Translink /Jan 2018 - Mar 2019
Project Inception and Discovery
Translink's website was a commercial disaster. They spent years with very low sales on their website (accounting for just 1% of total ticket sales) and by 2018 it was looking extremely dated (think ~2009 website). Which meant they wanted to bring their brand forward for the next era of Translink and begin a digital transformation for the organisation and the customers.
Problems to solve:
Increase total sales of online tickets.
Brand evolution, not revolution.
Phase 0 Discovery
Phase 0 consists of learning; what do we know now, what questions do we have, what can this teach us about going forward? Phase 0 contained some key activities;
- Analytics Review
- Professional/Heuristics Review
- Market Research
- Competitor Analysis
- Internal & External Stakeholder interviews
The analytics review involved asking questions like: what content is most popular? Where are users being lost in the purchasing journey? What percentage of users make it from start to finish? Where are the biggest drop-offs? But good analytics research, in my opinion, also involves some open exploration to just let the data speak to you.
Our professional heuristics review was a combination I created of Ben Shneiderman’s Golden Rules of Interface Design & Jakob Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics.
Market Research & Competitor Analysis
Not only did we look at direct competitors or those in a similar space such as The Trainline or Virgin Atlantic, but we also viewed and discussed with the client best in class technology-user companies like Revolut and what we may take from their digital approach.
Internal Stakeholder Interviews
It’s easy to think that the website just serves those customers clicking and planning journeys, but it actually serves many different parts of the business and it’s important not to forget that. With that in mind we spoke to employees such as those in support roles (like telephone ticket help) and we started to flesh out how the website could support them to reduce load. Furthermore the project also required some convincing (as UX projects often do) of senior stakeholders. It was important we showed our track record of success, approached them gently (revolution gets people’s guard up) and outlined our plan and how they could be part of it.
External Stakeholders and Proto-personas
We spoke to users! We gathered as much information as we could on as many different types of traveller to begin developing our proto-personas. This was part of guerrilla user research (the fancy term for “hey can I talk to you about your travels today?”), and more formal lab user testing.
Throughout the project our user types became...
- Senior Day Traveller
- Family Trippers
- New Commuter
- Regular Traveller
- Student Researcher
- Tourist Planner
At the end of phase 0 we would setup our “Phase 0 Playback” to outline - “you’ve told us what you want to achieve, here’s what we’ve learned, here’s how we can do it”. This offers the client a chance to see your working, and pivot if they don't like the direction.
I like the research to culminate in Experience Maps. They act as a nice visual concatenation of the story so far.
Our Experience Maps had 4 distinct tracks;
- Thinking & Feeling
We developed the experience maps this way to show the client in 1-3 “here’s the summation of everything we’ve learned and know about the customer” experience and in no.4 here is some (buzzword trigger warning) blue-sky-thinking (told you) about how we solve their problems. Experience maps, in this context acted as a visual summary of Phase 0.