The overall project revolved around :
- Designing and wireframing public business profile pages to provide visibility to contractors working with Echo-Bloc products;
- Designing and wireframing the lead management system for contractors and customers interested in Echo-Bloc products and in finding a contractor for their project;
- The target audience was mainly contractors and homeowners;
- Our design brief included a heuristic evaluation along with a lot of wireframing.
We were two designer working on this project, I, junior UX designer paired with a senior designer. Client was taking care of the development internally.
Company: Yu Centrik
Role: UX Designer
Timeline: Nov. 2016
It all started with context
The client is a leading manufacturer of landscaping products designing and manufacturing the finest quality hardscape and masonry products in their industry. They have a loyal following of staff, contractors, architectural designers, authorized retailers/dealers, and homeowners, whom use their website extensively. These users browse products, find resources, locate a retailer or manage leads.
- They wanted to increase their revenue, grow their customer base and onboard more contractors through a revamp of their lead management website.
- We worked in duo as two UX designers on this project, splitting the work 60/40 between meeting with the client and wire framing the solution.
Following a series of bad experiences with other companies, the client asked us to help them quickly turn their project around. We had to design three part of the web platform including the public profile pages, the project creation tool and the lead management interface. Deadline was set for two weeks after the initial kickoff meeting in order to have the integration done for a conference due shortly after.
At the discovery phase of this project, and as allowed by the client's budget we conducted 5 homeowners and 3 contractors interviews in order to get a better understanding of the problem.
Considering the short deadline of 2 weeks, we chose this research method which allowed us to quickly get some context and a minimal amount of data to base our design on.
Some of the questions we asked were :
- What are you looking for when searching for a contractor ?
- What are the 3 biggest problems you encounter when looking for one ?
- What do you feel/think about the process of looking for a contractor ?
- What are your expectations regarding this search ?
- What are your expectations for a system supposed to bring you new leads ?
- Have you ever used one before ? If yes, what worked and what didn't?
- What's your context of use ? How would you manage leads without such system ?
- What problem the future product is supposed to solve for homeowners and contractors alike ?
- Why should homeowners/contractors use your product/service ?
- What do you think your product has not performed the way it should so far ?
The main insights were that homeowners as well as contractors were reluctant to use such website, mainly because of a lack of trust in the system (for both), but also the perception that the service would carry some sort of fees (for homeowner).
We changed our initial thoughts for improvement towards reinforcing trust and guidance thorough the use of this product.
Businesses' public profile pages
First goal was to revamp public profile pages. Those were accessible through the contractor locator on the website. Considering the moderate amount of information displayed on those pages, we chose a mix of best practices, benchmarking and user data from the client to establish our hierarchy of information.
We made sure to put contact information and past projects' photos at the top, as this were the most important drivers to establish trust amongst homeowners.
Then, we chunked the rest of the information down thorough the page with a mobile first approach.
What have you learned from this project?
Thorough this project, we learned that :
- You can't design for all users simultaneously. Without proper user research, designing for everyone means designing for no one.
- Constant communication with your stakeholders is essential to the project's success. They should have a strong sense of ownership in every decision that is taken.