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Merchant Performance Overview

Helping visitors uncover the research/context behind the Burke.

Timeline
January-March 2020

Teams
Class Project

Roles
UX Designer
Researcher
Design Strategy

Context

The performance dashboards are meant to be a reflection of how well your business is doing financially and operationally. Merchants, from big suppliers to small mom-and-pop shops, utilize these dashboards to analyze, report

Problem

When Wish for Merchants site was created, it was developed during a time when there were less resources to design and prioritize the platform with an ideal user interface, with the dashboards being cluttered with data visualizations, spreadsheets, and numbers. For a merchant with less resources or staff, it becomes frustrating to scan through endless amounts of data to understand and interpret what key insights are essential to grow their store on Wish.

When I first joined the Performance Health pod, one of my first projects that came down the pipeline was to develop a performance overview dashboard that could easily summarize what metrics a merchant needs to know to improve the growth of their business.

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PROPOSED SOLUTION

A performance overview dashboard displays a snapshot of sales and store health metrics to merchants.

Objectives
  • Increase in the amount of time that merchants would engage with these dashboards
  • Better understanding of their business financially and relationship to customers

Key Success Metrics
  • 30% of the weekly volume of merchants who tapped into an old performance dash will tap on new overview dash within 2 months of launch

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Responsibilities

Because much of the problem was already scoped prior to me joining the team, I was tasked in designing the store health page, with my manager and partner assisting with designing the sales overview page. 

Constraints

During my time at Wish, things were typically shipped out fast and often. Because of this, I was only given 3 weeks to design a solution that was finalized and ready for handoff. 

Personalize Your Visit

Prior to their future visit, visitors can select topics and updates that they may interested in exploring more within the Burke.

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Get Updated

After setting up preferences, visitors will be able to read through upcoming events and research updates they are able to take part in.

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Explore the Exhibits

Through a virtual voice-activated assistant, visitors will be able to learn more about certain artifacts with more context and insight from researcher's audio recordings and artifact scanning.

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Follow Collections

Upon conclusion of their visit, visitors can track the story of artifacts they've seen and will be given real-time updates from researchers themselves.

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Understanding Our Users

How do visitors and volunteers interact within the museum’s new “open-exhibit” format?

When we first began to conduct research into the exhibits, we noticed the following insights:

  1. Being a local museum, Burke's main source of visitor engagement is through strong interactions with museum staff and ongoing nightly engagements. Because the staff showcases their passion within their work, visitors become more interested in the content and are more likely to return.

  2. Research is also an integral part to the Burke's culture; however it's difficult to present to or engage visitors knowledge without guidance from staff. By incorporating researcher insight into the Burke’s experience, visitors become more invigorated to come back for future engagements.
  3. Exhibits don’t translate information and insight in a way visitors can understand because they often do not map to a visitor’s mental model.

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Design Principles

ENGAGING

By creating a more immersive experience which encourages curiosity, museum patrons are more inclined to visit more often or come back in the first place.

INFORMATIVE

When viewing the exhibit, people are limited to the amount of information that the exhibit entails, and don’t inform the context surrounding the topics presented.

ACCESSIBLE

All museum patrons should be able to access additional resources to view and apply their own observations to the exhibit itself.

NON-INTRUSIVE

This application should allow museum patrons to further engage with the museum rather than replacing the in-person experience.

Journey Mapping

Once we established the direction that was considered the best for both visitors and the Burke's core values, we plotted out events and actions of an average visitor onto a journey map, in order to best strategize how to best integrate research within their exhibit.

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Defining Areas of Focus

By using the opportunities we found to be the most helpful in the Burke’s experience, we identified three primary goals in which how we could increase retention with nature enthusiasts to come back to the Burke:

  1. Provide a personalized learning experience to visitors
  2. Encourage repeat visits through engaging content
  3. Create a direct link to researchers and their work
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Designing the In-Museum Flow

Why are we using a voice assistant for the in-museum experience?
  1. It would be accessible to the Burke's audience of older nature enthusiasts.

