Customer Portal: CX/UX product innovation

The Global Data Quality IT Company delivers Data Management and Service solutions to retailers, public sector and financial insititutions.

During Q3 2019, after an analysis of the sale and customer satisfaction performances, consultant and product management teams assumed that the Company lose a significant percentage of renewals as a result of a poor customer and user experience. It was also assumed that a self-service experience would have improved the onboarding process and the overall user experience. To validate these assumptions and recommend a solution they’ve engaged me as UX Lead to undertake the most appropriate actions.

Discovery

To gather existing knowledge about users and their typical journeys I’ve initially suggested, plan and facilitated a series of workshops with key internal stakeholders. A total of 7 people have participated among Product Managers and Consultants:

  • Two empathy mapping workshops, during which we have identified typical users, their roles, tasks and frustrations. For Public and Retail sectors. Following the workshop outcomes analysis, I’ve identified two key user types/personas, their goals and expectations: a decision maker,  representing prospects, and a system administrator as first-time users.
  • Two experience mapping workshops, to highlight the current journey the two selected personas have to go through to meet their goals. For each step we have identified negative, neutral and positive experiences.

While initially it was believed that the main pain-points of the customer lifecycle occured during the onboarding phase, from the internal discovery emerged gaps and opportunities since the early stages of the customer journey.

To validate these findings, I’ve suggested, planned and conducted user interviews with real client decision makers and system administrators. I’ve then engaged the product manager to run a competitive research and analysis to highlight potential market opportunities.

As a result of the discovery phase, I’ve created the two stakeholders profile, and validated the assumptions.

Design

Following the result of the discovery phase we’ve conceptualised the potential solution: a customer facing portal to drive the prospect through the exploration phase and to which at due time the system administrator is also given access.

I’ve designed the system/user conceptual journey with each phase related epics, then engaged the technical architects for a first technical analysis.

In short terms, the portal will enable the decision maker to find the relevant information and get connected with the right team, raise requests and exchange files; once the deal is done and the product is available the system administrator is invited to access the portal administrator area and manage all required actions to set the system, find the technical and user documentation and activate business users. During the next phases of the customer lifecylce, the portal will be used as a platform to pull news, events, and engage the client until the renewal day.

This solution is believed will provide the external stakeholders a smooth and consistent experience by accessing all they need from one platform, while enable the internal teams to quickly respond their prospects/users requests and track their activity to dynamically pull the most relevant content.

Currently the project is moved to a internal stakeholders wider engagement phase to ensure the necessary support for the success of the solution. Next steps include connect existing product teams, gathering content requirements, creating a prototype to submit internal stakeholders and users for a series of design/validation iterations.

Achievements

  • Since the initial steps, I’ve engaged internal stakeholders to collaborate and improved the internal alignement on knowledge, needs and potential solution.
  • Then by suggesting the most appropriate discovery activities I’ve been able to move away from the internal opinion-based assumptions to real users evidence-based validation.
  • Finally, the conceptual design has been successfully used to communicate the solution from the user perspective and start an internal discussion around viability and faisability.
  • In conclusion, a user-centric approach has been adopted since early stages enabling business and technical teams to consider a product first from those who will use it.

Customer Portal on Salesforce Community

2018/2019

The energy supplier was undergoing a digital transformation project and adopting a full set of Salesforce solutions to improve internal processes and customer relations.

Appointed as Senior UX Designer / Customer Experience Lead, I’ve been responsible to set the implementation of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud and overall improvement of the customer experience. To the newly created CX Team I’ve managed, it was assigned an internal excellent professional with extensive knolwedge of customers and internal flow, while I’ve hired a Communications and Content Designer.

Customers communications flow

After some initial internal meetings, it was acquired that customer communications flow and quality needed improvements.

With the team we’ve gathered additional information to understand the journey steps involving both customers and internal teams and we’ve created the as-is flow. This has highlighted some gaps and opportunities to improve the quantity and quality of communications. We’ve started to plan using the SF Marketing Cloud to create personalised messages both via email and on the company website.

