March 12, 2023

How Lookback Powers Research in the Toughest Environments

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Managing a supply chain is no easy task. From sourcing raw materials to delivering the final product to the end customer, there are thousands of steps involved, each step with its own set of challenges. 

And then... there are the people who make it happen.

Globe-spanning supply chains involve countless people from every background, experience, and circumstance imaginable. How can you make sure the products you are developing work for everyone, everywhere? 

Project44 is a powerful platform that helps manage their supply chains across almost every economic sector. If you’re a car manufacturer you have thousands of parts you need to track traveling on boats, trains, trucks, planes, and more. Project44 can help you do that.

Of course, that presents Project44 with a big challenge - how do you learn about  the software needs of all those people, in all those different environments, transporting all those things?

A Tall Task

Mid-2022, the team at Project44 was looking into building some new product features that tracked shipments of product and material on trucks, particularly older ones. 

You see, when it comes to trucking in emerging markets there’s a wide range of circumstances in which you’ll need to track shipments. Newer trucks have tracking software built in, but older ones don’t. Mobile phones help here, but not all areas trucks drive have wifi in range. Some drivers drive alone, but others drive with a family member to help navigate.

On top of all that, the phones drivers use can vary greatly in terms of their manufacturer, age, and OS. How can you track experiences across all those diverse experiences?

Capturing the Complete Experience 

With all this complexity, it’s even more important to capture every detail of a user’s experience. The Project44 team needed a research tool that was going to allow them to learn from users on any device and in any environment. 

In this case, the Project44 team needed to study the experiences of truck drivers in remote Turkish bazaars, with limited time for discussion, interacting with a high fidelity prototype. 

That’s where Lookback came in.

Prior to meeting the drivers who would be their research participants, Q Carlson and his team loaded Lookback as well as their prototype onto mobile phones that would be distributed to the drivers. 

The results of this research project were significant to the team. “It saved us from building an entire feature that we learned was not necessary”, Q said, “We found out the problem drivers were having was entirely different to what we had expected.” It even helped them develop new approaches to supporting drivers that leveraged entirely different tooling, like SMS and WhatsApp.

Building Alignment with Highlight Reels

It’s one thing to hear reports back from field research, it’s an entirely different thing to have these experiences recorded and shared back with your team.

“We created highlight reels from the driver’s experiences with the prototype and streamed it back to HQ”, said Q. “Lookback allowed us to align the organization on a specific approach, because we used the highlight reels.


Directly capturing user experiences with Lookback led to a reorienting of the product roadmap towards building something better for Project44, the users of their software, and their customers who build and ship all our favorite products.

Doing Hard Research is Better with Lookback

As far as research in difficult environments goes, Q has some pretty direct advice for what tool you should use for the job:

Lookback is the best experience for mobile feedback. When we need something we can trust on mobile in a tough environment, we choose Lookback.

We install it on a couple test devices, roll it out, and we know it's going to work and record effectively. We know we can extract the data that’s most helpful very quickly, export it, and have that in the hands of the rest of the team.

If you’re planning on doing hard research that matters like the team at Project44, Lookback is ready to support you when it matters most. 

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