Role: Lead Interaction Designer, Prototype Developer
The problem: The current distributor homepage is is out of date. It is also littered with usability problems like unclear information, irrelevant information, hidden information, multiple instances of carousels, and is generally confusing to users.
The goal: Redesign the Distributor homepage to bring relevant and critical information to the user in one screen. Allow them to take action on this information easily to increase volume and progress through the marketing plan. Progressing through the marketing plan increases sales and profit for the user.
I wanted to take a two-view approach to this page based on user research. Higher level distributors wanted tools to help run their business like business metrics, downline trends, etc.. Newer or lower level distributors just wanted stuff to help them make sense of the business. They are people trying to run a business between picking up their kids from soccer practice, making dinner, spending time with their families, etc.. They want access to information without having to spend hours on the site.
Hidden Issues: Many times, the ROI for UX can be hidden at first glance. This is one of those times. Providing relevant and useful information the user cares about doesn’t correlate to a line item on a budget. We are trying to increase efficiency for users. This efficiency allows them to spend significantly less time searching for information. This in turn, allows them to research products, read educational articles, and help others in their business to succeed. Linking these as success metrics is difficult, especially when articles just went through a redesign as well.
Success Metrics: These are just two examples of our success metrics. First, we are attempting to link the click-through path on the actionable items to increased activity as a success metric. An increase in traffic to articles would be another success metric we are trying to follow.
We did user surveys and interviews as our primary research. Here is a powerpoint of the findings. I’ve also included the test script I wrote for testing the design.
What Went Well
- Successfully fought for relevant actionable items based on research and feedback and won.
- Started to turn opinion from internal guessing to user based need.
- Provided clear and concise information from most important to least important.
- Presented to distributors at multiple levels to confirm two-view approach.
What Didn’t Go So Well
- Lost the debate about cluttering the homepage with other “junk”.
- Despite research and feedback, the emphasis was placed on ordering and marketing instead of the information they came for.
- Lost the final visual design debate.
- Lost the “two-view” debate.
- Too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome diluted the design and slowed the project.
What I Learned
The business needs come before the user’s needs when talking to stakeholders. So much so that it will override carefully researched and intentional designs. You have to be prepared for this, and not let it get you down. You win some, you lose some, but advocating for the user never stops. Be prepared with well thought out designs and data to back it up.