The Content Designer has evaluated the content quality of the as-is messages and provided some advice to the marketing team, while as designer I’ve audited then created a new template directly on the SF Marketing Cloud.

Self-Service Portal

The external consultants appointed to implement Salesforce Service Cloud and Salesforce Community needed a UX Designer to create the design of the new Customer portal. Compared to the current portal, it was necessary to refresh the UI to create a consistent digital brand identity and to improve features and functionalities. To provide a better experience to their customers.

After having gathered business requirements and sharing ideas with the solution architect, I’ve designed the new portal on Tablet portrait.

The portal new UI/UX design have then been documented and the small screen (smartphone) screen version has also been designed for most complex transactions.

User Research for Membership programme

2018

The UK based insurance and travel company launched their membership programme dedicated to over 50s existing customers just six months before I joined the Digital Marketing team as a contractor. They needed to understand their target age group digital behaviours and preferences, and hired me to find out more and support the team with informed decisions. In addition, I was asked to translate recommendation in design improvements.

The membership programme is delivered to their members via a large/medium/small screen responsive website.

User research

Sourcing information from International and National stats, I have initially run a desktop research to understand over 50s consumers digital behaviours and preferences. I have then presented the outcomes and the analysis along with recommendations to the Digital Marketing management board.

User research panel

To get in touch with real users, I’ve suggested to create a User Research Panel and discussed with the team. In liaise with the CRM team, we’ve recruited around 300 real customers by matching the overall demographic composition of the customer base (age, groups, locations, gender).

Demographics & digital behaviours

Once the User Research panel has been created with real customers, I’ve planned and launched targeted online surveys to provide a deep understanding of behaviours and attitudes of demographics and product related features as discussed with the digital marketing team.

Offers categorisation and preferences

To understand customer preferences about membership offers, with the purpose to improve the website categorisation and navigation, We’ve run a series of surveys to identify preferences and opportunities. The results also supported the Marketing team to plan a offering improvement.

Devices

Sinc the previous research results has emerged that panelist do prefer to use a mobile device against a desktop computer to explore the membership programme website. As a result we’ve run a specific survey to understand what tasks they run mostly when using the mobile device.

The results of the survey have fed into a revision of the current mobile device design and  suggested the development of a dedicated native app.

Design & user testing

As a results of previous research studies focused on  devices and offer categorisation, I’ve provided recommendations about information architecture, navigation systems, and then designed relevant user journeys and wireframes on small screen mobile device.

Finally, using clickable prototypes on mobile device I’ve run in house user testing (Lookback.io) and provided final feedback to Digital Marketing team and design relevant improvements.

Council website

2017

The Council was running a digital transformation project aiming to redesign all services and improve their digital transactional website.
As UX Designer, I’ve been leading the user experience in the Digital team working with  Content Managers, Front and Back-End developers, Service Designers, while mentoring a Junior UX Designer. With the front-end developer I’ve also supported the visual designer for the re-definition of the new digital brand and UI.

UX Templates

I have defined the design strategy by designing layouts/templates that would have hosted the web components. Therefore, I have designed the home page layout and then relevant wireframes. These have then been tested with real users with a usability task-based test. I have also mentored the Junior UX for.

Requirements and users tasks workshops

Then I have defined the flow of activities and set up a process to go through for each service area. I have prepared, mentored and run ‘Service and user requirements workshop’ whose stakeholders have been the Council’s service owners. On the back of the requirements workshop, I have started creating user journeys to map the service and user requirements, defining interactions and functionalities therefore web components. I have also mapped the content on main layouts by creating content inventory.

UX Design, Web components library and global search

Finally, I have created the Web Component Library on Sketch and liaise with the developers to handover with clickable prototypes, flows and wireframes.

