MCIS; reducing customer support calls

My role

I conducted an UX audit and provided several solutions based on their budget and impact on solving the problem.

Project brief

MCIS was funded by the Canadian government to provide an online training module for awareness on human trafficking. They had outsourced the web design and development with it’s key goal of being informative. The site had some issues, as they were recieving 10-16 calls per week to inquire how to register for the program: increaseing the customer support team’s workload and costing the bussiness $150 per week.

team

Dusan A. - Stakeholder

duration

2 Weeks

Outcomes

A faster and easier registration process.

  • Designed a new user flow and info. architecture.
  • Provided a new content structure for better comprehension and information finding.
  • Provided a new visual design to support the content.
Tools & Methods
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Hierarchical task analysis
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Usability testing
120 %
Calls per week regarding the website or program
95%
User satisfaction score on registration process
80 %
User satisfaction score on content material
About

Providing language and education services.

Their goal is to help the public become sufficiently informed about the dynamics of human trafficking and actionable steps they can take. The training includes tailored modules specific to the needs of the industry: legal professionals, law enforcement officers, healthcare professionals, and professionals working with children.

There are about 3000 people a year who undergo the online training.

Prototype: Redesign

Challenge

How might we provide a seamless experience for users to learn and register

The goal of the website is to provide information about the training program, what to expect, and how to register. But according to the customer success team, and user surveys, it was difficult to get to the registration page.

User Survey

Furthermore, the satisfaction level ‘Execellent’ doesn’t reach the goal of 75% as intended in two areas. N=336

Access and registration:
Instructions on the website:

Customer feedback

“Where do I go to register?”

“I don’t understand the instructions; they’re too long; I keep having to go back and search which step i’m on.”

Discovery

Where is the problem?

I first approached this by doing a hybrid hierarchical task and content analysis (HTA). I wanted to understand and document each step towards task completion to learn how and where people are having difficulties, and possibly dropping off.

The user flow is illustrated below.

Current user flow
New content structure and user flow.

UX Issues

Broken links redirecting users to previous or incorrect pages.

Increased cognitive complexity; users needing to learn how to register, and excess content information.

Content order didn’t quite make sense; increasing cognitive complexity for screen readers.

Working within constraints

  • No access to previous or current users for interviewing.
  • No previous documentation on design decisions.
  • No data analytics.
Highest consideration
  • No developers available for immediate implementation of designs, budget available in the next quarter. MCIS would need to implement initial changes themselves through Wordpress.
Solution

A website for faster information finding, and easier registration.

I’ve provided several solutions and applied a prioritization framework for MCIS to work within their available budget. Overall, the site is designed to be simple, and more accessible by straightforward navigation and easier content comprehension.

Solution #1

Fixing the broken links

Editing the copy and directing the user to the right pages - thought its not enough. Users should be better informed what action to take, and easily know how to take that action.

New content structure and user flow.

UX Issues

Incorrect use of text link and inaccessible:
For users who use a screen reader, they would have to listen to: “To take the training, please go to: <text-link> URL CODE http://training.helpingtraffickedpersons.org/<text-link>”

Text link changed into button

UX Solution

Changed text link into a button for better identification.
Labeled the button to better inform the user of the following page.

Solution #2

New info. architecture and user flow for easier comprehension and faster task completion

Using the information from the stakeholders on what’s needed for users to complete the task, and the user feedback, I created and used the ideal hierarchical task analysis to reorganize and edit content for easier comprehension and faster task completion.

The ideal HTA consisted of 10 steps in comparison to the current HTA with 15 steps.  The biggest difference was noticed when the user was tasked with learning the instructions on how to register.

Note: design and content was tested later for validation, but at this point, I needed to use my best judgment to reduce the complexity of the content and user flow.
New content structure and user flow.
Solution #3

Faster and easier navigation

The drop  down menu has been expanded into the navigation bar for better accessibility to all pages. Renamed the tabs to better inform users what to expect in the following pages.

Log in button located in the top right navigation bar for current users to access the external portal.

Previous Design: Navigation bar
New design: navigation bar with annotations
Solution #3

Improving accessibility by reducing complexity and providing a new content structure

Considering the user goal to learn about the program and how to register. Users are presented with a clear call to action, and clear content layout.

Log in button located in the top right navigation bar for current users to access the external portal.

Previous Design: Hero Section
Previous Program Information
Home page: accessibility annotations
Solution #4

Easy to understand instructions

Considering the instructions page had numerous unrelated steps to follow, it increased the users cognitive load by having to read all the instructions on how to register - presumably switching from different tabs.

The Instructions were then separated and grouped together in different categories for users to read and comprehend easier.

Images were provided to help with real time recognition of locating the login button to access the external portal.

comparison between Previous & New Instructions page
Note: Initially, I proposed a new user flow that didn't include the instructions page, but there was push back from the stakeholders because they believed users needed to know how to access the page.

So, I decided to test against the need for this page,
by prototyping a new user flow that skips the instructions and directly heads to the registration page.
vALIDATION

Testing the solution against the current design to understand the impact

Using Maze.co, I conducted two unmoderated tests with 8 participants each. Participants were given the same scenario and task used for the analysis and then asked follow up questions;

  • How intuitive did you find the design?
  • Can you say more about your answer?
  • Was the navigation as you expected?
  • Can you say more about your answer?
User flows tested
Prototype A
Prototype B

Take Aways

On prototype A
  • Two participants communicated that the instruction page was irrelevant.
  • Five participants were not expecting to go through the instructions page.
On prototype B
  • Participant were on average a minute (63.3s) faster towards completing the task ie. the time between landing on the page and clicking “create new account” on the external portal.

While both test had a 100% success rate, Prototype A had participants frustrated or confused why the instruction page existed. By including the instructions page, it increased the time to complete the task and the likelihood of error.

It's safe to assume that users will know how to create a new account once landing on the external portal as there was an average of 5 seconds time spent to find the registration button and 100% success rate.

Outcomes

A faster and easier registration process.

  • Designed a new user flow and info. architecture.
  • Provided a new content structure for better comprehension and information finding.
  • Provided a new visual design to support the content.
Tools & Methods
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Hierarchical task analysis
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Usability testing
120 %
Calls per week regarding the website or program
95%
User satisfaction score on registration process
80 %
User satisfaction score on content material
End notes

Learnings & 
insights

01

Small changes, big costs.

The main problem the previous website had was with a text-link that lead the user to a different page than it was supposed to, leading the user to further explore the website and been looped into the same error. This error costed MCIS about $150/week ($600/month) by consuming the support team’s time on a simple task.

02

Test content early.

Stakeholders were hesitant to remove the instructions page because they believed it would help those that need it. Through testing, I was able to convince them that it was not needed and it may be the cause to their current problem. Of course, a separate page was still provided for the module instructions, but not how to register.

03

Simplify the documentation for clients.

Writing a UX audit report that the clients can understand better. I had made the mistake of going too far into detail about the issues, and the recommendations that it confused the client. It was preferred to provide a simplified version of the issues and recommendations (with reasoning behind the design decisions).

04

Design for accessibility: build faster and cleaner code

Designing for accessibility from the start and providing annotations had help me to create a better content structure. This would also help create a cleaner code and faster development by reducing the need to revisit the code for further implementation.