User testing and redesign
The Mad Box, 2017
Joebee.com is the first e-commerce for professional services, an innovative marketplace where professionals can create their own personal website and sell their work directly to the costumers. Being still a developing project, the interface is changing very fast to meet all the users’ requirements that such a complex project require: in this case, the flow through which a professional service is needs to be redisign to be the most usable.
When I first joined Joebee team, I found an overly complicated platform that suffered from the continuous adding of features on top of the existing ones, and a lack of user feedback. Our primary target has been the semplification of the booking flow as a consequence of user testing, the main challenge being trying to convince and educate the managment to the importance of user research and user testing.
Testing the usability of your product will help find answers to many business issues, helping to increase the conversion rates, customer retention, decrease customer support costs and re-development costs. Testing early and often will cut a lot of unwanted costs and a lot of companies could benefit from this.
The kind of user testing we tried to set as standard at Joebee is called formative testing. That is, we start testing a product while its development is going on or before it is sent to any development.
It was mandatory to create a business culture user-testing focused this to see if our designs do what we intended them to do. Basically, to see if a design objective is being met.
As a consequence of the top levels indifference to user testing, as a team we had to face a poor budget to set our usability test. This led us to involve mostly colleagues and friends in our usability test – not the ideal situation, as this may lead to biased results.
Working closely to a colleague, we selected 5 tasks to be completed on Joebee app and asked 8 users to complete them while commenting their actions, issues and doubts. Every session had been recorded; the comments noted and the time necessary to complete a task carefully annotated.
The usability study confirmed some of the assumption previously identified, as well as other pain points that had been unnoticed by the team. The following steps involved the redesign of the booking flow and a second test with 5 users to understand if the new design was meeting the customer’s needs with a better user experience.
The biggest limitation during this project has been the limited resources we could rely on to conduct the testing, but still this has been a valuable experience: as a UX designer, sometimes part of the role is advocating for best practices- let the results show the importance of a better user experience.