UX research and design consultant for Flight Club Darts. Undertaking detailed and tailored user, business and market research for this high growth start-up hospitality client. Why? To aid revenue growth online via website bookings and allow for global expansion.
A unique opportunity to manage the UX research side of this project to provide the talented in-house graphic design team and developers with the tools and insight they need to deliver the site build.
User Research / Stakeholder Interviews / Market Analysis
Mid-Fidelity Wireframes (Mobile & desktop)
THE Discovery PROCESS
Stakeholder Interviews > Business Goals > Site Content Analysis > Heuristic Evaluation > Competitor SWOT Analysis > User Journey Empathy Map > User Personas > UX Copy Writing Guidelines > Site Data Analysis > Acquisition Drivers > Behaviour Flows > Heat-mapping > User Research > Usability > Surveys> Taxonomy Card Sorting
The first stage of this project and most UX projects is to understand where the business is now from various touch points within the business - in this project the key stakeholders ranged from customer service, marketing, CEO, CFO, design, product and operations. Stakeholder interviews are a great way to start a project as it gives you one-on-one time with key individuals who will assist during the project, allowing me to introduce myself and explain what UX is and how we will be working together throughout the project. This is fundamental as it brings everyone to the same page and gives me a detailed insight on how to proceed with the UX process - whether this be in terms of timelines or business goals.
The questions asked to each stakeholder varies to suit their touch points within the business, but overall all are asked a few definitive questions such as what paint-points the website/service currently inflicts on to their role/department and what they hope this project to achieve.
Mainly derived from stakeholder interviews with the CEO & CFO, the company mission or business goals are defined.
This is the ‘bible’ of which I refer to throughout the full UX process, to ensure the project is responding to the business goals. To understand this further, once the company mission is understood, I determine a number of strategic goals for the business both now and the future. From the strategic goals I then determine how this UX project can cater to the strategic goals.
This is a great task to do whatever your role may be in an organisation to understand how your role helps to answer the company mission - we all do our bit!
I find this a great analytical tool to start with, conducting a heuristic evaluation on the usability or user friendliness of the current website/service.
A Heuristic Evaluation is a usability inspection and analysis method to identify usability problems in user interface design. It specifically involves evaluators examining the interface and judging its compliance with recognised usability principles.
There are 10 main themes for conducting a heuristic evaluation: visibility of system status, match between system and the real world, user control and freedom, consistency and standards, error prevention, recognition rather than recall, flexibility and efficiency of user, aesthetic and minimalistic design, help users recognise, diagnose and recover from errors.
Competitor SWOT Analysis
Understanding where Flight Club Darts sit within the market is achieved by an in-depth SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.
This particular SWOT analysis was quantifiable and rated numerically against a selection of tailored themes. I find this makes the analysis more digestible and a more structured reference tool for viewing areas of obvious improvement.
Current User Journey Empathy Map
Visualising the users attitudes and behaviours in an empathy map for both B2B & B2C customers helps me to align a deep user understanding at all touch points within the organisation. As a UX designer, my job is to be an advocate for the users so in order to do this, I must deeply understand the users and help the internal business departments understand and priorities user needs throughout the full process.
The empathy map was a fundamental visualisation tool for achieving this as it created a shared, powerful understanding of user needs from on-boarding to purchase to visit.
Flight Club Darts already had two personas in place that the whole company consistently referred to. Throughout my research I adapted the user personas and kept awareness of defining new personas but ultimately found that indeed the personas referred to were very much their core customers. Great job Flight Club!
UX Copywriting Guidelines
It is common that copywriting can be incredibly brand led, with this I mean the copy is written more so to reflect the brands personality than with a focus on the users understanding and needs.
With Flight Club Darts having a fundamental brand personality which resonated throughout the business and in the copy content, I created and provided a UX copywriting guideline to implement when creating copy for the website. Essentially, the key learnings are to avoid technical lingo and to be clear and concise especially when it comes to navigation, CTA’s, headers and sub-headers.
Site Data Analysis
Okay, so how are users currently using the site/service? I use tools such as Google Analytics to quantifiably understand how users currently navigate through the site, what they look like, how they behave, what pages are performing/not performing and of course how the customer is acquired.
Heat-mapping allows me to understand where the key touch points are on a responsive website.
In this case I assessed both heat-mapping which shows how users scroll, the click-map which identifies what buttons are being clicked and also watched multiple users on the site to further digest both the heat and click maps.
There were various interesting indicators to note from this, one being a fundamental button with a high click rate but very low heat-map score towards the bottom of the page, indicating this to be a key misplaced asset.
