Global UXR Interview series – Ana-Lucia, Brazil

Interview transcription

Paul Blunden: Welcome to another interview with one of UX24/7’s global network of accredited researchers. My name is Paul London, and I’m. The founder of UX24/7 and today I’m going to be interviewing one of my colleagues from around the world.

Let’s get straight to it and meet our guest.

Hello, and thank you for giving up your time to speak with me today. Can I start by asking you to introduce yourself? What’s your name? And where about you from?

Ana Martinelli: Hi, Paul! Thanks for having me. I am Ana-Lucia and I work and live in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Paul Blunden: Wow! And how long have you lived in Brazil?

Ana Martinelli: I’ve lived my entire life in Sao Paulo. But I’ve spent some seasons in Europe is studying English and German, but that was a long ago. It was between 1,997 and 2,000

Paul Blunden: right? That’s a that’s really interesting and a lot of our research is a multilingual. Do I take it. You speak more than one language.

Ana Martinelli: Yes, I speak Portuguese as my native language, and I also speak English and Spanish. and unfortunately i’m not fluent in German anymore, but I do understand some.

Paul Blunden: Well, that’s a pretty impressive 4 languages.

Very good. So I want to ask you a bit about how you got into research today. So can you tell me a bit about what what inspired you to start off on this path?

Ana Martinelli: Okay, I started working with Internet in 2,001 long ago, and I went to a website, a marketplace for automotive which is called Web motors. It’s the largest marketplace for cars in Brazil until present. and at the time as I was, I was a web designer. at the time, and then I became information architect. and finally I was coordinating the Ux team. and at the time we hired some important usability studies. They were not much done in-house those times. but I was allowed myself to do some research once in a while. and mostly with Sellers and some evaluative and some discovery. and this was the part that I enjoyed the most.

And then, after web motors, I went to Alex. which is a marketplace or a general classified for emerging markets. and there I was working with a research exclusively. I was a research coordinator helping the product squats in whatever needs they had. And after that I went to another marketplace for bottled cooking gas. and after that to some consulting companies. And then I was working with exclusively with research For about 9 years now. it’s been a while.

Paul Blunden: It has been. That’s a quite a career.

And you you mentioned discovery, research, usability, testing. Do you have a favorite methodology that you’ve you’ve started to use or used to your career.

Ana Martinelli: I particularly enjoy very much discovery research. because they are in-depth studies, and they are very rich in finding sending sites. and it’s really very rewarding to understand deeply people’s, needs and their context. What could be done to solve their problems? And of course it’s also very rewarding to help the clients understand their audience, their customers, and how they can address those problems, those wishes and improve their lives.

And, for instance, I find very fulfilling the task of building personas, because you need to find out and understand all the main user arch types, and it you to do a series of comprehensive interviews with all possible segments of users, and then you have to be very careful in analysis. and the AIM, of course, is to understand and deliver a set of users, and they those they have to be reliable and representative to the audience. and of course, that this is simply key to build products and services; that cater to them. and anyway, interfaces is my specialty, and I also. I am very fond of Usability studies

Paul Blunden: right so. But a big fan of discovery, and what that leads to as well. I I take from that which is yeah, very interesting. And you mentioned couple of companies you’ve worked for in Brazil. What is the sector experience you have overall?


Ana Martinelli: My main experience is with marketplaces and financial services. because I also work at some years for a consulting company and their main clients are traditional Brazilian banks and fintech. So I’ve done a lot of studies on this a financial area. but also I have made research for all sorts of web, basic platforms, intranets, and TV interfaces, too. So those are my experiences

Paul Blunden: fantastic. Well, that that leads neatly to my next question. I’m really interested to understand a bit about the maturity of the market, our credit to practitioners working. Can you tell me a bit about how customer Centric Brazil is

Ana Martinelli: mit Ctl. And I believe that important Brazilian brands and global brands in Brazilian market are very much aware of their customers to, and they need to be because Brazil has a large and diverse population and huge social differences in inequalities, and fortunately. and it has also a large territory with significant cultural differences among the States and the regions.

And I myself, I see that Brazilian platforms, for instance. They do a lot of research and they have you X teams and contemplate researchers, fortunately and sometimes they also have a large research teams. Often those are in financial sector because this one thrives a lot in Brazil.

So I can Just imagine, then, brands are developed around well-known customers, or at least they should be doing a lot of marketing. And user research.


Paul Blunden: It sounds like it, particularly with such a huge geographic area and such a wide sort of difference in culture, and do the brands, the the dominates, Brazil or him. Brazil, have a significant challenges in organizing research. What what do you think those would be?


Ana Martinelli: I think that it designing the right kind of study. choosing the proper methodology is, of course, key to the success of a study. meaning reaching the goal of finding what we’re looking for. They to understand our customers be to us ability, valuative, steady. but I would believe that it’s designing properly your study. It can sounds very obvious, of course, but sometimes the studies can be very that can have subtleties, and once. and these can skew findings in certain directions or bias participants answers.

And I would say that this could be easily, because by stakeholders, when they want very much to find something, for instance, and that could be avoid by having a researcher that is not too involved in the project, such as a consultant. But of course this is not essential. It’s something just that has to be considered.

