“Hey Skullcandy…” Usability Testing For The New Skullcandy App 


ZaneRay has been helping Skullcandy create unique digital experiences that both inspire and support their customers for the last 8 years. As the brand continues to evolve and innovate their product line, there is often a need to conduct user testing to ensure that the user experience is tested, that the voice of the customer is considered.

Skullcandy website and Skull-iQ App mocked up on mobile phones


Consumer First Insights

Skullcandy reached out to ZaneRay for consulting on research methodologies for their Skull-iQ App, they were looking for usability testing services to gain insights for future design and development. The app is a companion app for several core products in the Skullcandy assortment. 

The Skullcandy website team was also in the midst of planning for next year and looking at key areas of the site to improve and modernize. Two different Skullcandy teams approached us at separate times with unique needs. Our Customer Success team analyzed these needs from both teams and customized an approach to serve both the website and app stakeholders in the same project.

Influence of Approach

A Customized Research Approach

Since the Skull-iQ App is a product companion app, the user journey and learning for Skullcandy headphone and app needs to start with pre-purchase and carry through post-purchase experiences. As such, we saw the opportunity to combine the website as a pre-purchase experience with the post-purchase app experience into a single analysis project.

User testing at ZaneRay headquarters


Usability Testing: An End-to-End Customer Experience

Part 1 - Participant Survey: ZaneRay conducted a participant survey to ensure we sourced testers that match the Skullcandy consumer base and also had the right mix of mobile devices.

Part 2 - Website Usability Testing: Our team conducted usability testing on the website, which included product discovery and research, and then placing an order. We ran the majority of the tests on Mobile (a mix of iOS and Android) but also had a few desktop testers to get a good sense of usability across all platforms.

The website test was a virtual and unmoderated test, where users were prompted through the website using a series of non-biased task-based questions. They eventually were prompted to order a product and used a coupon code to have the product sent directly to ZaneRay.

Part 3 - App Usability Study: Upon completion of the website usability test we had the same shoppers come to ZaneRay’s testing lab to carry out in-person app usability testing. This included: Product unboxing, app download, connection and product onboarding through a series of non-biased task-based questions. 

Skull-iQ App


An Integrated Approach to Testing

Molly Snyder, ZaneRay’s Director of Customer Success believes that the voice of the customer is a critical aspect of the design process, “The benefits of this type of research are plentiful, but most importantly we can advocate for the voice of the consumer and have that at the forefront of our decision-making processes as we collaboratively build a design and development strategy with the Skullcandy team.” The app users needed the full scope of context, which required all three parts of the test to happen with the same testing group so that they would have completed some of the preliminary research and purchased the product as they normally would.

Additionally, we were able to test the website and gain valuable insights on key areas of the site to inform, and in some cases, validate site design and development improvements needed.

A shared roadmap for success

The tests ran seamlessly. It was important that the three phases were executed within a finite window of time considering the normal amount of time passed when placing an order, receiving the product, and then unboxing it while it was still fresh in their memory.

ZaneRay was able to provide Skullcandy with actionable insights to fuel their technology roadmap for both the website and the Skull-iQ App. As with most research projects there were a handful of really meaningful “ah ha’s” and validation for the project teams regarding friction that they thought might exist but needed the voice of the customer as well as a gauge of problem severity to better understand and prioritize the actions needed to create an optimal customer experience.

The teams were collectively motivated with the findings and see this as an opportunity to improve the customer journey and experience for Skullcandy shoppers.

Over the years we have had a productive partnership with ZaneRay across design and development. We were able to take the partnership one step deeper with the ZaneRay Customer Success team on consumer usability testing. Starting with brand interactions and the shopping journey on the website through to a customer using Skullcandy earbuds and then interacting with a beta version of the Skull-iQ App, a brand new product companion app for our highest-level technology products. The usability feedback has focused our optimizations across web and app interactions and helped us prioritize meeting consumer expectations and needs in a meaningful way. 100% recommend their services and we look forward to working in this capacity again.

- Jenny Buchar, Skullcandy Applications Product Manager