Context

Valora is a startup with SaaS solution for dynamic pricing .

I worked as a Product Designer in the product team, and my challenge was to improve and create a meaningful experience to help users become more autonomous by lowing the complexity of the platform and aligned with business goals.

My role

Dates

Start 01/02/2021 - End 31/12/2021

I was hired to work at Valora as a Product Designer, my job was to improve the user experience on the main product taking into account risks and costs directly related to development efforts.

I also did a few other jobs and activities for them that I would like to highlight below.

I had an opportunity to create an MVP for their go-to-market, with the strategy based on the user needs for another niche, Power BI dashboards, and a new "look and feel" for the website to increase leads. Also, I collaborated to create a cohesive business strategy for all products.

PROBLEM STAMENT

The Problem

Users who find the core feature complex and don't feel comfortable learning all the potential that the platform gives to manage price efficiently and competitively.

Goal

Users

How do we simplify our core feature and educate users to explore all potential of the platform?

To be a manager pricing environment where information is connected fluidly and clear.

Group bus companies, operational, data analysts, business, and department chiefs.

Valora also has indoor users, composed of the operational team, BI analyst, product owner, and head of operations.

AS IS

Screen Flow

Provides a general direction of where you can go. The high-level view lets you feel the size and complexity of the platform.

Doing the screen flow was essential for me to learn about the product I did during my first week there. I wanted to see what the user sees and to share with everyone at Valora how the features connect, the magnitude of what we were building, and the patterns. The backend team was happy to see how what they were doing turned into screens/features.

UNDERSTANDING

Research

After I was more familiar with the product I did several types of research based on continuous discovery, but at first I started by looking at what we had, like reports, feedback, bugs, support tickets, any available data.

Personas

We had a close relationship with our users but when I initiated I knew that we have the need to understand better our user profiles to explore their behavior and meet their needs, in order to create a more precise solution.

To make that possible I conducted a research with a survey to gather a qualitative in-depth data, competitors analyses based on a report made by the PO and reviews that I found online. I summorize all data to create two mainstream personas based on the pattern we found, that made sense with our business.

RULES

Design Principles

  1. Consistency: Follow standards, guidelines, conventions and best practices. Provide a family atmosphere with memorable functionality.

  2. Completeness: Provide options. Think about who, how, why, what, where and when people will use the platform.

  3. Simplicity: Prioritizing simplicity, with organization and message clarity.

  4. Innovation: Offer best practices, develop own creative solutions that best meet the needs of stakeholders.

I separated a few design principles to be aware through the project, because it was important for me to have a solid base.

CHART

User Flow

A user flow is a series of steps a user takes to achieve a meaningful goal. Article

User flow can be done at the initial stage of the product, but it also can be helpful to visualize the foundation of the product and how it meets user needs. The visualization makes it possible to analyze and improve user experience, and that was exactly what I was looking for.

AS IS

User

Testing

In my time there I got the opportunity to conduct a few user tests. The first one I did it was on the current platform based on the user flow, observing users trying to achieve a specific goal, to prove or disprove our hypotheses, It could also uncover pain points.

Getting data directly from user it helps on the decision making, so I keeped doing during the design phase and after the design phase we also had the chance to use behavior analytics tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar.

IMPROVEMENTS

Small

Changes

I iniciated my approach, aligned with the business goal of the quarter and with the product team, by following something very similar to Henrik Kniber's metaphor of building a product, aiming for small changes with low effort and high value.

Those small changes were based on the maped pains, usabilities problem, needs and opportunities.

We keep learning from the improvements by adopting incremental deliveries, continually doing user research and having in mind the quarter goal plan.

Credits: Andy Wicks

DISCOVERY

UX

Board

As we were learning about the product, users, business, brand, purpose, and value, I created this UX Board, a consolidation of all those pieces of information, to share with the product team and other collaborators.

The idea was to help with decision-making by having a simple way to check the fundamentals and where we were going.

The platform I used was Milanote.

3 major

Improvements

Based on various feedback and the maturity of the UX discovery, we (me and PO) learned about the need for improvement to solve The Problem.

We collect enough data that led us to 3 major improvements to explore in the ideation phase.

  1. We called it "Helper" which was an interactive functionality that follows the user and helps him to fill all the complex options, also giving tips through it.

  2. To add more tooltips and at strategic places to be a friendly help when the user had a drought.

  3. Redesign forms of core with the goal of reducing the complexity, rearranging elements, and creating a new scalable structure.

I designed the initiatives at low fidelity, conducted depth interviews with clients, gather hypotheses, and did user tests with our users. Keep in mind that those improvements would have to be made at the end-to-end of the product.

  • Setback: We find out that the Helper would have added a new form of complexity that our users weren't waiting for, also we learned that it had a tour/wizard feel that our users were interested in. The tooltip would have lower development effort, but it didn't have enough value on its own, and it didn't completely satisfy the user's need. Option 1 and 2 could be combined with option 3, but we didn't have much time to develop all of them or to have other research related to these improvement initiatives.

  • Approved: We validated initiative 3, but with adjustments based on feedback, taking into account that it would bring more value at the time and with a low development effort.

  • Solution: I created a scalable form structure, the same structure with different fields when needed. I reduced the complexity by learning how the data had relation, which topics were repeating (like names), and which fields could be automatized or give user options, to complement I explained to the user about the sections and gave examples (placeholders are great for that). And thinking about reducing costs and mitigating risks, I did benchmarks, used conventions, applied enough heuristics, and reused components.

DISCOVERY

UX

Board

To be able to reuse components, and to decrease screen designing time, I created this ecosystem based on this well know component set.

I used the model created by Javier 'Simón' Cuello, Designer UX, that I learned about when I did its ministered course Introduction to Design Systems with Figma.

I pivoted the first version which was very rewarding, we learned a lot from it, and it allowed for other necessary adjustments on the front-end.

What I've learned?

I learned a lot during this experience, I had the opportunity to foster design, create processes, do studies, make decisions, and the documentation that scaled solutions that allowed us to achieve goals.

It is difficult to know where to start, it may seem like a lot to absorb and decide, but there are practices and methodologies capable of facilitating the kick-off and continuity.

Analyzing the scenario and knowing how to adjust is very important, not everything should be applied by the book.

Iterate as much as you can (wisely). Study priorities.

Quality and not quantity always!

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