After the merger of VTS and Hightower, my team was tasked with creating features and improvements to support our combined user base. One of those improvements was improving the way finding system in the product.
As we continued to build products for our combined platform we realized ( through feedback and metrics ) that our product was extremely difficult to navigate. Users were dropping off and were unable to discover our core product offerings. After deeper investigation we saw that users were simply unable to find what they were looking for. We realized we needed to re-structure our product to make it more navigable.
We worked with both Hightower and Legacy VTS users to take a deeper dive into the navigation experience of the user and their reasons for drop off using the following tools and methods. We relied most heavily on qualitative feedback from customer calls.
We used analytics tools like Pendo and full story to understand the engagement and behavior of our users. It was useful for identifying trends in our user base.
Working with our users really helped us understand the "why" behind our data and gain qualitative insight for improvements.
Our internal stakeholders - especially our customer success team were able to provide a deep analysis of our users' behavior.
Once we gathered a sufficient amount of information and created a shared understanding we were able to articulate our findings into clear customer goals and pains. We worked with the entire product org to ensure that our findings reflected the pain their teams identified.
- Feedback theme buckets
- User story maps
- Audit of existing platform
- Top goals and pain points
- Users didn't know how to navigate to their core workflows.
- Users do not know what asset they are viewing information for.
- Users were not aware of many of our updates and feature improvements.
- Easy identification and navigation of assets.
- Easy discovery and navigation of features.
- Intuitive transition between features.
Sketching and Ideation
Once we had a clear set of goals, and buy in. We started a broad ideation and sketching process which included an audit of our existing navigation system and brainstorming sessions with product and design stakeholders.
SKETCHING AND BRAINSTORMING TOOLS
Brainstorming sessions with the design team
Crazy 8's with engineering and product management
Low fidelity prototypes ( sketching and invision )
The user should always know where they are
The user should know how to go anywhere
3 clicks or less to reach their goal
Create a scalable navigation system
Throughout the process of brainstorming and sketching, we were constantly validating our solutions with metrics, stakeholders and with users. We used low fidelity prototypes to conduct qualitative research studies and usability tests. We eventually landed on a direction that we thought would be successful
Because we were collecting feedback from so many different sources, it was important to articulate how we prioritized and planned to execute on our feedback. We created a feedback tracking tool internally to communicate our process and create visibility around the decisions we made.
We went through various visual iterations to finalize a design to execute on. We wanted to maintain as much familiarity as possible so we chose to stick with existing infrastructure and systems as much as possible. We also wanted to create a system that served both the needs of legacy VTS and Hightower users.
After extensive testing we launched a design that we felt met our user goals and pain points. You can learn more about the feature improvements we made here
Roll out and testing strategy
We created a roll out strategy to ensure that we were getting valuable and timely feedback at a low cost. We decided to roll out features piece by piece to a large surface area. This also helped us onboard users without overwhelming them. We collected and synthesized feedback after release and made appropriate changes. I designed an in-app on boarding flow using Pendo to educate our users.
We used metric testing, and follow up usability tests to gauge the success of the navigation. We also allowed users to easily opt out of the experience, which was also an important metric for us to record.