A technology company asked us:

How might we determine what safety and trust mean for customers who identify as women?

A client asked us for help better understanding the experiences of women using their platform to connect with service providers. Specifically, they wanted to understand:

  • The circumstances in which they felt unsafe during their service experience
  • Their expectations of safety options
  • Feedback on the helpfulness of proposed safety solutions and concepts

DEI research, and specifically Experience Gap research, can help you ensure typically marginalized and underrepresented populations' thoughts and feedback are represented and respected in product development.

We Answered:

We designed a dual-phase study with existing customers who identified as women and had experienced instances of feeling unsafe while using the product.

First, we conducted remote in-depth interviews to gather participant experiences and ask for feedback on a series of concepts and proposed features meant to address safety concerns. In between phases, our client iterated on the concepts using the feedback in the first round. Then, we conducted a second round of interviews gathering feedback on the updated designs. 


Through our research, we learned that many customers tolerated uncomfortable situations only because they were afraid of escalating the situation within the service experience or of being gaslit.

Our recommendations identified a variety of improvements the client could make to ease safety concerns. These included reducing automated responses so when a customer contacts the company about a safety concern, they are immediately connected to an agent rather than a chatbot to get faster help.

We also found that participants wanted transparency about safety enforcement and accountability to better understand what to expect when they escalate a concern and subsequently feel confident in their options and protection while using the product.

In speaking with these participants, we identified that real-time feedback in a unsafe situation could be immensely helpful, so we recommended that the client team move forward with product features that enable customers to give feedback about the resolution process. This ongoing feedback mechanism will help future iterations of safety features and conflict resolution processes with real-time observations.

By prioritizing research with a particular group disproportionately affected, our client team was able to uncover valuable insights, make important changes, and build in a feedback process to prioritize continued iteration.


Experience Gap Research can help you identify critical gaps in your product for underrepresented groups. Contact us for help meeting your Experience Gap research goals.

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