Focus Groups - User Research
Multiple in-venue focus groups was a research tool defined for this project due to its informal nature to help asses user needs, feelings and concerns of the user interface.
As always, it’s great to be face-to-face with the users which also helps consolidate user personas and further understand the empathy map. The focus groups instructed some key trends, a fundamental trend being why users currently opt for telephone bookings over online which was a huge issue to understand.
Usability Testing - User Research
Performed across both mobile and desktop with existing and non-existing customers, the usability testing not only uncovered new understandings, but also confirmed previous research understandings.
Card Sorting - User Research
Referring to the copywriting guidelines, usability research and business goals, the site architecture was proving to be a stumbling block. This was mainly due to the naming, placement and taxonomy. The site was built as a MVP (minimal viable product) and since had produced many more products that had been layered on top in a way that was not user efficient or clear.
To identify the optimum way of presenting the site architecture and taxonomy, I performed a number of card sorting activities both internally through group meetings within the business, with users and with externally biased individuals.
Card sorting was performed in a range of programmes/techniques from paper card sorting to online (with Optimal).
THE Define PROCESS
Affinity Map > Conclusion > Sitemap > User Journey
So, the discovery UX stage has come to a point of analysis - how do I do this most effectively? Affinity mapping. I’m sure you’ve all seen a UX designer with a gazillion post-it notes … well this is why.
Affinity mapping, is the greatest method to make sense of a whole lot of mixed data such as facts, research, ideas, user opinions, user need, insights, design issue etc. as it bundles and groups information to give trends and context to the findings.
When your mind is full of research findings and ideas, affinity mapping is the tool to collate into digestible trends to move forward with.
Why people love Flight Club
What services/products are offered
Who is the customer/s
How are customer acquired
A key deliverable for Flight Club Darts, following the affinity map conclusion of the research, the strategic sitemap was constructed and discussed with key stakeholders along with the conclusion findings of the discovery stage research.
Having identified how to improve to better improve the user journey and cater to business goals, a revised user journey empathy map was created for both B2C and B2B users and shared with the team.
A great tool to go over with the team and explain how their input defined this and what effects this may have on their department and business goals.
THE Design PROCESS
Mid-Fidelity Wireframes for mobile & desktop > Stakeholder Feedback > Usability Testing > Revised Files > Handover to in-house graphic designers & developers
Wireframes (Version 1)
With a mobile first approach, the first set of wireframes were created. At this point I worked closely with the stakeholders and invariably with the graphic designer and developer to keep all in the loop of why such wireframe designs are being created and what this means to the business and user.
These designs were created on Sketch and made interactive by an Invision prototype which was then shared with the team and respondents for user feedback.
It’s a constant cycle of feedback, and I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that feedback is provided throughout the whole process. As a freelance UX designer, I have my specialist knowledge and drive that I apply to all briefs. Team this with knowledge shared from stakeholders who have been working in the business for multiple years with a weight of hefty experience in customer and business interaction and we’re on to a winner.
Here you can see some feedback from stakeholders and my feedback to them to let them know how their feedback will be digested and if appropriate, translated into design.
Much like the stakeholder interviews, usability testing is performed constantly throughout the whole design process. I find InVision to be a great prototyping tool for this.
Typically I brief the respondent with a task and watch whilst they complete this, there are however many fundamental cues to follow when performing such usability testing to ensure the user is comfortable and does not rush through to complete the brief for a gold star rather than naturally progressing through the user journey.
Wireframes (Version 2)
UX design is not as linear as this case study may seem, throughout the whole process it is important to go back and look at the research and possibly perform more if you still have some questions un-answered or that you don’t feel comfortable with.
I always preach that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail and I believe it is for this reason that clients compliment me for my timely organisation. Although the plan is set out from the start and shared with key stakeholders including timelines and outputs, this of course is variable and is purely a guide.
Wireframes V2 were provided for both mobile and desktop and finished of with a de-briefing meeting with the graphic designers and coders to ensure a full understanding of the design decisions and handover of files.
Being a UX research and design consultant for Flight Club Darts, I undertook detailed and tailored user, business and market research for the high growth start-up hospitality client.
In which I was to aid revenue growth online via website bookings, increase all-day trading and allow for global expansion. To do this I performed a variety of research techniques and in turn delivered a strategic sitemap and responsive wireframes.
The development of the site is currently being worked on, once it’s complete I’ll be sure to share it with you along with key metrics of how the business goals have been met.
MEET THE Team
The added bonus of working freelance is that I get the chance to be constantly inspired by meeting new amazing people. Thanks Flight Club Darts team, you were absolutely top notch!!