UI Design

As a final step, I have also led the Design team for the definition of the council new brand-self, by creating the brief to outsource the UI Design.

App Studio for tracking Baby activities

2017

The app tracks the baby’s growth, development, and health. The client wanted users to be able to input data and compare it with healthcare standards while sharing data with doctor.

What I have done

After conducting desktop research and a competitive analysis to understand the baby apps market opportunity, I analyzed users’ need and the main tasks. I created a data flow and defined the concept. Then I designed some hi-fi wireframes to show the main features and finally I suggested future improvements.

This concept enables users to track the baby’s health, growth, and development activities while comparing data with pulled in WHO and the National Health care system. They can also create formal reports to share when required. Both features match specific user requirements. Every activity can be shared with other connected users or doctors; user groups and a chat is included.
Users can also add new categories already included in the app (feeding) or completely customize it such as holidays for example, to track all activities (with media) about the baby’s first holidays.

Requirements Analysis | Competitor Research and Analysis | User Research | User Journeys | Data Flows | Wireframes | Tappable Prototype (Sketch, InVision)

Competitive Analysis

Users types

Data Flow
Data Flow

BabyTrack – Welcome

BabyTrack – Activities home

BabyTrack – Activity page

Try here the tappable prototype

Customised CRM on Salesforce Service Cloud

2016

The client (National Italian Energy Supplier) adopted the IT Company CRM solution and asked for the 80% of solution customisation to adapt their users requirements and streams.

What I have done

As UX Architect Lead I have managed business and technical stakeholder, set the UX process and necessary actions, lead the UX/UI design, designed wireframes, and set-up the necessary guidelines.

First steps done: liaised with the project team and the client to set up a UX process and engage the team (project and delivery manager, BAs, development team), improve the solution design consistency, converge communication between teams and work directly with the client main stakeholders to drive the approach and facilitate user adoption.

I have defined a UX Process to discuss within the project team and set-up an integrated process to efficiently deliver on due date and to avoid inconsistency and complaints by the client. With regular meetings within teams and constant agile working, it has been possible to set up all activities and necessary validations.

I have audited the existing solution, highlighted the main design patterns and defined  template and UI components to use throughout the solution for the 25 project streams (customer service processes).

Service Cloud

Service Cloud (with full length wireframe)
Service Cloud (with full length wireframe)

I have managed the UI/UX Guidelines as started by the previous UX team. I have suggested and discussed details, best practices and approach for designing features. The UI guidelines successfully became the main reference for Bas, SAs and developers.

Wireframe documentation (for IT Stakeholders sign-off)
Wireframe documentation (for IT Stakeholders sign-off))

 

UX/UI Guidelines
UX/UI Guidelines

 

Proposed Visual Enhancements
Proposed Visual Enhancements

Achievements

The solution was delivered on time, the collaboration among project teams improved, the solution design as consistent as required, and the user experience value recognised. The client was satisfied and the IT company proud of the job done.

“We’ll definitely miss Anna professionalism and experience!”
Client main business stakeholder, Energy Supplier
 
“Anna took part of one of the most SF challenging Program in Italy as UX Senior architect. She had the opportunity to bring her experience and creative touch for the UX and UI design of the platform. This highly contributes to the user adoption.”
Program Manager, IT Company

Qualifications Website

2015-2016

As UX Designer I have been in charge of the user experience the most visited website of the company. In liaise with the business stakeholders (Marketing and Product Management), the product owner, the web content team and back- front-end developers I have been in charge of the BAU and suggested strategic improvements.

The company traditional dimension and the decision process, along with a little experience with the UX practice and process could challenge the required improvements of the product.

What I have done

After having gathered the business stakeholder requirements I have set-up and run an in-house user testing, qualitative and quantitative user research (usability testing, face-2-face user interviews and remote survey).

Personas: profile, motivations, typical activities and relation with product recurrent characteristics. Created following the f-2-f interviews.

