Reputation's onboarding has been a major source of frustration for users due to the length, complexity, and dependencies.
To alleviate some of these frustrations, Reputation developed self-service features and implemented a free trial option specifically targeting small to midsized companies. This new approach empowered users to set up a trial, onboard themselves, and promptly gain access to the platform. By streamlining the process, we were able to expedite their journey toward experiencing the platform's value at the earliest opportunity.
I owned all things design as the sole designer for this project. This included user research, user flows, wireframes, prototypes, and more.
Chief Product Officer
Core Engineering Team
Customer Success Managers
In today's digital age, users have come to expect the convenience of easily signing up for an account or trying out a product through trials to assess suitability for their needs. However, when it comes to Reputation, the process is less user-friendly. The company does not currently offer trials, and users cannot create accounts independently. Instead, they are required to work with the Professional Services team to gain access to the platform. This can be an extremely time-consuming process, with certain aspects taking months. Moreover, once users do gain access, there is no onboarding experience. The onboarding team holds online meetings to guide users through the platform, but this often results in overwhelming users with too much information.
To address the necessity for a self-service onboarding experience, I initiated a meeting with the Chief Product Officer to establish the requirements and scope. We determined that we would target small business and mid-market customers with up to 50 locations. These customer segments have historically faced limitations in utilizing Reputation due to budgetary constraints. In the initial release, we would prioritize implementing our reviews, social, and inbox solutions, as they presented the most straightforward setup process and were also the most popular solutions in our SMB packages. The primary deliverable would be to create an onboarding experience tailored to free trial customers but we would aim to create workflows that could also be repurposed for paid users.
Leveraging Collective Knowledge
While we were able to come to agreement on a lot of the requirements, there were still a lot of questions and gaps in knowledge that we had. We faced ambiguity around the logistics such as tenant set up, billing, how to maintain environments after trials, and more. We also needed to unpack how exactly onboarding was working and what were the pitfalls and areas of most frustration. To address these issues, I conducted stakeholder interviews with solution product managers, the provisioning team, the onboarding team, and the customer success manager who specialized in SMBs. These sessions involved walkthroughs and discussions to gain insights into logistical aspects, understanding necessary permissions, and pinpointing potential workflow improvements for a more intuitive user experience.
Conducting user research, speaking to stakeholders, and completing competitive analysis helped us to paint a clearer picture on the best way to roll out this free trial. At this stage, the Product Manager started collaborating with various cross-functional teams to establish the marketing website campaign and engage external vendors for communication needs. I, on the other hand, focused on creating wireframes.
The UI designs encompassed the initial onboarding setup, with a strong emphasis on simplicity and brevity to minimize user drop-off. Once users completed the account setup process, I designed new features into the existing dashboard and solutions page. Our priority was to introduce checklists and tooltips that would progressively introduce users to the platform.
Overcoming Technical Constraints
One technical challenge we encountered was the speed at which data could be populated within the new tenant. Although users would be able to access the platform immediately after setup, gathering comprehensive data and insights on their company was not instantaneous. Leaving entire pages empty would result in a suboptimal experience. To address this, I made the decision to incorporate demo data. This solution allowed users to experience the data visualization capabilities we provided, giving them a glimpse of the insights they could expect in the future.
Moving Towards the Finish Line
After presenting the designs to the engineering, product, leadership, and other internal stakeholders, we received positive feedback around how empathetic, simple, and approachable it was. The positive reception from leadership was encouraging, but unfortunately, the project encountered some unexpected roadblocks along the way.
A few weeks before the anticipated release date, the engineering team faced a significant obstacle during the development phase. Realizing the importance of delivering a polished and functional experience, we made the difficult decision to postpone the release rather than launch a flawed product.
Eventually, changes in priorities dictated by executives halted progress altogether. The company paused new feature development to focus on reducing customer churn and addressing bugs. While it was disheartening to pause the project so close to completion, we look forward to releasing this later in the year.