Virtual tea break and chat with Francesca Menegaldo, Lead User Researcher

Virtual tea break and chat with Francesca Menegaldo, Lead User Researcher

For my second virtual cuppa and chat, I sat down with Francesca, Lead User Researcher here at LloydsDirect. Aside from being a magnificent karaoke singer and our first ever researcher, Francesca has successfully embedded user research here by forming a team and demonstrating its true value. You might be reading this wondering, “what exactly is user research?”. So, read on to find out more!

Francesca Menegaldo

1. Who are you and what team do you work on?

I am Francesca. I’m the Lead User Researcher here and I work on the user research team, which is part of the wider technology department. More specifically I work on the “Scout” product team.

2. Can you tell me a little more about your role?

My role specifically has two parts to it. The first part is leading the user research team, which is a very small team at the moment, just myself and one other person. That part is coaching our other user researcher, mentoring them and making sure that they are developing in their career the way they want to. The other part of my role is being a researcher. Speaking to our patients, finding out where their pain points are with the service, so that we can make things better and more user friendly for them.

3. What’s the team’s overall goal?

Our goal is to support whatever team we’re doing research for or working with at the time. That might be answering a very specific question or trying to help increase the level of understanding about a particular problem area or type of patient. That should always be our goal, to make it easier for the other team members to do their jobs better and to make sure that whatever the final product is, it’s the best it can be for our patients.

4. Looking back at your time at LloydsDirect, what are you most proud of?

I joined as LloydsDirect’s first researcher. We didn’t have user research as a discipline before I joined and that is what I would say I’m most proud of. Joining as a team of one person, being able to show people the value of user research and embed it in a way that we actually got to hire another researcher. Hopefully we’ll be hiring more people soon!

5. What are you most excited about for the upcoming months at LloydsDirect?

I keep saying this to people at interviews too — the thing that excites me is that there are some really big challenges coming up and really big problems to solve.

Someone described this to me in a really nice way: the repeat prescription business is almost like a band’s first album. We released the album, it went really well, the critics loved it, and now we have to write our second album and it’s hard because we have to figure out what is the next thing we’re going to do. How do we make that work? How do we make sure it’s something that people actually want to use?

It’s a tough problem, but also really exciting to be here and have so much say in the future of LloydsDirect, which I think is quite rare. You have that much ability to affect things!

6. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It might sound a bit cliché and cheesy, but a mantra I use a lot inside and outside of work is: “Everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright it’s because it’s not the end”. I definitely use that in lots of situations.

7. Outside of work, where can we find you?

I would probably be browsing in a lovely book shop or at home playing video games or board games with friends or probably out for a nice walk somewhere – as long as the sun is shining!

8. What was the last song you sang out loud? thinks back to Karaoke at the Christmas party 2021

Haha! Embarrassingly, it’s probably all those little songs from TikTok that get stuck in your head! I couldn’t even tell you which one to be honest. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently — my music taste is shocking!

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