The demand for UX has increased considerably in the last few years. Companies rush to create products that meet the demands of its users, but the big organizations often have big teams and resources to focus solely on UX. What about a one man team? As is common in UX research, with limitations on the scope, little to no resources for testing and little time, we’ll see a case study on how to tackle a really bare bones UX review of an existing digital product.
In this first part we will start with setting the framework for the process and analysing the user flow of the task at hand. But first let's set some rules, the main focus will be on a low cost airline based in Colombia, and its website as the product to review, the idea is to limit the scope of the analysis to only a single aspect of the site, also using what is called opinion mining with online reviews as our source of user data. Let's begin.
This airline has a common low-cost airline strategy when managing its services, starting with a basic fare for the ticket and multiple tiers that add additional services, such as extra bags.
Another important part of its revenue comes from extra services that offer a better experience for the user, such as, sittings with more space, express boarding and insurance, so it wants to increase one of its major KPIs: Additional services sales through the web channel. As of now, the airline has noticed a significant drop-out rate in the purchase flow in this specific stage, and they are willing to begin a redesign process to provide an enhanced experience that increases business performance.
The process is the following:
- Evaluate the current flow for purchase through the website
- Data synthesis, define criteria and pain points
- Benchmark competitors
- Generate recommendations
- Propose solutions and next steps
This Simple framework in phases will analyze the situation and define what needs to improve, allowing for iteration of the design to finally arrive at a final delivery.
What you are seeing is the diagram for the user interaction on the current website, in this first part the user must:
- Fill data about the flight, like dates, destination and passengers.
- Choose a type of experience and tier, per flight.
The airline has 3 tiers for the type of ticket, offering different experiences depending on the price: BASE, MEDIUM and FULL.
This second part shows us the data needed for the personal info form and gives us a view about a route, an option for people with special needs.
Also, there is the main part of the flow, where the focus of our analysis will be. The option for extra services and insurance represent the main source of income for the airline, so in order to improve the dropout rate and to increase the sale of these services, we will focus our hypothesis in this section.
Due to limitations in this scenario it is not possible to have actual user interviews, to understand what they have to say.
That being said, it is possible to use user reviews to get an insight about the opinions and experience of users (this process is called opinion mining) in this case using trip advisor as a source, allowing us to understand pain points and emotional reaction to experiences on the product, regardless if they are positive or negative.
The key in this scenario is to focus on the substance of what they write and to have a human centered design approach to the reviews, understanding what's really the main cause of the reaction.
HUMAN CENTERED DESIGN
Users desire the cheapest price possible, but they do not take into account the considerations and conditions for the specific type of price tier.
They have negative experiences due to the clarity surrounding the value and offerings of a certain ticket tier.
Avoid inquiring more about the services in the moment of purchase or deselecting the extra services, because the value is not expressly shown to them.
This approach to problem solving will allow us to eliminate bias and subjective positions regarding our analysis
With the conclusions from the reviews it is necessary to focus on the problem rather than the specific case of the reviewer, this situation can also present itself when hearing requirements from stakeholders or directly from users, our analysis must focus on the problem at the core of the product.
Using a human centered approach to problem solving will allow us to “translate” any conclusion that may come out of our analysis, into a hypothesis that we can understand and target the main pain points which allow us to get the necessary criteria to continue our review of the website.
We have arrived at the hypothesis and at the end of the first part of our bare bones UX review, we have analyzed user data, user flows and hypothesis.
In the following weeks we will be continuing with benchmarking, expert review and some conclusions.