My People Now (MPN) is a gig economy platform that aims to foster a trusted community among its users. In understanding that the gig economy market is roughly 347 billion dollars, MPN sought to leverage a barter-and-trade transaction in the gig market. The company expanded the platform to be a community-building tool at workplaces by allowing employees to offer goods and services to their coworkers. However, the site had inconsistent interaction patterns and failed to incorporate user flows to accommodate the growing user base.
The goal of the project was to improve first-time users' experience and to ensure that they were able to find specific profiles on the platform. Our team also focused on improving the Happy Path for user flows to be reused on the platform for consistent interaction patterns.
Christine Jahng (UX Designer), Ami Sahota (UX Researcher), Tanya Wickham (Project Manager)
1) Unclear CTA and tonal shift for various user base throughout the platform
2) Users consistently gave feedback that they felt overwhelmed when they first begin to search for a service due to lack of structure + interaction patterns
3) Difficulty in producing trust between service provider and redeemer
1) We improved the homepage to account for all three types of user base + included a CTA to explore the platform
2) Simplified the user flow to reduce redundant clicks and pages
3) Balancing stakeholder + user needs via opt-in programs and visually promoted profile photos to increase empathy to service providers
We knew that we had three user bases to work with: People looking to provide a service, people who wanted to book a service, and business who wanted to leverage MPN among their employess. When we had run our usability tests, multiple users pointed out the lack of context for MPN’s brand and company. The conclusion? The homepage needed context, information, and portal points into the platform.
So we pivoted to have an informational homepage to set the tone of MPN and their platform. This was to help potential users to “feel out” the website and platform while also allowing current users to have multiple portal points to enter into the platform.
Users pointed out in the initial usability test that they felt overwhelmed as they first began to search for services. Based on our competitor/comparison analysis, it made sense to have a separate browsing section for users to organically arrive at their need. This led to incorporating a browsing section as well as related search profile cards. However to reduce redundant user click through, I decided to combine the search page and the browsing page. I edited the hyperlink for browsing to become an anchor point as well.
The proposed copy was to "offer" a job and to "provide" a service, but our stakeholder firmly believed in the copy: "asks" page where users could “ask the community” for help for a job. Since the informational homepage pivot was made, it left offers/asks as a binary option for users to take. Additionally, to address user comments against context, I included the copy: "What are you looking for today?" + "I'm looking for help with" (offers) / "I'm looking to help with" (asks) to aid context.
In multiple user interviews, users pointed out wanting a background check within their community. However, after speaking with the business stakeholder, who was very passionate about providing inclusivity and chances to those who may/may not have a criminal background, I made the decision to be an opt-in system for background checks rather than mandatory design.
Additionally, to improve user empathy to the service provider, profile photos and bios were brought higher in heirarchy. I also introduced multiple transparent points in the overview about how a service provider's workflow to have users understand the service provider's behavior patterns.
My final wireframes ended up increasing the overall usability of the site, measured by the System Usability Scale (SUS) score. The original MPN homepage and “book a service” user flow scored a 37.5 (F) compared to the final wireframes, which scored an 85 (A).
My final thoughts on the project was a lot about how to balance design in an arena with researchers and business stakeholders. No project has a perfect research and stakeholder agreement, but finding a design that can finesse the two groups took a lot of effort (all the while thinking about our users!)