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Improve retention & address user privacy concerns for the beta website of a social-planning calendar
Project manager, UX researcher
MY CONTRIBUTIONS: Heuristic analysis, user flows, sketching, wireframing, Figma prototype, usability testing, UX research support
The story behind Bizzy is simple: friends and loved ones need better tools to prioritize making plans together. Digital calendars are effective for organizing work priorities, but sending a Google calendar invite to a friend group for lunch can feel more cold than persuasive. That’s where Bizzy comes in – it’s a digital calendar and social networking app that makes social planning more personal and inspired. Users can create profiles, add their friends, access each other’s availability, and share event ideas.
CREATING AN EVENT (ORIGINAL WEBSITE)
USER PROFILE (ORIGINAL WEBSITE)
In 2022, Bizzy began adapting their iOS app into a website. They approached my team while the website was still in its beta stage, and presented us with three problem areas to explore:
Onboarding: the main priority was increasing retention, which Bizzy hoped to address through changes in the account registration flow for first-time users.
Privacy: customer feedback indicated that users were unsure about privacy settings on their profile, specifically about which aspects of their calendar other users had access to.
Social Features: a recently launched “Ideas” feature allowed users to post a to-do list of event ideas their social profile. Bizzy was interested in improving the feature to increase its rate of user interaction.
With a timeline of 2 weeks, my team needed to narrow our scope. We got sign-off from our client to conduct user research & identify which of these problem areas we could most effectively address with the highest impact to the user and the business.
The beta status of the website meant that right away, we encountered a wide array of usability problems. These ranged from simple cosmetic issues, to general interface usability, to rather serious problems with primary user flows. Because some of these problems extended beyond the initial scope suggested by the client, our upcoming round of usability tests would be critical in helping us prioritize which of these issues to tackle.
But from my initial heuristic evaluation, the most notable usability problems included:
basic interaction patterns didn't follow digital calendar conventions
limited efficiency & productivity tools
users could send event invitations to friends who didn't have an account. Those external users were presented with a variety of onboarding obstacles.
hosts and attendees had the same set of attendee management tools, which caused confusion about event ownership
global navigation options weren't prominently presented in the interface
unclear distinctions between primary and secondary navigation
important labels and CTAs lacked specificity and clarity, oftentimes due to an over-use of brand-specific terminology
unintuitive and crowded layouts contributed to clunky and inefficient interface experience
Next, our UX researcher conducted 5 moderated, remote usability tests with first-time users of the site. Our goal was to assess the current onboarding process, its impact on how users naturally navigated the website on their first visit, and how effectively they identified, understood, and accomplished basic tasks on their own. Here's what we learned:
HIGH FAILURE RATE FOR PRIMARY TASKS
After exploring the website on their own, test participants were asked to create an event and invite a friend – the majority of participants failed to complete both tasks. Navigation and UI impacted the discoverability of important features, and users struggled to understand the relationship between the social networking and calendar aspects of the website.
Users first experienced uncertainty around privacy and visibility when attempting to invite a friend (or "buddy") to an event. 4/5 users abandoned the event creation task as a result.
unnecessary attendee management options are provided prematurely, raising questions about how friends can interact with your event
unclear terminology confuses users about what actions they are taking on this screen, and create more perceived decisions than the user actually has to make
VIEWING BUDDY'S AVAILABILITY
The second point at which users consistently encountered confusion around privacy & visibility came when accessing a friend's calendar. No users naturally gravitated towards the feature while navigating the site, and when prompted to do so, 4/5 struggled to interpret the availability being displayed.
SYNTHESIZING OUR RESEARCH
Now that we'd collected some data on our product and our users, our project manager compiled them into a proto-persona to root our problem-solving and design thinking into specific goals, behaviors, and pain points of a primary user. Our UX researcher also created a user journey map to visualize our findings.
DEFINING OUR PROBLEM
We had been asked to look into onboarding and privacy, but our research reframed these issues as symptoms of a broader lack of usability and learnability within the interface. Users weren't able to complete basic tasks of event creation and connecting with their friends within the website, which in turn raised doubts and confusion about the privacy of their profile and the visibility of their calendar details. We crafted a problem statement to center this new focus through the lens of our proto-persona:
Neda needs a deeper understanding of the tools available to her on Bizzy because she wants to utilize key features that Bizzy offers to help her organize events and stay social.
A TWO-PART SOLUTION
My team agreed that a redesign of the entire interface was the most high-impact solution to the user experience, and one which could be critical to implement during the beta phase of the website development. Although the client signed-off on our redesign proposal, we also felt it was important to deliver a separate, easier-to-implement solution in case the client didn't ultimately decide to adopt the redesign. As such, we got sign-off to create a new set of account registration screens that would work with either the current website or the proposed redesign.
PART 1: ACCOUNT REGISTRATION REDESIGN
A simple-to-implement solution that primes the user with brief but necessary context on the relationship between their account and their friend's accounts. .
Research showed that users were confused by the multiple entry-points into friend invitation on the current website design. Navigating the website on their own made it easy to miss an introduction to their own profile, which brought up questions about privacy and visibility when they encountered other profiles.
This solution would walk users through the task during account registration to prevent it from becoming a pain-point later on in their experience.
PART 2: FULL WEBSITE REDESIGN
This solution would make the interface more learnable and intuitive, prevent unnecessary confusion about privacy & visibility, and enable users to complete the primary tasks of event creation and friend invitation with fewer errors. The scope of the redesign would include:
Navigation & IA redesign to make the website more predictable and learnable at a glance
Copywriting audit to address vague terminology and correct inconsistencies between web and iOS experiences
Simplified event creation user flow
Simplified friend invitation user flow
Redesign of "view friend's availability" user flow to improve learnability
PART 1: ACCOUNT REGISTRATION
I delegated the creation of our account registration screens to one of my teammates. I provided her with user flow of the three-step process for creating an account:
Using this flow, my teammate designed four high-fidelity registration wireframes:
Website Landing Page
Website Landing Page