From XU Magazine, 
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How to get early access to new features and inform the future of Xero

November 22, 2021

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Like any company operating in the tech industry, we exist in a continuous cycle of improvement. Continuous improvement provides moments of genuine opportunity and creates an innovation challenge.

A huge part of this challenge is ensuring that what matters most to our community is embedded into our products. It’s the only way to ensure that your experience remains beautifully intuitive and becomes smarter and more feature-rich as our tools grow.

It may sound obvious, but the most effective way to achieve this with our partners is to simply ask directly. So, here are two ways you can work with our product teams to share your feedback and insights.

Design research panel

The design research panel is the main way that our researchers and designers involve Xero customers in the product development process. This panel is used for early stage discovery research, as well as getting feedback on concepts or ideas.

It’s a convenient process that opens opportunities to participate in online surveys, interviews, user testing, and other kinds of research that shape the user experience you deserve. Some are even incentivised.

An excellent recent example was our ‘Day in the Life of an Accountant or Bookkeeper’ initiative, where a wide range of partners across a number of regions explored the day-to-day challenges and rewards of running a modern day practice. This enabled us to understand and empathise with our customers’ challenges and highlight precise areas where we can help.

It’s quick and easy to sign up to our design research panel. Once signed up, you’ll receive email invites containing a session overview and invitation to register your interest.

Next generation practice insiders

If you’re a Xero partner specifically interested in the tools to help run your practice, then ‘Next Generation Practice Insiders’ is the community for you. Here you’re not only able to inform research, but you can try early iterations of new features and products, give feedback and help shape our future direction.

We launched the program at Xero on Air in September 2020. Since then, we’ve had over 1,300 accounting and bookkeeping partners join and get to participate in pilots that help us test, learn and refine our features to make sure they continue to help your practice thrive.

This is a dedicated program for Xero partners, so the first step is to sign the partner agreement. Once complete, it’s a simple case of signing up to the program. Once you’ve joined, we’ll send you a welcome message to get you set up and accustomed to Intercom (our in-app messaging tool) in Xero HQ, where these opportunities are managed.  

Building the future together

Whichever route suits you best, your feedback is invaluable to us and we’re extremely fortunate to benefit from your passion. We can’t wait to see how your experiences shape our future.

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