In an Eye tracking study I conducted for Ginza, users had a hard time getting through the payment process. I was asked to completely redesign the complete check out process. The final solution when published reduced the customer care issues drastically and resulted in an 18% increase in invoice payments, and an over all increase of the payment conversion rate by almost 2%.
For Ginza, the famous Swedish media on line retailer, the eye tracking study was a rather shocking experience. There was a constant flow of customer service issues every week, but nothing out of the ordinary. In the study however, the users struggled getting through the payments. Fredrik Lennström, Technical manager at Ginza, observed the eye tracking study as it progressed. He was overwhelmed by the results of the test:
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I knew from experience that we had some usability issues, but I had no idea the users had this hard time using our site.”
The test result showed that a new payment solution was needed yesterday. The technical team got busy right away. Guided by the eye tracking test report the team were able to remove many obstacles, by making minor adjustments in the presentation of the current solution. These changes showed some success in reducing the number of customer care issues posted and was released as a temporary solution.
Ginza also invited me to help them design a new and final solution that would be easy to use and at the same time promote the invoice payment option. As it turns out, Ginza’s customer statistics showed that users whom selected the invoice option in their check out were more loyal and were spending more in avarage than the customers paying with other payment options. These requirements made this a very interesting design challenge.
After identifying the basic requirements, I usually try to set up conceptual workshops were the major stake holders take an active part in the process of creating the solution. Through discussing the user experience step-by-step as a group the creativity will increase and it often leads to brilliant and unexpected solutions. Technical and practical difficulties may be instantly adressed, of which many may be solved right on the spot. As an interaction designer and usability expert I provide insights into user behaviour and gathered the information in the workshop and facilitates the process. The results of the workshops is hand drawn conceptual design sketches.
The conceptual work for Ginzas check out process ended up to a very specific solution. The design was based on presenting the payment options as tabs on the left hand side of the payment page. The invoice alternative is selected as the default, the natural behavior of the user should then be to just continue the process as it was initially presented and thereby being encouraged to try out the invoice option. Fredrik Lennström, Technical manager at Ginza, said the following about this part of the the design process.
“Mårten’s way of working is much simpler than the other developing method we have ever worked with. It makes perfect sense to use conceptual sketches to outline a solution that we all can fully agree on before any the coding or graphic design takes place.
When the solution was approved, Ginza’s own inhouse graphic designer Mattias Norén used the sketches as a starting point to create the graphic tonality in order for the new payment flow to harmonize aesthetically with the existing site.
When the design was approved I created an interactive prototype to be used for conducting usage tests. These tests were conducted to confirm that the solution was well received by the users and that it was performing as expected.
The usage tests called for minor adjustments. There were some cases that could be improved further. These improvements were quickly adressed and the solution was tested again. This time the solution performed in fully satisfactory fashion. The Solution was handed over to the development team and was implemented.
When the solution was finally released the solution instantly increased the number of customers paying with the invoice option with 18%. It also increased the over all conversion from the shopping cart page to completing a payment with 2%. The number of customer issues submitted due to payment related questions were almost none, which in turn frees up time and effort for the support agents to handle incoming orders more efficently.
In my opinion, this project shows the importance of effective design. Good design ads value to the business, while bad design prevents a system from developing. In order to ensure that good design is the end result of the efforts, the process has to be inspiring and inclusive, and the brief has to be based on solid facts from thorough user research.
/ Mårten Angner