A startup in Silicon Valley came to me with an interesting balance of 2 personas spread across web, mobile, tablet as well as their IOT Pods called Zen Spaces. The concept was that providers can host pods on their premise while guests can book from mobile or web and enter the pods using the attached tablet. But was this all working in practice?
The MVP created on mobile, web and tablet were technically offering all the basic features each persona needed to book. Despite that, the technology wasn't being used unless users were hand-held and set-up for each pod was a company-wide effort each and every conference.
Flying out to a conference to observe users interact with the software was the first step in assessing where exactly the problems were. The challenge would be the sales team, whom had the opposing goal. While they aimed to give a white-glove experience with hopes of a sale, I let people on cellphones carrying laptops try to schedule a meeting they were late for through an experience they only just realized even existed. But, evil in the name of clean data, no? 😈
Any individual that engages with the pod without prompt
Light and casual to create natural reactions & blend into conference presentation. Yield to sales team to accommodate sales efforts
I'd have the personas development organically by only studying those who genuinely attempted to enter pod for a meeting without prompt.
With the least amount of interference possible, I observe and take note of user attempting to book meeting through attached tablet application or mobile app.
Once user couldn't go any further, I'd interject and assist in booking or entering pod. Once in, I'd get them comfortable and talking about their experience with the goal of filling in any gaps I had in their study.
Inspite of the challenges, we took away solid statistical data. There were a few clear take-aways.
Because business strategy mainly focused around conferences in the near future, the tablet experience became the top priority to improve. I needed to create new wireframes for stakeholders and team to review and discuss.
Stakeholder requested clearer indications of the status of the pod. He and I came up with four states, each smart enough to give proper CTA, allowing users to easily kick-off next steps.
Every input from a user requires equal reward. Removing the heavy-handed email input as our second screen, we made the email input optional as a method the user can send themselves their access code after they've successfully booked a pod.
Today you can only book the pod associated to tablet. To accommodate multiple pods at future conferences, I'm also thinking through a kiosk solution where users can book any pod through one tablet application.
Basic back, close & cancel options were added where applicable. In addition, if user enters an incorrect access code into a pod's tablet, the new experience now offers a graceful recovery email with access code.