Usability Studies

Challenges, solutions and outcomes.

Background

I’ve spent the majority of my career working in small teams with a broad range of skill-sets. Throughout the years I’ve often been the driving force for usability improvement to the products I work on, either out of necessity - being the only web or product designer in a team of marketers - or as part of my responsibilities in creative direction working with small teams of designers and developers.

If you’d like to know more about any of the projects below, please get in touch!

Vocus Communications

The Problem

Homepage Products Before

Lack of product information on the Vocus Communications homepage was leading to users blindly navigating to pages for products that didn’t fit their needs. Due to confusing ‘marketing speak’ and only 2 product categories being displayed at a time we saw limited traffic flowing from the homepage solutions carousel.

The Solution

After working through a number of possible solutions, we found the best approach was the most obvious one - to make the product category listing as simple and straight-forward as possible. We removed the carousel and displayed all five product categories up front, in order of popularity from left to right and simple category titles and plain-English descriptions were developed by the marketing team to help clearly explain the differences & benefits of each category to the user.

Homepage Products After

Outcomes

From one of the lowest performing sections of the homepage, we now saw a majority of new traffic to the page using these product category lead-ins to navigate through to find out more about our products. Removing all ambiguity about the purpose of each category to the user meant they had more confidence that they were heading in the right direction to find a product that suited their needs.

Follow-up

Prompted by data gathered from user feedback, along with cursor and click tracking, the marketing team asked me to investigate options for a more targeted product selection area that could potentially lead customers directly to specific products, skipping an extra step of navigation through the product category pages.

Detailed product information developed for the new product pages and product category landing pages was re-purposed to build a functioning prototype for a simple natural-language wizard that helped users find suitable products based on their business size and requirements.

The wizard allowed for comparison between specific products directly on the homepage, while making it easy for the user to understand why they were being shown those products, and giving them the option to find out more about each one. The solution received positive feedback from internal teams and is currently still in development.

Homepage Products Next

The Problem

Product Category Before

Vocus Communications' product category pages lacked detail, leaving users to guess which of the available products was best suited to their needs. We saw a high rate of return visits to category pages, plus a higher than normal bounce-rate from users reaching these pages and leaving after not finding what they were looking for.

We gathered data from short surveys to random users, and used cursor & click heatmapping to help validate our assumption that a lack of context given to the products on these pages was leading users to become confused and uncertain of where they should go next.

The Solution

Working with the products and marketing teams, we developed a new structure for product pages that included information about products that could be used modularly as required throughout the rest of the website.

The first use for this content was to devise a clean way to pull a short product description, key features and business-size suitability through to product category pages, with the aim of giving users an area to directly compare the products

Outcomes

We implemented the new product category template on key categories and noticed a drop in bounce, with more users flowing directly through to more popular products.

Where with the old design some users would click products that were unsuited to their business, then either navigate back after not finding the information they were looking for, or simply leave the website, we instead saw more targeted traffic that lead to more time viewing product pages and a (slightly) higher rate of enquiries.

Product Category After

More examples coming soon…