This month’s meetup supposed to focus on how to make decision makers to understand the value of UX, give more attention to UX and not skip the design or research phase just to meet deadlines. Hence we’ve invited 2 speakers to share how to convince stakeholders and prove that UX is worth the investment.
The content of the meetup slightly changed when one of the speakers was not feeling well on the day and we had to replace the talk ‘How to sell UX in organisations’. We hope we’ll hear this talk in one of our future events. Fortunately our host’s Soda Studio founder Evan Gelders was happy to fill in the opening with their very insightful case study and show how they combine brand design with data-driven design successfully. The case study was followed by the talk ‘Bye gut feeling, hello data’ by Stephanie van Baaijen.
We have received a very warm welcome from Soda Studio staff in their cosy office. Pretty quickly we forgot our work day struggles while sipping prosecco and tasting delicious cakes and healthy snacks.
As usual the evening started with Ladies that UX introduction and a couple of announcements. We were very happy to let you know that we have a permanent sponsor UX Academy who offer a 3 full-day custom-made UX courses (more info at the bottom).
Also we’ve explained why it hurts our community when people book a seat but do not show up to our events. For this reason we are taking no-shows seriously and started de-prioritizing members who didn’t show up to one or more events in the past. However we believe that there must be a better way to encourage members to release their seats if they cannot come to the event. If you have any ideas, we would be very happy to hear them!
Brand and Data driven design
We’ve started with the presentation by Evan Gelders, founder and creative director of Soda Studio. He first introduced himself and Soda Studio which is not only the award winning studio but also an awesome place to work. They are an ambitious and friendly team that have fun together and even brews their own beer! Check their website if you are looking for new opportunities, they are hiring.
Besides having a good fun Soda studio team does a serious work. Among many known companies and brands that they work with Cheaptickets.nl redesign project is one of those that the team is really proud of.
In the beginning team did an extensive user research. They used such tools as A/B testing, social reviews, collected on-site feedback to name a few. The new look and feel of the product looks great, but one of the biggest challenges was to redesign a search box. It’s important to note, that the team decided to use progressive disclosure technique for this.
‘Permanent A/B testing’ – this is how they called their development and launch strategy. At first only 2% of the traffic was sent to the redesigned website and only on mobile. Then, in order to fail and learn fast, more traffic was sent to the new website on desktop and tablets. Constant iteration took place for 3 months until 100% traffic was sent and the redesign was fully launched.
The retention and conversion results were amazing thanks to the fast reaction to usability problems that have surfaced during those 3 months. At first it has been noticed that users are confused when using flight search box. It has been designed to look clean and asked only to determine the time when they want to leave, there was only one field. Current design has a standard look that has ‘From’ and ‘To’ fields. Also above the fold there was a marketing slogan which was later changed to short and ensuring statements about what exactly users can find on the website. This helped to build credibility more effectively. In addition to that there were a couple or more changes made after user testing showed that people have mental models regarding side menus and price comparison pages, so they get confused when they see different visualisations.
Evan concluded with a couple of points that answer the question ‘how to combine brand and data-drive design successfully’:
Cheaptickets case has won a Movie award, you can find the full case here.
The second talk was by amazing Stephanie who is an independent UX Designer / Conversion Specialist. She has made conversion boosting designs for SNS Bank, HotelSpecials, T-Mobile and ABN AMRO.
Stephanie shared that she was not very good at maths but now is confident in using data in her designs. One of the main points that she wanted to ingrain into our heads was that ‘Without data you are just a person with an opinion’ (W. Edwards Deming).
Or this one is probably more memorable:
Designers who use data are not only creating products that are easy to use but also are more attractive to companies as they slowly but surely started to value data analytics and real customer needs. Data can be collected from various user testings, Hotjar, A/B testing etc. Soon enough the value of data will surface in the discussions with business when data that was collected will help to shorten design discussions and to convince stakeholders of the importance of good design.
So before diving in and starting to use data, everyone has to learn to ask the right questions – raise hypothesis. Start by asking ‘Who? When? Where? Why?’ And start collecting at least minimum data via Google Analytics or Hotjar. For those who want to use data in their designs more seriously Stephanie recommended the book ‘Data Smart’ by John W. Foreman.
The main takeaway from the talk is that data is not scary and it helps to make better design decisions. Also it’s worth remembering that design is disposable and it does not have to be perfect at the first try. Perfection will come after collecting data from user testing and iteration.
You can find Stephanie’s slides here.
We would like to thank very much to our host Soda Studio for creating one of the most warmest atmospheres for our event.
Soda Studio — Good products are found where business goals, user wishes and good product design intersect. This is exactly where Soda offers a highly formulated proposition. Each project deserves its own formula of conceptualization, design and optimization. Soda is a team of visual thinkers, with hearts for structure.
Another shout out goes to UX Academy who became our permanent sponsor! The UX Academy is founded in 2014 and is running by 5 freelance interaction designers with more than 15 years of experience. Each year they teach 350 participants. They offer a 3 full-day personal UX training program in English. Their unique selling point is that they have only 6 places available in each training and every training is custom-made, depending on the needs of the participants. Bring your own case to this course! The next training is Basic UX on 26, 30 of October and 3 November in Amsterdam, given by a woman called Anne Vroegop. Probably in December there will be an advanced training as well.
Thank you for reading and we’ll see you in our next event!