User Research, Usability Testing
GoCanvas is mobile forms company that prides themselves on their products’ ability to empower efficiency to varying business types and sizes. Their Help Center is for users who needed clarification and assistance with using the GoCanvas Mobile Application and/or the desktop website. We were migrating over to a popular platform, (Zendesk) and we had to optimize it to make sure it answered user needs.
My role was to:
A - Research and explore traditional help section procedures and identify our problem areas to be addressed.
B - Improve and iterate on the ease of use to which users can access help topics/issues.
The current help center was ineffective at empowering users to research and solve issues. The Support Team was constantly fielding phone calls from users regarding easily solvable items. Most users were aware of the help section and had attempted to figure out their issues prior to calling.
Poor information architecture
Where am I? What am I supposed to do? What else is there? Were all questions that needed to be answered on every page.
Terminology isn’t regular
Along with the tons of features that we have, a lot of the titles for functions of GoCanvas are centric to just this application. Meaning, the terms aren’t universal in meaning.
Too many choices; feature-itis
GoCanvas is a feature heavy application. On the current help section there were nineteen different category call-to-actions. Presenting users with that many amount of topics at once made things intimidating and confusing to find exactly what to look for.
The Help Center is supposed to be the first stop when a user is frustrated. With poor IA and Feature-itis plaguing users from achieving their goals, I sought to address those issues first.
I first dived into some quantitative data about our users. I went and pulled data from last year to tell us which of our 19 topics listed were the most clicked on. Took those results and interviewed our support staff to get some quick qualitative data to figure out if the questions and attitudes that they received from users matched up with the data. This helped to fill in the gaps of our knowledge base.
Second, by migrating to the Zendesk platform, it solves most of the Information Architecture issues. Zendesk structures its platform by hosting information in a 3 tiered format; a section, category, and knowledge article. 3 layers deep is widely considered optimal for users to quickly find what they need.
Third, we looked at GoCanvas’ user personas. There are three levels of proficiency when it comes to their product: Beginner, Average, and Power Users. How can we expedite each of them getting to where they need to go?
Solutions & Mock Ups
A robust search bar assists all level users in navigating immediately to their issue. From a competitive analysis standpoint, other websites have chosen the search bar to be the main vehicle for users to find what they want quickly and effectively. Since the term ‘googling’ has become the quick solution for finding out answers you don’t know, we relied on current day affordance to go with a well designed search bar to bear the brunt of how people find help articles.
Additionally, the data showed that only 6 of the 19 CTA’s on the front page were used. So for the users that knew which topic the wanted an answer to, they still have the option available, just in a more efficient scope.
Navigation breadcrumb visibility throughout a users’ exploration will help bolster IA by orienting where a user is, where they can go, and what else they can do on any page.
I worked with our UI designer to collaborate and make sure this had personality, but still was secondary to prioritize finding information. Didn't want something so visually striking that it got in the way of finding a help topic. Our UI designer did a fantastic job.
I made an interactive prototype in InVision and planned usability testing sessions. Finding out if they were able to complete task scenarios without assistance was crucial. Additionally, them identifying changes that I could implement to improve performance would be great.
Our usability tests with the prototype confirmed that our design was very user friendly, easy to navigate, and effective in engaging users to explore. Every user accomplished the scenario goals without complications or hesitations.
The number of calls to our support requests have dropped and the metrics show that there is a higher usage rate of the help section. Still waiting for some more hard numbers, but continue to iterate to make sure this is as best as it can be.