From first to final design mockup in a day with Maze

March 05, 2019

We had a chat with Patrick Cox, Director of Product Design at Canopy to learn more about their design process and testing with Maze.  

Canopy offers a cloud-based management platform for tax and accounting professionals. The company established itself as an innovator in this field with a suite of easy to use and comprehensive tools that offer everything a professional practitioner requires.

Design and research are at the heart of all Canopy products. Understanding customers needs and testing early on to ensure those needs are met are important parts of the product design process.

“For us, usability comes first. Using Maze gives us the ability to test with many users and iterate quickly.”

User testing at Canopy has become faster than ever since adding Maze to their suite of research tools.

“It does exactly what we want.”

“When we first discovered Maze we started using it right away because it does exactly what we want. If I send a link out to people, I don’t want to get a video or anything else—I just want to know if the design works or not.”

Maze allows Canopy to get the data they need to iterate very quickly. “The speed of sending a URL to our Slack channel and having my colleagues go at it in their free time has been fantastic.”

“The whole process from design to testing to knowing what we're going to build took one day.”  
The Canopy team

On one of Canopy's projects, Patrick put together four variations of a Help Center design and tested them internally with accounting specialists.  

From the data, it was evident one of the designs worked better than the rest—but it still required some tweaks. So Patrick made a few changes to the prototype, refreshed his test in Maze, and sent out the link to those colleagues who haven’t taken it yet.

“I got a 98.9% success rate the second time. The whole process from design to testing to knowing what we’re going to build took one day. By the end of the second day, I had already sent out the final mockups to our engineers.”

"The heatmaps are very powerful for us. We can see everything at a glance."
The Canopy team

Patrick found that compared to other user testing tools on the market, Maze integrated quickly into their workflow.  

“With other research tools, we had to use their prototyping tool, so it quickly became an adoption issue. Plus I don’t think they offered us heatmaps. The heatmaps are very powerful for us: we can see everything at a glance.”

When Patrick first got started at Canopy, there was a suite of research tools that no one used because they were too bloated. Now Patrick is confident that the new designers on the team will be using Maze to test their designs and collect insights.

“The discovery and use of Maze has been really simple overall. We have a couple of designers that jumped in from the start and have since been using and loving it. Now that we’re refocusing on our design process I know more of them are going to use Maze.”