How Canstar prioritize usability testing with Lyssna for a better user experience

We speak with Chris Taylor, Lead Experience Designer at Canstar.


Discover how Canstar's design and product team used Lyssna to increase their testing cadence on projects of all sizes, resulting in quicker testing turnaround, insightful user feedback, and ultimately, improved design decision-making.

Every month, millions of people across Australia and New Zealand use Canstar and Canstar Blue, two financial and consumer product comparison platforms based in Australia, to make better informed decisions. It’s the responsibility of the design team at Canstar and Canstar Blue to develop straightforward, user-friendly online environments. 

Canstar case study

As Chris Taylor, Lead Experience Designer at Canstar and Canstar Blue, explains, “We help rate and review brands and products from over 30 financial categories and over 300 product and service categories, and we provide this information freely on our websites and app.”

“Our purpose is to simplify the world of finance and consumer products to help our audience confidently find the right product for them.”

Given the complex nature of their product, the design team at Canstar needs to be able to quickly test their product designs to ensure that users can easily accomplish tasks and that their expectations are met.

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Chris remarked that, no matter how much UX/UI designers follow best practices, they can never be 100% sure how people will react to the experiences they build. “It’s never a certainty that your users will enjoy, understand, or even use your product.”

The need for conducting interviews and studies to evaluate the quality of digital products isn't lost on Chris, but the team found it difficult to find representative users and test designs quickly. 

Before using Lyssna, Chris and his team primarily relied on in-house user testing or external interviews with representative customers to validate their designs and ideas.

Naturally, this came with its own set of drawbacks. External interviews, while effective, are time-consuming and often require testing multiple concepts upfront to maximize time efficiency and return on investment. 

Alternatively, relying solely on internal users sometimes introduces biases. According to Chris,  “We have come to find that working at Canstar, we’ve organically acquired knowledge that can make us slightly less reliable representative customers. For example, we may overestimate how common certain financial jargon is known by our real-world customers.”

“On larger projects, we often had the ability to run usability testing on full prototypes via remote or in-person interviews, but it wasn’t always possible for smaller projects, or we weren’t always able to test individual screens or components to the level that we would have liked,” Chris shares. 

The design and product team wanted to make testing more granular so they could validate their design thinking with users more often and earlier in the design process. They needed a quick and effective way to test smaller design ideas or concepts with customers.


Even though Lyssna was already in use when Chris started at Canstar in 2022, it was Chris’s initial experience with the platform's capabilities that motivated the upgrade to a paid plan. This transition empowered his team to confront their design challenges confidently.

“When looking to upgrade, we did look at a few different options in comparison, mainly Maze and Lyssna’s functionality more suited our needs - I found that the Figma prototype integration was most stable with Lyssna and I liked the toolset more than the other options.”

Chris Taylor

Lead Experience Designer at Canstar

Canstar case study

He adds, “The ability for us to design a quick mockup, run it on Lyssna and receive feedback within an hour has helped us reach definitive design decisions much sooner than before.” 

The Canstar design and product team especially benefited from Lyssna’s integration with Figma, which allowed them to get user feedback on Figma prototypes and layouts without having to “export every screen as images and set up manual hot spots and report back on results manually,” he adds.This integration not only saved the team time, but enabled them to quickly test multiple iterations and designs in a short period. Chris says, “We’ve used the Figma prototype testing the most. Being in a financial based industry, we need to create some very specific user flows that require a lot of information and detail.”

“Having the ability to create concepts in Figma and with minimal effort bring them straight into a testing platform like Lyssna has been a game changer for us.”

Chris Taylor

Lead Experience Designer at Canstar

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The ease and flexibility of Lyssna enabled the product and design team to run some complex tests. Chris says, “We’ve also found the Lyssna panel invaluable in our testing campaigns – it can take a lot of time and effort to recruit people manually.”

“It’s fast, easy, and flexible to recruit on Lyssna. We’ve found the users on the panel are also very generous with their feedback and have given us some really useful feedback.”

Chris Taylor

Lead Experience Designer at Canstar

“Lyssna gave us the ability to reach out to everyday users at a larger scale than we could by testing individually with internal or external stakeholders in interview style testing,” continues Chris. 

“Lyssna’s participant recruitment means we can even recruit users who have a genuine interest in financial matters that closely replicate our own audience.”

In terms of outcomes, Chris has found a number of improvements both in the speed of testing and quality of user feedback. Chris states, “We can create simple or comprehensive tests really fast and easily. We now also have the ability to combine prototype tests with follow up questions, which means we don’t need to run as many direct interviews as we had previously.”

Chris also points out the speed of testing. “If there's something we want to know,  we can develop a concept, prototype, or design, test it, and have a result within hours. We have an extended audience of users we can instantly test with that we previously didn’t have, and we didn’t have to recruit them ourselves.” 

“Lyssna is a powerful platform and I look forward to seeing the results it can deliver us in future testing campaigns.”

Chris Taylor

Lead Experience Designer at Canstar

When it comes to quantifiable results, Chris states that, “Through tests we’ve run via Lyssna, we’ve discovered how small details can really make a difference in the success of our designs. In one of our tests we found the simple act of placing an arrow can help guide an extra 30% of users to successfully engage with our experience.”

Canstar Case study

“The ease and flexibility of Lyssna has enabled us to run some pretty complex testing campaigns and it’s handled it all brilliantly. There’s very little that we haven’t been able to do.”

“It’s also pretty evident that Lyssna is constantly being built upon by the team. We’re very excited to give the new Interviews tool some use in the near future.”

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