Imagine you own a bustling salon. As a business owner, quality customer service is a top priority. One of the best measures of your service is your online reputation via client reviews. To help service-based businesses manage their online reviews, Demandforce, a marketing and reputation managment SaaS, offers a reviews feature. Within this feature, a user's main tasks are to read and reply to client reviews. On occasion, a user may dispute offending reviews.
After several years of neglect, the reviews feature needed some UX tender love and care.
Improve customer experience
Online reputation management is a differentiator for our product. Simple review management and reporting is a staple in our overall strategy. Therefore any improvements to our existing experience helps us stay competitive.
As this is an existing feature, we will measure perceived ease of use after the redesign.
Using Google Analytics and Mixpanel, my product manager found these metrics and behaviors:
From the aforementioned data, it's clear that users are not customizing the default view of the reviews page very often. That includes venturing past the first few pages of reviews. The low usage of sorting is interesting. Are users not filtering because it's not discoverable or do they not find it useful?
The reviews page has a section for unread and read reviews. However, both types of reviews show up in both sections. In order for a review to be truly "read", it needs to be explicitly marked as read by the user. This is further exacerbated by the misuse of bolding. All new, unread reviews are bolded until they have been "read" or "managed" by clicking on the "manage" link.
Reviews can be featured on the user's business profile page. This is the same behavior seen in blogs and forums. Do users understand that pinning a review on this page does not pin the review on their profile page?
The Demandforce portal has 3 main types of users and 1 rare type. You can view their personas in a new window by clicking here. The 2 we're focusing on for this project are:
The business owner looking to provide great customer service and monitor the health of their business.
The office manager responsible for managing reviews.
After several iterations, internal reviews within the product team, and some guerilla testing with customer service representatives, I finalize a few wireframe prototypes to share with real users. In one design, I wanted to test a more discoverable filtering system. I also simplified the page by removing the unread and read sections. Now, a bolded review is the only indicator that it is unread.
Click here to view the Axure prototype in a new window.
Our amazing researcher finds 5 willing users and sets up interviews within a week. Armed with a laptop, post-its, and recording devices, we set set out to answer questions and get feedback from the 5 sets of users seen below.
With a more complete story of how users interact with reviews, I had plenty of rationale for new design changes. The biggest changes include: removing all but the necessary filtering, using familiar terminology ("flagged" instead of "pinned"), and providing as much appointment related information in the review details as possible. Unfortunately, the development team didn't have enough time to build review sharing functionality or a preview pane, so that was shelved for the next iteration of this project.
After the team felt that our prototype was ready for development, I used Sketch to create the visual skin for the final design. I then uploaded the files to Zeplin for our engineers to consume.
Once the new designs go live, we'll perform usability testing with beta users and follow up with our initial interviewees to see if their overall satisfaction with the new design has improved.