Sharing research and insights is messy. Avrio is here to change that. From Data Dashboards, Google Slides, and Slack threads, to inside of apps and team member's heads. Avrio captures all of your Insights and creates a single source of truth. Unlike slide decks or static company wiki pages, Insights saved with Avrio are always accurate, up-to-date, and saved in context. Knowledge is power, capture and share it with Avrio.
Avrio offers an interesting set of tools for product owners, product designers, and UX researchers in how user research is shared with the team. I was initially very intrigued and looking forward to discovering a possible new tool to optimize product research workflows even for myself. The suite of tools available for user research is still relatively immature and lacking. As more and more product teams adopt user research methodologies as part of the product development, more workflow optimized tools are needed, especially in enterprise environments where spreadsheets, Wikis, and shared drives still dominate as the preferred toolsets used by product researchers. Upon entering the website, Avrio declares itself to be:
"A collaborative research platform. Built directly into your workflow."
As you scroll down the page, there are other declarations like "Knowledge is power: capture and share it" or "Break down your knowledge silos" and "Give your team a single source of truth." These are all buzz wordy declarations that seem to be crafted to make product researchers salivate. Finally! No more cloud project drives with endless folders filled with spreadsheets, presentation decks, and word documents!
Unfortunately, such is not the case...
You still need to use all your tools that you currently use. Those silos still exist. The thought of being free from a prison of spreadsheets, wikis, and notepads is quickly unravelled as you get gut punched into realizing what you're essentially paying for here is a chrome extension that is basically a site aware, contextually aware, and shareable Skitch for UX Researchers. Instead of being a platform with built-in tools optimized for UX Research methods with extendable API's and native integrations into other necessary 3rd party platforms, Avrio essentially attempts to replace your UX research project Wiki or Confluence pages with a browser plugin, instead.
The insight pinning features of the browser plugin, accessible by the entire team is admittedly nice. It would be even more useful if it could be more than just a surface level pinning of insights and there was a way to have those pins linked to an integration of choice to a Wiki or Confluence page, and even have link chains to working prototyping apps and design files. The ability to add documentation to Google Analytics charts via pins seems like something that should have always been in Google Analytics natively. It's a nice feature, but most serious product teams are using MixPanel, Pendo, or similar product analytics solutions in place of, or in addition to Google Analytics and there is currently no integrations with any other analytics platform other than GA. The integrations Avrio provides seems very limited. All integrations rely on Zapier to work and that can be a deal breaker for enterprise product teams. Product teams want simple and anything that involves having to pay for another service as a dependency AND engineering / devops possibly involved to get working is not simple and can be a blocker.
What We Like:
What We Don't Like:
In conclusion, I find that Avrio misses the mark. I have no doubt that certain product teams and research groups would find Avrio very useful. However, based on the workflows of product teams and research teams that I've had a pleasure to have been a part of and consulted with, I don't think Avrio would fit the workflows of most enterprise and high functioning product or research teams. The are a few too many barriers with Avrio with the need for Zapier for essentially all of its integrations, basing all workflows on having to install and browser plugin, and lack of native integrations with some key 3rd party products. This is definitely one I'll be keeping a watchful eye in, as I'm personally rooting for Avrio. The product needs a bit more tools out of the box and needs to be more of a stand alone platform or as a companion platform, similar to how InVision or Zeplin are companion platforms for Sketch. The product research space is still an untapped market of opportunities with not a lot of solutions targeting this growing niche.