight deadline to create a demo of a new feature for an upcoming conference. The traditional approach to obtaining user feedback would have been too slow:

We were hoping to get some user feedback a little more quickly...the traditional recruiting method would be scheduling people to come into our office or scheduling a time to meet up with them.

This method would have involved going through a local recruiting agency, where the process of finding people and scheduling research sessions typically takes a week (at the very least).

Other grassroots recruiting methods like “quick guerrilla testing”, were not an option either as people on the street would only have a few minutes to talk. This was also a “no go”, since the TomTom team needed roughly an hour to gather more detailed feedback from each participant.

Geographical limitations

Another constraint of in-person user research is that it limits your sample to participants who live nearby, in this case Detroit. For this project, Justin wanted a broader set of perspectives from users all over the country. For an automotive product that will be sold nationwide, a broader range of feedback would be valuable.

There's quite a bit of regional variation in the U.S., we were really interested in getting insight from people in different areas.

Restrictive pricing and long term commitments

Most user research platforms lock their customers into recurring payments. It can be tough to justify an ongoing subscription from a budget standpoint, especially for a company new to remote testing.

Think of it this way…have you ever tried green eggs & ham? Nope, we haven’t either. So if you were asked how often you plan on eating green eggs & ham over the next year, how the heck could you answer that?!

The same applies to remote user interviews. Predicting how often you would need it in the future before ever attempting this type of research would be near-impossible. So it would make zero sense to commit to monthly payments ahead of time.


Snap! Instant feedback.

PingPong has a massive pool of over 150,000 people worldwide, ready to give feedback anytime, anywhere.

We were really pleased with how quickly people signed up... it was within minutes. That was the biggest appeal.

The vast majority of PingPong testers are business professionals, rated 5/5 (given by interviewers from previous sessions). Learn more about PingPong’s tester pool here.

Say goodbye to geographical limitations

Justin easily gained insights via PingPong from people based all over the US. This gave his team a much more diverse set of opinions than they would have obtained had they conducted local interviews.

I had somebody from California, somebody from Chicago, somebody from Texas. So we had a much wider geographic distribution of participants which was another benefit.

Pay as you go makes budgeting a breeze

PingPong’s platform truly stood out due to pricing flexibility. Zero subscription or long term commitment is required, which was an enormous plus for TomTom. Exploring new remote testing methods, they weren’t certain about their future needs.

We don't want to get locked down for a year long contract. PingPong is a lot easier because it’s just per person. Once this project is over then that's it. If we want to do more remote testing, we can go back but we're not committed.

They don’t need to make any near-impossible estimates of the amount of projects they’d have over a year. In the future, Justin’s team can easily budget for each feedback session as they come along.

The ‘pay as you go’ model at PingPong is really beneficial because we can pick up more projects as needed.

Team members can peek in

With PingPong, other team members can sit in on sessions remotely and anonymously. Having anyone, anywhere view live feedback is a huge advantage over traditional methods.

Allowing anybody, anywhere to just observe is a really good feature. That’s powerful if you can have PM's sit in and hear the feedback first-hand.

If your colleagues are not able to watch live, don’t worry! Video and audio recordings of the session are available within minutes.


TomTom’s UX research team winning!

After scheduling and conducting sessions efficiently, Justin’s team managed to gather detailed, valuable feedback from participants across the country. The insights gained were used to complete the demo well in time for their conference.

The info that we got out of the interviews was really helpful and we got a ton of useful feedback from it.

About Justin Busch

Justin obtained a PhD in Psychology from the University of Texas - Austin, and previously worked for Dell in UX research. Now Justin is part of the TomTom UX Research Team. He works closely with auto-makers in Detroit while collaborating with the rest of the UX Research Team in Amsterdam. UX research at TomTom employs a mixed-methodological approach, using interviews, usability tests, surveys, card-sorts, and treejack testing to gain better insight into how customers use navigation systems.

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Automotive & Information Technology


Amsterdam, Netherlands


TomTom is a global company, which has been innovating in the location technology space for nearly 30 years. Their easy-to-use maps, navigation software and real-time traffic services help to shape tomorrow’s mobility and keep the world moving. Hundreds of millions of people, car manufacturers, cities, governments, tech companies and developers rely on TomTom’s products and services every day.

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Customer service is incredible, a five-star service/support - they are superstars! I was able to find participants all over the world that will definitely make an impact on our product.

Irene Cazaux

UX Designer