B2B Integration Software Experience
Defining Top Opportunities for platform experience
The end client provides integration platform solutions and needed a better understanding of how to improve current offerings. While existing users and users familiar with integration software indicated they had no problems with the software, new users expressed how difficult the platform was to learn.
How might we create a better experience for users who are new to the software?
This project was completed with another agency, and, due to an agreement, the end client’s name cannot be disclosed and deliverables cannot be shared.
Scope: Our scope included stakeholder interviews, user interviews, and user tests for concept validation. Each round of testing would come with a detailed summary, highlights, and recommendations for up to five key user flows.
Methodology: We gathered our insights from five stakeholder interviews, 15 remote, moderated user interviews, and five concept validation user interviews.
The findings were integrated with the new user path concepts, and our recommendations validated with the additional round of user interviews.
Goals: We first needed to understand the pain points of the different user personas, especially new users. We then needed to know what paths users most followed on the platform and how to optimize them.
- Understand the pain points and frustrations for users who are new to the software.
- Find the main paths that users take, and pinpoint areas for improvement.
- Discover useful insights from user testing that would inform the redesign wireframes.
We identified three target personas:
- Experienced user, familiar with the integrations industry and has used this particular platform for over a year
- New user, familiar with the integrations industry
- User new to both the platform and creating integrations
- First-time users needed more direction and guidance in order to acclimate to the platform quickly.
- Users who were new to the platform — or used the same style of integrations over and over — would benefit from templates. But because integrations are complex and unique, what might be a typical integration at one organization may not be typical at another.
- Users less experienced with the platform needed more guidance on how to resolve errors quickly, rather than have them search both internal and external documentation and guides for a solution.
- The platform’s internal documentation did not provide the right kind of instruction for new users, who needed a better understanding of proprietary terminology, the concepts of integrating, and deeper dives into how to solve their particular use cases.
Based on our suggestions, our partner agency redesigned three key user paths and created a prototype to demonstrate the new features:
- Redesigned dashboard to better direct users toward key functions, such as recent work
- Tutorial wizard walk-through with guided pop-ups that can be closed
- Help and documentation drawer to provide information without taking users off site.
- Clarified error diagnosis flow with additional guidance
We tested the new paths and gathered feedback from the users.
Overall, most users found the new screens would be helpful to new users, but experienced users were concerned about changes to the UI and how it would affect their current workflow.
Our research provided the client with valuable insights into their onboarding process, what users found helpful, and what created learning hurdles for new users.
Ultimately our research provided guidance for new updates to the platform.
My biggest lesson on the project was in how to manage stakeholders. In fact, I updated my talk on stakeholder management and the S.C.A.R.F. model as a result of this project — not because I did things perfectly, but because I failed.
One of the stakeholders started off very open, but as the project went on, his tone became more negative and he micromanaged our activities. I found that I didn’t manage the situation as well as I could have. I hypothesized that his behavior was the result of:
- His status was threatened
- He felt a lack of certainty
- He didn’t have a sense of relatedness.
As a result of understanding these reactions, I have implemented methods for managing these emotions to improve the overall emotions on the project.
I found that recruitment platforms are extremely challenging because many of the people who respond outright lied. Our participants needed a specific level of experience and knowledge and I disqualified most of the people who responded. I spent a significant amount of time reviewing backgrounds and finding discrepancies. User Interviews was the platform that had the most issues with unqualified potential participants.
Fortunately, when clients assist in recruiting through their own databases, this often results in a better pool. However, recruiting is one of the most challenging parts of a study.