And also another thing I would say is that a good recruitment is crucial. It can be the success of failure of a study for sure. because sometimes product owners should not underestimate under it’s mate. and often they are not involved in that part of recruitment. They don’t know how deep codes and how available it is to be done right.

Therefore my advice would be, be very careful with recruitment.


Paul Blunden: Yeah, I can. I guess that’s a real problem in a in a lot of markets actually, not just Brazil, but thanks for sharing that.

So I’d like to ask you. Obviously, 9 years experience got a huge amount of depth. Could you talk to me a bit about what flagship you X projects You’ve delivered.


Ana Martinelli: just as I said, about Personas being one of my favorite methodologies. I had to opportunity to use it 3 4 times They were 4, actually and all had important impact on the businesses. and the first one was for web motors at users which is the automotive marketplace. That was long ago. It was 2012, 2013, and we didn’t quite know who were the app users when they were using the app, or why they were choosing the app over the website and for which specific purposes.

And obviously this is super evidence today. But it wasn’t in 2012. And so understanding and knowing that made all the differences, because we could design better the app and reconsider which functionalities should be highlighted and targeted in the app and this was the first time I did personas.

And then for Alex, which is the general classified designing the personas, and they are, of course, the key type of of users. In that case they were 3 for sellers and one for the buyers that gave knowledge and visibility on who were the customers and the specific behaviors and needs.

And this knowledge was a spread through the company Everybody was involved in. That was very exciting, and it helps to advocate for users when designing and having then in mind when thinking of functionalities and services. So it was super interesting for the whole company.

And the third case was for Sherman. Actually, there were 2 moments, 2 studies. personas were for 13 litres, guest bottle consumers, and 45 litres bottle. They were 7 in total and in tension in the very first moment was to present them to investors and raise funding, and which did success, of course. and then to help again the whole company to know better the the user needs which can be actually quite different from one another, and they were because of the bottle size.

So those cases were very rewarding to be done. and I enjoy the lots doing. Then it it made all the differences to the businesses.


Paul Blunden: It sounds like from the your description of your the methods you like and your flagship projects that actually it’s about the impact your work has on the business more than anything else actually is that yeah, the case. Fascinating!

I’m really interested to understand. Are there any particular user behaviors that are unique to your market, that you would recommend global brands, perhaps entering Brazil, need to pay attention to


Ana Martinelli: what I would say that it’s very important in Brazil at the moment. Whatsapp that is the thing. What type is really in ingrained in the routine of a Brazilians keep on, even use it. Use it over telephone calls. and they order things for Whatsapp now, and they demand services so much that it became an important customer service channel to companies of all sizes, actually, because it’s so easy to use it’s so intuitive. And also most people use to participate in Whatsapp groups, families, friends, companies, teams share the interests. So it’s definitely the main communication channel in Brazil at the moment. and likewise social media. Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, Youtube.

They have a massive audience in Brazil, so brands need to design their market strategies around that, of course. and they play a much larger role than traditional media these days and everything. events, people’s, issues, declarations. They have a lot of repercussion in social media. Everybody debates about it. It’s a big thing, maybe, just like in us, but maybe even more.

But yeah, I would say that Whatsapp and social media are the channels in Brazil.


Paul Blunden: That’s interesting. We’re seeing that a little bit in some other markets, particularly Whatsapp, actually, but not everywhere. And that’s yeah, really interesting to learn more about it.

Can I ask you, as we’re getting close to the end of the interview. What inspires you, or what’s inspiring you at the moment?

Ana Martinelli: I am very fond of Art because I graduated in fine arts myself long ago. and I love music. Music is very present in my routine. and i’m very fond of visual arts, all sorts. painting, illustration, graphic design. I lot of architecture very much. and I see a lot of movies and good TV series. There are some very good ones these days.

and I also have a serious hobby. which is art restoration. and that fuels my needs to do stuff with my hands. and I find it very refreshing when I dedicate some of my time, some of my free time to to do some art restoration, and I feel that it fulfills my creativity. So I i’m very fond of it.


Paul Blunden: You must be very busy!

And finally, what’s your biggest learning since you become a researcher?


Ana Martinelli: I think that is easy. That is, customer. Research is essential. and every day is spent doing research is a more than well spent. because it’s key to the success of projects, and with quick adjustment of brands and services for sure and understanding your markets, understanding your customers, designing accordingly, quickly testing iterating, doing cycles, the fastest, the best adjusting fine tuning. It is the proven path to success. So please do research.


Paul Blunden: Thank you. A sentiment I wholeheartedly endorse. But then you’d probably expect that, I know. Thank you so much for sparing time to speak with me today. I think it’s been fascinating learning more about you and learning about Brazil and i’m sure the people watching the video are going to find it fascinating as I have.


Ana Martinelli: Thanks very much. Bye, bye.


Paul Blunden: I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Anna and the Brazilian market. I’m Paul Blunden  and I’m founder of UX24/7 and if you’re interested in learning more about what we do you can visit our website at

Or find me on LinkedIn, and feel free to message me there, or, better still, subscribe to this channel, and you can watch other videos when we put them up as we interview other people in our global network.

Thanks for watching.