New Zealand Post Website
As a large company with a long heritage and and many systems supporting the digital platforms, championing UX into the public website was no simple task.
Creating good habits
To begin at New Zealand Post, I set about creating some good practices within the online team
Rolling Usability Testing
Setting up rolling usability testing every 3 weeks
Getting team involvement in observations
Ensuring team was involved in usability test report review and creation of actions
Setting up regular team critique of design ideas and work
Asking for help when it's needed
I created a contract UX and Design team that could be called upon when we needed additional resource.
Hiring a User Research contractor to manage the rolling usability testing
Hiring a UI Design contractor
Hiring a junior UX employee
Managing design related work on a task board.
Business vs online
Organised proactive meeting with stakeholders throughout the business to understand their troubles with the website.
Created a template flexible enough and slick enough to entice the business to want to put content on the website.
Employed an amazing visual designer to help woo the stakeholders.
Helped stakeholders to understand that many of the business issues were essentially the user issues
Project example 1: Buying postage online
The task was to improve the usability of the online purchase process for customer shipping.
Defining the problem
I facilitated several workshops with the purpose understanding the true nature of the problems to be solved.
This was supported by:
Fully immersing myself in the user research on buying postage that had been completed date to date
Carrying out usability testing on the current NZ Post online toolset
Completing a competitive analysis of the postal/ecommerce landscape.
Challenges and constraints
The aim of the project was to make buying postage online as easy as possible. My largest challenges were:
the technology - an old system that was not flexible
the business - a risk averse business that was reluctant to be open about pricing
With this in mind my focus remained on
Making as few steps as possible for the customer.
Being clear about what information was expected so there were no surprises
Surfacing up new and unknown benefits (for example - getting your parcel picked up) to teach the customer what was possible.
Ensuring that the design worked equally well on desktop and mobile.
Project example 2: Homepage redesign
Defining the problem
I conducted an off the cuff review of the site analytics and combined this with the results of some tree testing. This highlighted highlighted that customers were having difficulty accessing the primary tools from the homepage.
Making sure that the design was attractive enough for the Marketing team to champion it.
The site structure was considered a high risk area of change. Therefore the project was only able to change content on the NZ Post homepage itself rather than primary navigation items.
I collaborated with our contract UI designer (I created a sketch wireframe, she delivered comps and we iterated over them collaboratively) to create a layout that both met the users needs and was appealing to the marketing department . The support from marketing for this change to the homepage of the website made sure that they would champion it on the online team's behalf.
I focused our UX / UI design changes to keeping the lush photographic look and creating a linked list of the most frequently visited tools on the top right of the screen. This allowed marketing to have full flexibility to advertise any campaign they wanted, while keeping the users highest priorities top of mind.
Project example 3: Flexible & beautiful landing pages
Defining the problem
I had noticed that more and more parts of the NZ Post organisation were creating micro-sites to support their business tasks and marketing vision. The core NZ Post website was seen as too inflexible and too old fashioned looking for them to use.
Reuse - making something that could be used in a number of different ways with different types of content and still look great.
Vendors - ensuring that any vender's used by the business were guided to use the new system of landing pages.
I created a slice based layout that could be made up of various different horizontal slice designs. Each slice was designed so that it could be used in combination with any other slice in any order.
I put together a guide with templates to ensure that when vendors were hired they new how to create designs that could be easily implemented on the website
UI design by Vanessa Smith, UX Design and Strategy by Bryony Hall