One of the largest companies in Portugal granted us the opportunity to rethink their homepage from the ground up. Having a blank canvas was both an exciting and intimidating prospect, but we delivered a very successful product due to our methodologies, teamwork and fact-based approach.
Please note that due to a non-disclosure agreement, I am not legally allowed to reveal which company I'm refering to in this case study. Even so, I deemed it a very interesting project that showcased my skills and strengths as a UX designer, which is why I still chose to include it in my portfolio with some information redacted. Thank you for your understanding.
The first task we had to do was create a plan of action. It was decided that we would spend a month doing deep research and analysis of the current homepage, and the deliverable would be a mockup of the entire homepage as a whole, for mobile and desktop, without too much detail on each of its components but with an overall vision and direction. The second phase would start immediately afterwards, during which we would have a variable amount of time to tackle each of the individual modules in-depth and pass them on to the other teams to be developed.
Our goal was to gather all the information we needed in the first phase, in order to make holistic and fact-based decisions for the homepage as a whole. This phase also involved a lot of communication and feedback from other teams and stakeholders. The specifications and other deliverables were pushed to phase 2 but, thanks to such an in-depth phase 1, the time needed for UX was severely reduced in the second phase.
We asked other teams to help us list all their Certainties, Suppositions and Doubts about the homepage.
We interviewed stakeholders from different departments to understand their pain points with the homepage.
Using data from Google Analytics, we tried to understand how the current homepage was performing.
Representatives from every discipline were split into 2 teams to do a Crazy 4 exercise and wireframe proposals.
We were in close contact with the development team for the whole process for feedback and validation.
We analysed the homepages of 20 competitors and compared them both in desktop and mobile.
avg time on page
The bounce rate in the homepage is lower than the website's average. The long session time in the homepage may mean that either 1) people spend too much time searching for what they want in the menu, or 2) they are scrolling down and looking at the content. To know more we had to measure events, but an astounding 94% of all events on the homepage were undefined, and most of the other 6% were not correctly implemented. There was a carousel big banner at the top of the homepage which frequently had as many as 6 slides; however, 77% of the carousel interactions were just with the first slide. All these values refer to the period of 1 year.
The menu is big and confusing, ocupying almost the entire viewport and having too many similarly-named options.
Currently, all of the content has to be inserted manually, there are no automatic publishing or personalisation options.
The current homepage is very focused on selling products, but there is little mention of our services or value proposition.
Thanks to the plethora of methods we used there was plenty of feedback about the homepage and, since we included people from every discipline and department, we were able to uncover areas of improvement from the back-office to the front-end and business needs. Quantitative information was harder to get, due to the problems in the recovery of data from Google Analytics. That, however, gave us a very clear goal for the new homepage: start collecting every pertinent metric from the different modules and components we'd use, and improve the metrics already implemented.
The menu was universally seen as a weak spot in dire need of simplification and visual streamlining. We also recognised that some areas, especially in terms of services and differentiating factors, were underrepresented and could be highlighted in the homepage. The change that was most controversial was related to the carousel at the top of the homepage. The client usually put as many as 6 slides in that carousel, but our data clearly showed us a very stark fall in interactions from the first slide to all others. That discrepancy couldn't solely be atributed to the different positions or content pertinence, since the slides changed automatically and the metrics were measured over a year spanning multiple contents. Our first proposal was to have one single slide but, instead of having generalist content, it would have content customised for each specific user, their current position in the customer journey and their likes and needs. However, due to pressure from the client we ended up compromising by having a carousel with up to 3 slides. In the future, as we prove the power of personalised content to our client and the increased engagement that it brings, we hope to revert to our 1-slide proposal.
After the conclusions of the first phase and our homepage proposal, we started to do quick cycles of UX-UI-Dev-QA for each module. Due to having a very strong foundation and heaps of information thanks to our thorough first phase, these cycles were extremely fast to envision and develop. The only part of the second phase that took longer was the IA, which was something we had to improve but didn't focus in the first phase. That cycle took about 5 weeks of 1 UXer full-time, and required more research work and interviews to make a solid proposal that both simplified the current IA for the users and was in line with the client's expectations.
The first phase was tackled by a lead UX designer and myself, and took us both a bit less than 5 weeks of mostly full-time work from start to finish. The second phase's cycles were tackled by just one UXer each, and I shared that responsability with another UX designer, both of us supervised by the lead UX designer that contributed to the first phase.