  2. It tied into the Burke's main principle to utilize technology with the least amount of intrusion into the holistic museum experience.

  3. It would be able to bridge the gap between science enthusiast and researcher when there is no one available to thoroughly establish that connection.
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Brainstorming VUI Ideas

Based on user feedback and co-brainstorming, I found that most questions that come from the Burke's exhibits fall into two categories: researcher insight and artifact details. To address this, I drafted up two different user flows and used those to create specific VUI flows that would showcase specific intents, utterances and slots. 

From there, I then sketched up potential wireframes that would act as a visual aid assisting the voice-prominent experience. Once I felt I was ready, I put sketches up into Figma and started prototyping.

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Scenario 1 - Listening to Research Insight

Original Research Insight:

Research is an integral part to Burke’s culture; because the people who work there are so passionate about their work, visitors become more likely to return to the Burke. 

To address this insight, visitors have the opportunity to ask Tom for a listen to a short, pre-recorded audio excerpt from researchers, featuring content based on their location within the museum (via wireless beacon technology). In addition, visitors would also be granted access to a transcript to accomodate for older generations of visitors.

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Scenario 2 - Identifying an Artifact

Original Research Insight:

Exhibits don’t translate information and insight in a way visitors can understand because they often do not map to a visitor’s mental model.

To prevent users from relying heavily on their phones throughout their process, Tom possesses an artifact scanning tool can only be accessed when a user is requesting to find the name of a specific fossil. This would allow users to learn more about their exhibit, and ultimately encourage to facilitate further discussion with the museum staff.

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User Testing

Throughout the process, I conducted a series of table reads, participatory sessions, and remote Wizard-of-Oz user testing sessions (remotely) in order to ensure I best established empathy and connection with our primary user base and reduced error whenever possible.

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Visual Language Accessbility

When challenged to think about accessibility, our group realized it would be necessary that certain groups that would fall into our user group would require this necessity. As a result, we researched the WCAG requirements and created a design system that provide high contrast to signifiers and strong discoverable features that could display feedback effectively.

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Conclusion

Upon reflection, this was an extremely challenging first project to receive as an intern, especially when switching into a new team with a completely different user set in mind. In order to best address the design problem, it required knowledge of a vast amount of the system at play and understanding each dashboard's purpose was within the broader Merchants ecosystem. Just acquiring the necessary knowledge and working backwards to understand how the context was created around this project took most of the limited time I had. Although the end result wasn't a typical end-to-end process, on top let alone designing a solution that could easily be scalable and be interpreted to as worldwide of a demogrpahic as Wish merchants are.

However, this is a project that really pushed my limits to not only producing prototypes that had strong execution, but to also design at scale within a complex space. For that, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

What I Learned

DON'T TRY TO RE-INVENT THE WHEEL.

Copying current interaction models and wireframes doesn't make bad you an un-creative designer; it makes you a more efficient designer to deliver an MVP, and delivers on a existing framework that a user is already familiar with.

EMBRACE THE POWER OF ITERATIVE DESIGN.

When going into my internship, I used to believe that designing the perfect solution was theIterative design was something that 

DESIGN ISN'T ALWAYS LINEAR.

I went into my internship thinking that I would be able to apply the end-to-end design process to every solution. What I got out of my internship was a lesson that was more valuable... rarely that ever happens in the real world.



Things To Improve

Before we were expected to create a final presentation in front of stakeholders at the Burke, the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. However, given the feedback we were given on our experience, this is what I would have done to better improve:

  • Create a heuristic evaluation and test based on retention and engagement metrics
  • Expand the scale of the in-museum experience to other areas of expertise, such as event engagement and artifact comparison
  • Explore museum signage and markers to indicate audio-focused knowledge from researchers

Let's kiki and discuss future opportunities!

© Adam Ahmed 2020