Softonic.com is one of the internet’s largest platform for apps and software with 80 million monthly unique users. Within Softonic web team, I have been defining new features, setting design principles for the site, or improving the CRO of the main funnel. But the most interesting project I have been involved is the permanent overhauling of the UI/UX of the site in a lean environment and the framework that we built (UXers) in order to build, measure & learn; involving product management, ux research, design, development and SEO.
CATEGORY: UX Research / Product Design | COMPANY: Softonic | YEAR: 2014-2016
We defined a first phase named background research. At this step we try to collect and analize all existing data in order to accelerate the process and have a solid starting point.
What includes? Analytics reports that illustrate how the product is being used, A/B Tests documented, heuristic evaluation of current website to identify pain points and improvement opportunities related to user experience, look and feel and layout, UX research from recent studies: User personas, customer journeys, etc and competitive analysis (Basic Benchmark).
DESIGN THE EXPERIENCE (BUILD)
Once we have enough data, we start designing the new experience. Starting with feature mapping sessions and ending with visual design feedback sesions. Through collaborative design sessions we involve anyone from staff, designers, product managers, developers, customers (user personas) working collaboratively. It saves a lot of time, costs and gives better results. This is an aproach to incorporate a co-creation design philosphy within the whole company. This doesn't mean that design becomes a "group decision". Ideas will always be filtered. It helps to explore potential directions and gathers a wide range of perspectives in the process.
Example of a sesion plan: How it works? 1. Problem definition and Background research explanation. 2. small group idea generation (2-3). 3. Presentation and critique (Team & SEO). 4. Iterate and refine. 5. Team idea generation. At this point we should have some kind of visual prototype of the product to start testing with users, before we start the development.
IMPLEMENTATION OF A MONITOR SYSTEM (MEASURE)
When you are running a mature product, monitoring metrics are king. With the hard work of our UX reseacher (Adrián Fernández), we defined and implemented a system that enables monitoring, measurement and quantification of user experience in our website. This is done through a survey and give us a comparable indicator of user experience.
"For the launch we redirect traffic gradually to reduce impact and to be able to compare the performance with old versions"
We defined and measured the following UX attributes: Usefulness: the ability of having utility, practical worth or applicability in user’s day-to-day. Discoverability: the ability of making the user discover relevant software that he didn’t know before. Allure: the capability to impress, surprise, engage and attract the user. Trustiness: the capability of providing a sense of safety to the user. Usability: the capability of being easy to understand, predict and operate. Sociability: the capability of providing the user the feeling of being integrated into a user community.
In order to implement this system using free-development tools, we connected Typeform in order to collect the user responses in a impressive way, Zapier in order to automatically translate each arriving answer to a row in google spreadsheet, and Google Spreadsheet in order to make all the calculations automatically and accesible for the product manager; there they can visualize, compare and analize UX metrics.
WHAT WE LEARNED
- Even if you don't get a 60% of your OKR, the different mistakes, errors & fails that we committed on the road are the best learning and the most satisfying feeling.
- Using this framework we managed to redesign the whole mobile web at softonic, SERP, program page & Articles page in the desktop site, not bad at all.