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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.