Personas (motivations, typical activities and relation with product recurrent characteristics following the f-2-f interviews)

The task based usability testing has been useful to test some specific features of the website and plan  relevant improvements.

The usability testing has been useful to test some specific features of the website and plan the relevant improvements.

Following the user testing it has emerged that users have difficulties in completing tasks on key pages, and that they are more interested in the useful information rather than marketing copy. I’ve engaged the product and marketing stakeholders to discuss the user testing results and define the priorities. As a result, we have set a UX roadmap of strategic improvements focused on reviewing the design of key pages to provide more usable content for users’ purposes, and to redesign existing landing pages to host some marketing content.

UX Designer Strategy

When it came to design specific pages, to get business requirements and align internal teams (product management and marketing), I have organised page description workshops sothat they could discuss together and agree the content. Finally I’ve validated the workshops results directly with users via an online survey.

Content First: Stakeholders workshop validated by users survey

Once the content has been defined and validated, I’ve designed the wireframes and discussed features with developers. Once technical sign-off I have planned a remotly run usability test to validate planned improvements with users. The test resulted successful for the 90% of the key improvements and with the product owner proceeded to setting the acceptance criteria and create the user stories and eventually the relevant development.

Lo/Hi Fi Wireframes (3 iterations)
Lo/Hi Fi Wireframes (3 iterations)

Usability Testing on Prototype
Usability Testing results on Prototype

Category Landing Page (Hi-FI BW)
Category Landing Page (Hi-FI BW)

Category Landing Page (Hi-FI COL)
Category Landing Page (Hi-FI COL)

ACHIEVEMENTS

The engagement of key business stakeholders has contributed to improve internal collaboration, reduce silos-working and infuse a product culture rather than department culture.

The knowledge about users’ needs beyond marketing segmentation has also increased, hence product, marketing and user requirements have been combined to design a more consistent user experience for customers.

Digital workplace on MS SharePoint

2014

The client needed a new solution to store and share knowledge among teams and countries more efficiently. 

With stakeholders new to UCD, I have driven them through the journey of UCD process. In addition, time constrains, a global audience mainly working offsite and not used to digital products could add some challenges to achieve the project objectives.

What I have done

As UX Consultant I have planned and run the user research, set a new design strategy, and finally created the wireframes and prototypes for desktop and mobile devices.

In agreement with the client, I have planned a user research and remotely interviewed 15 people, and prepared an online survey with 46 questions covering 5 research areas (work collaboration, social engagement, information consumption, mobile usage and current Intranet relation). Finally, I have analysed the resulting data, searching for common traits, and grouped them to generate personas and user segmentation. In addition, I have defined user scenarios and designed user journeys to emphasise pain points.
Results: The research revealed that most users were keen to improve collaboration using digital tools, while not all keen to adopt social media to improve their individual productivity. I have prepared and presented the stakeholders the user research findings and gathered their positive feedback.

Persona (sample)

User Segmentation (sample)

User Journeys (sample)

In order to combine business and users requirements, I have reviewed with the client  the global navigation and the page content structure. Then I have proposed to introduce the social media feeds in key pages so to stimulate the most reticent users and empower the more social media enthusiastic.

Site map with page interactions

Finally, I have recommended to review the layout of key pages so that users could easily find the relevant information for their role and location, on desktop and mobile devices. I have created static and clickable wireframes.

Platform Wireframes Overview

Wireframes – Tablet Portrait

SmartPhone – Wireframes

Achievements

The client acknowledged that the user research has emerged a deep understanding of their users (employees) beyond expectations. This has driven the team to set a precise strategy and design which have finally met all requirements.

“People interviewed have said that Anna is very professional and they liked to talk to her. The research showed our people attitudes and requirements we weren’t aware of. Finally, the new Intranet navigation proposed is excellent and fits the purpose to facilitate our people find content and to get in touch with their peers around the world.”
Client main stakeholder and project manager, Oil Company