Saudi Telecom Company is a Saudi Arabia-based telecommunications company that offers landline, mobile, internet services and computer network. I worked with Dubai based UX agency Prototype Interactive in drafting a lean UX approach for rapid problem solving and redesigning main user journeys in their iOS app interface in sprints.
The primary objective of the redesign was to have a mobile first approach since 85% of their traffic was on mobile, starting with their My STC section that focused on account management, bill payments and all other functions an existing customer could undertake using the app. Enhancing the user experience and ensuring hassle free use of the app was of prime importance; especially with their objective to remove all call centers by 2020. A very customer centric approach was required at all levels to tackle challenges that user's faced when interacting with the app.
Design Goals and Objectives
‣ To provide a unified user experience of STC’s products and services across their mobile
application and website.
‣ Create a mobile first strategy and approach for ensuring best customer experience.
‣ To assess the current app and redefine user journey from a UX standpoint to meet business requirement.
‣ Identify challenges and areas of improvement with solutions in rapid design sprints.
Since the project was a time-bound task, I came up with a combination of design thinking & lean UX approach that enabled problem solving through design in faster intervals.
I worked on one of the key requirements given in the brief module, which was to increase user engagement in their loyalty program - Qitaf; which enabled users to collect points using the app and external partner services that can be redeemed across their products - SMS, Data and Calling. My research and strategy were aimed to focus on user experience surrounding how users conceive current model of data visualization to keep track of their consumption/subscription plan, awareness and discovery of consuming Qitaf points for discounts; and identify what we can be done make account management journey more simpler, efficient and delightful.
1 // Discovering challenges
Understanding current user experience
To help design solutions for encouraging users to consume their loyalty points in a user-centered fashion that would be valuable to both the user and the business, I first needed to understand the current constraints users encounter with feature discovery, tracking consumption, managing subscription/plans/packages in STC app as whole. For this purpose I started the project by engaging in Empathy Research.
Empathy research helps identify and define target audience’s goals, frustrations, pain points; collate artifacts and stories of shared behavior and characteristics that would help redesign the journey to suit target users needs. The primary goal of empathy research is to empathize with the gains/pains of using the app from a user’s perspective.
This would help discover usability issues and prioritize how to redefine their loyalty program, ideate multiple possible solutions and address them based on the value and the experience it would provide for the user. By doing so, I wanted to build an engaging, sustainable and scalable solution that would benefit the user and the business.
Planning for empathy research
I developed a strategy for conducting research to understand,
‣ What is an ideal user’s need to use STC app? (Identify the most used features/most accessed information in the application; what value does it provides for the user?)
‣ Why and how do they use the app to monitor consumption? (Identify goals, motivations and expectations when using these features. What compels them to use these features?)
‣ What are the issues that users face whilst monitoring consumption of loyalty points? (What refrains them from using these features? What are their frustrations & pain points?)
‣ What do users currently do to try and overcome these issues? (Understand the ideal user’s activities/behavior/action/thoughts/feelings in the interview process)
Conducting empathy research
I carried out user interviews with 3 participants within a specific segmentation to reflect the possible end user’s lifestyle. They were,
‣ Current STC consumers (tech savvy).
‣ Working/non-working male and female Saudi Arabian residents between the age group of 21 - 45 (including expats).
‣ Belonged to income group (above 8,000 SR per month).
‣ Used the app for paying bills/using loyalty points in the past 3 moths.
Statements from user interviews
Key findings from empathy research
Once the challenges that needs to addressed were identified, I set out a UX strategy to outline the findings against expected outcomes, approach and areas of focus in the project that needs to be followed.
2 // Gaining insight and defining problem statement
Synthesising User Research
Upon conducting empathy research, I was able to identify several issues that users had with tracking usage consumption, choosing a subscription plan and redeeming Qitaf points. In-order to define customer profiles who would make the most use of these services, I created two personas which reflected the commonality in goals, frustrations and personality of the interviewees from empathy research.
Post defining personas from empathy research, I went onto making POV Statements which allowed to ideate solutions in a goal-oriented manner for each 'How might we' questions framed; capturing design vision through a brainstorming exercise.
3 // Ideating best possible solutions
Debunking point-of-view challenge statements
There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers when arriving at a solution that is subjectively-driven. That importance lies in asking the right questions as designers, which will enable us in addressing the right challenges that will benefit users the most. I framed 3 major statements which reflected the persona's goals and motivation to continue using the app; which set the context for a constructive brainstorming session.
Defining the features
With the ideas from brainstorming session, I started to frame user delight against features that would benefit their prime need. By ideating multiple possible solutions based on user data, I wanted to showcase the magnitude of design thinking capability and the value of user-centered design approach that is integral to crafting good user experiences.
For the purpose of this exercise, I was asked to design only the user journey for redeeming Qitaf points.
Qitaf loyalty program redefined
Customers are often roped into loyalty programs with the promise of a return and continued value throughout their relationship with a brand. Often customers forget signing upto such programs or are facing a multitude of restriction when redeeming points or find the rewards program structure complicated to make use of.
In the STC app, Qitaf rewards program had less visibility and users were not prompted to to redeem points. The perceived value of redeeming points is nil from a consumer’s standpoint. By redefining the loyalty program concept and bridging user value against redeemable offers, we can holistically improve a customer’s value added experience with STC.
Extending feature within existing sitemap
I added the new extended feature to the existing sitemap of the website to define the user flow. Ideally, an audit of the entire app architecture needs to be taken into account to include/modify complete features and functionalities.
Using the existing app architecture, I went on to create a user flow for redeeming Qitaf points with a service partner. In this scenario, I chose to create the user flow for availing a service against discount of a product which prompted user to engage with to increase discoverability.
The use of a voucher prompted through location based push notification to
complete a reward transaction creates a sense of urgency in the user to
claim offer and reap the value of saving money.
In addition to the existing rewards structure with the use of PIN, a more rewarding experience can be built to merit purchasing behavior. This is based on instinctual behavior learned through previous experiences of using a ‘Voucher/Coupon’ to avail discounts, which we can leverage on to incite rejoice and satisfaction in users.
Designing the wireframe
Using the developed flow and extended feature, I started to create wireframes of the user journey pages. I try to replicate the actual content during wire-framing stage for a content-first thinking approach to help drive the designs in the most natural intended use.
4 // UI Design & Prototyping
With the existing brand colors as reference from the design system, I revised the color palette and application of fonts which would provide a more fluid experience through the design transition.
Challenges & Takeaways
• Learning to simplify - Enabling discovery of an existing reward program; whilst make intelligible flows to increase adoption with ease of use had to be tackled with caution. I was constantly looking to simplify the number of clicks/steps it took for a user to easily claim a reward of choice without their perceived complications of understanding how loyalty tiers work. I had to eliminate that burden from the user and make it a fluid experience for all types of users.
• Design is in the details - I had to understand the importance of visual hierarchy of how design and content work together that would benefit usability and perception of information as a user in the least amount of time possible.
• Time management - Although being a short project, I had to rapidly plan my time ahead of the processes I would need to apply that would fit the requirements of the task at hand. I had the opportunity to work with the UX team both on-site and remotely and I learned to effectively collaborate, take initiatives to divide task, get feedback and iterate every single day whilst keeping up with deadlines.