The primary tool for WeWork employees to access qualitative research that provides answers to fundamental questions about members.
Polaris is a live, dynamic, company-accessible database of the member experience. It is a perpetually growing collection of what we call “nuggets”.
A nugget is an observation that is tagged with metadata (e.g. emotion felt, frequency of this experience, etc.) and connected to evidence. The evidence attached to the nugget provides validity and allows for users to hear the experience from the member. We collect nuggets because of their atomic quality; they are dynamic pieces of data that are accessible, low effort to consume and highly informative.
As a company-wide tool, Polaris provides access to the qualitative research that can answer fundamental questions about our members and their relationship to WeWork such as, "Why do people join?" "What do members value most?" "Why do members leave?" and "How do we make members feel?". It helps our teams prioritize projects, learn about relevant member experiences and inspire new projects to work on. As a dynamic database, Polaris solves the research issues of:
1. Bad research memory—the fact that observations about users are organizationally forgotten over time.
2. Research silos—disparate databases of user research knowledge.
3. Reports—reports are extremely centered on what was found in a study and are not granular enough to be used in the future.
4. Research dictatorship—the only people “allowed” to come up with conclusions after research studies are completed are researchers.
- Why this project is worthy of a UX Award:
We believe in democratizing the discipline of user experience. Decisions that affect our members’ experience are made thousands of times every day in the context of WeWork’s 150+ locations across 14 countries and more than 50 cities around the world. These decisions are made by a variety of specialists—interior designers and architects that build our spaces, digital product designers and engineers that create the software and services for members, and the community management teams that interact with our members every day.
Polaris helps us to make the outputs of research as accessible as possible to all of these stakeholders. It also represents our belief that decisions should be informed by research. In no way do we intend that data should drive decision-making, rather that as UX professionals we have a responsibility to make clear the inputs that inform our assumptions.
In this way we’re able to fulfill our mandate to design and inspire delightful experiences through data-informed human understanding. And we believe Polaris is a key component to doing so.
- Submitted By: WeWork