Discovering user insights for redesign
User interviews, when conducted with precision, serve as the cornerstone of website redesign. They uncover invaluable insights into user attitudes, preferences and concerns. This process not only sheds light on existing hurdles but also lays the groundwork for creating a digital experience that resonates deeply with the target audience, ensuring that every element of the website serves a purpose and meets the users’ expectations.
In this specific case, our client had two target audiences — landlords and tenants, so our focus from the beginning had to keep them both in mind. Our approach involved gaining deeper insights into previous experiences, their approach to rent deposits, pain points, expectations, and decision-making criteria for new products/solutions in the market. Apart from displaying the current webpage and platform, we talked about their decision-making criteria and previous experiences to identify pain points and behaviors that would help us design the new journey.
After conducting a series of 10 interviews—equally divided between landlords and tenants—the results revealed multiple minor discoveries. However, we also encountered a few pivotal issues:
- Since the entire industry lacks transparency, it came as no surprise that both landlords and tenants were checking out the benefits for themselves and the “other side” to make sure they don’t get tricked.
- A significant oversight emerged: the absence of a subscription cost calculator, a critical piece of information sought after by both parties.
- Sections explaining how the new financial product and accompanying platform worked needed more clarification and explanation
With these insights in hand, the next step was clear: an overhaul of the existing webpage, not just changing a few lines here or there. Changing of the branding and visual direction was not necessary, as the stakeholders wanted to focus on the product itself and address every obstacle to deliver an experience that truly met the needs of both landlords and tenants.
- Rethinking information architecture
- Making the storytelling for both target audiences super transparent
- Introducing a subscription cost calculator for both parties so they can easily see how much the product costs
- Avoiding use of industry jargon
Information architecture as a blueprint for usability
Effective information architecture serves as the blueprint for a website’s usability. It’s akin to the carefully designed layout of a physical store, guiding visitors seamlessly through aisles and sections. In the digital realm, this translates to intuitive navigation and a logical flow of information.
Enhancing user experience began at the foundation—the sitemap. Here, we examined its structure in light of what we identified in the previous step.
One striking revelation was that both renters and landlords were frequently navigating to the “For Renters” and “For Landlords” pages to compare information. This typically happens when you have a digital product that caters to two target audiences that are on the opposite end of the bargaining table. To streamline this process, we made the decision to merge these pages into a singular one. This unified page would provide centralized information, ensuring a smoother journey for both personas.
To ensure crucial information is easily accessible, we placed the pricing page directly in the main menu. This also meets visitors’ expectations, particularly when they’re overviewing website for a startup or a digital product.
We also recognized the need for a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. While it doesn’t need to be placed in the main navigation, this page has multiple entry points throughout the website, accessible via other pages and the footer.
Another addition to our information architecture was the incorporation of a blog. Beyond serving as a platform for regular updates and insightful thoughts, a blog plays a dual role. It acts as a powerful tool for showcasing the advantages of the product. Simultaneously, a steady stream of fresh content works wonders for search engine optimization, bolstering client’s visibility in online searches.
Storytelling for user engagement and clarity
With the information architecture in place, the next step involved a detailed examination of the content and applying storytelling techniques in delivering key messages for each page.
The most substantial alterations were made to the home page and the “How it Works” page. Here’s an overview of the changes:
To present information in a clear and organized manner, we identified key sections that needed to be featured. While most homepages share a common structure, each should be tailored to the specific context it addresses. In this instance, we established the following structure:
Beginning with the main value proposition, we opted to provide pricing information upfront. We implemented a calculator allowing visitors to estimate subscription costs based on their deposit amount.
As visitors scroll through the rest of the page, their primary interest lies in understanding the service’s benefits and its potential impact on them. Hence, highlighting key benefits serves as pivotal information to display. This is followed by a clear explanation of how the product works and the steps needed to go through to use it.
The home page is concluded with testimonials, reinforcing the credibility of the platform, and a section spotlighting the founder’s expertise and competencies, further instilling trust.
“How it works” page
The “How it works” page underwent a comprehensive revision to ensure a seamless and informative journey for users. Recognizing that both target audiences were interested in understanding their own journey as well as that of others, we proposed to have one page instead of two separate ones. This involved a full rewrite of the content and presenting it in a digestible format that guides visitors through the process of using the product.
Transparency is paramount when it comes to conveying the core message of a new and innovative financial product, its functionality, and especially, pricing structure. That’s the reason we proposed having a dedicated pricing page—a space reserved for explaining platform costs and addressing any potential questions.
To square it off, we integrated the same intuitive calculator featured on the home page into the pricing section. This empowers prospective tenants with a more precise estimate of their monthly subscription, reinforcing clarity and informed decision-making.
From research to high-fidelity design, our journey with Standby Deposits covered a comprehensive approach. The outcome is a website that distills Standby Deposits’ competitive advantage and seamlessly introduces the new concept for security deposits. Storytelling principles guided our content creation, clarifying Standby Deposits’ benefits for both landlords and tenants. The result is a website that is built on a foundation of user-centric design, fostering trust and understanding.