According to CRO provider Invesp, the estimated number of online coupons redeemed will reach 31 Billion in 2019. With over 77% of consumers spending $10 - $50 more when anticipating rewards from online coupons, the impact on marketing and revenue is undeniable for retail businesses.


My Role

  • I design user flows that help users interact with the RetailMeNot website and iOS/Android native applications.
  • Working with Product Managers and Engineers, I discover opportunities and provide solutions that create a more intuitive, useful, and efficient experience for the user at every touch point.
  • I collaborate with cross-functional teams and work on projects from conception to production.
  • I create high quality, innovative design solutions, delivering user flows, wireframes, low medium and high fidelity visual mockups, and prototypes.

In addition, I’ve been collaborating with our UX Researcher and Sr. Designer on conducting and synthesizing generative research. We focus on how we might best integrate the acquisition of a platform that addresses an entirely new vertical for RetailMeNot; Healthcare and savings on prescription drugs. I designed a portion of the high fidelity artifacts that will be used to help the business understand what problems we are solving and the users  we are solving for.

UX Design design studio group with Mitchell Thieman and design team
Distilling the Design Principles that guide the design process with the RetailMeNot Product Design team.

My goal here is to speak about  my process and the curiosity that drives me to solve challenging problems, seek out the challenges that lie beneath the surface, and do it all within a context of collaboration, honesty and integrity.


What Problems Are We Solving?

I worked on several projects that were focused on improving foundational aspects of the product including Security, Sorting & Filtering, Connected Accounts, and the Log In/Sign Up experience. Although these broad initiatives are not unique to the online coupon industry, it was necessary that I take into account the business objectives specific to the business like Engagement and Retention.


Providing Layers of Security

Security is a ubiquitous goal in the current landscape of technology. Nearly everybody is familiar with features and platforms that include Device Verification, 2-Step Authentication, and other means of preventing fraud and abuse. In many cases, these services are “optional”.

  • How do we manage the experience when the security measure becomes a requirement?
  • How might we provide security measures for users who complete transactions on our platform?
  • More importantly, how do you minimize the friction of implementing a security measure that inherently adds friction to the experience?
  • New users might understand it as a component of the onboarding or sign up process, but how can we guide current users through the change?

I strive to involve the Product Manager and other key stakeholders from the start to define and understand the goals. The business case for what we are trying to solve will impact the project in terms of scope and focus.

  • What are the requirements?
  • Do we need a mobile specific QA source?
  • Will we allow the ability to edit phone numbers on file? Is this a component of a user profile?
  • What are the existing patterns that can be re-used?
  • What is the timeline?

In this case, these answers to these questions illuminate the dependency and effect the project will have on disparate teams like Security, Retention/Rewards, Profile, Customer Support and others, that are working on parallel initiatives or have already built the framework for our new initiative.


Exploring the Solutions

After an analysis of what it looks like today and an exploration known patterns through competitive analysis, I can begin to design a User Flow. Below is a generic example of what that looks like. Although this is a generic user flow for considering security measures, it illustrates a critical step in my process that accomplishes a number of things.

Primarily, it is an artifact that helps me articulate how well I’ve understood the requirements, illuminates questions that still need answers, and most importantly it informs a design that will be human centered and user focused from the very beginning.

Competitive analysis chart of UX Design research for Tough Mudder application
Example of a User Flow for considering the implementation of security measures that require an input and validation.
  1. This is an example of the “triggers that would indicate a user’s entry into the user flow. Notice that I consider cross platform functionality based on requirements.
  2. The Prompt is an important consideration. How is it presented? Will it be unexpected by the user? This is where it’s important to leverage my own skills as a copy writer, or collaborate with a content strategist.
  3. This input will likely require an input field that may vary across multiple platforms. These are tricky regardless of the context. It is also an opportunity, much later in the process where I will have an opportunity to consider the UI.
  4. What type of verification are we implementing? It could be an email verification or it could be a verification code sent via SMS. All of this must be considered before moving forward.
  5. Error messaging is also an important consideration. Are we clear in the messaging? Do we provide an option to “resend”, “start over”, or “get help”?
  6. What happens if we do a great job of guiding the user through this process? Do we provide a success message? Where do they land after success? What happens on the back end with the data we’ve acquired?

Mapping the Wilderness

RetailMeNot has become known as one of the prime destinations for savings for things like clothing, electronics, travel and beauty. In May of 2018, RetailMeNot acquired LowestMed. The acquisition of LowestMed represents a leap for the company into a completely unique vertical; Prescription Drugs.

Working with the UX researcher and lead UX designer on the project, I assisted with the generative reseach udertaken in an effort to  understand this new demographic. I participated in home visits, the analysis and synthesis of our findings, and the design of research artifacts.

Affinity Map of UX Design User Research for Tough Mudder application
  • I partnered with the Senior UX researcher and designer to conduct home visits with individuals within a new demographic of users to discover qualitative data that would inform the business strategy.
  • I assisted in the synthesis of approximately 15 hours of recorded interviews to distill meaningful insights and form the foundation of the answer to the question “who are we designing for?”
  • After a careful analysis of our findings, I contributed to the creation of artifacts that will be used as a universal reference across teams to inform decisions. These include the User Journey, User Personas, and Mental Models. I was specifically responsible for the visual design of the Mental Model as it relates to the User Journey.

Analysis and Synthesis

While some general concepts clearly presented themselves, it required a lot of collaboration, discussion, and time to break those ideas into the points that would inform our ability to make decisions and draw useful conclusions.

Synthesizing the data was an equally massive challenge, but proportionately rewarding. Combining discoveries and revealing concise connections, served as the basis of my design of the mental model that will serve as the template for recommendations that connect our design decisions. Decisions that can be articulated and defended through the universal goal of designing an intuitive, useful, and delightful experience for the user at every touch point.


Building the Mental Model

This iteration of a mental model that I designed does not have any specifics to my research at RetailMeNot. In most instances, I've replaced the data with generic labels that illustrate the data points. Let's apply it to something broad like online vs. in-store shopping and savings habits. Analyzing the data should uncover the broad themes that inform specific topics that are key touch points and influence behavior at each step along the user journey. From each of these Topics, I draw correlations to a positive or negative mental model based on real quotes pulled from user interviews.

Now, we are able to see an overall sentiment surrounding a foundational theme, and we can see how these might overlap or correlate with other touch points. By putting this model in a linear context along the steps of the user journey, we begin to understand the touch points where we might have an opportunity to make the biggest impact.