IncentivePilot began redesigning its entire B2B product to better connect with its audiences, including building a more intuitive information architecture and developing a coherent visual language.
This project aimed to identify any usability issues with the MVP and determine the critical features to prioritize for the product's next iteration.
Incentive Compensation Management (ICM), Sales Technology (SalesTech)
User Research, Interaction, Visual Design, Prototyping & Testing
IncentivePilot is a Phoenix-based company created to help managers of large-scale sales incentive programs save time on the tedious parts of their programs.
Learn more about what IncentivePilot does.
I was half of the design team at IncentivePilot.
I joined IncentivePilot as a product designer three years ago as one of two designers. I supported design across every aspect of our business and am responsible for leading UX and UI across key parts of the application side of the platform.
I've grown tremendously in the last several years, some key achievements of which I have listed below:
- Implemented a design process. This helped our team establish more structure to how we connect and conduct our work and allowed other teams to gain visibility across our upcoming sprints.
- Improved usability across the platform. No usability tests were conducted by the existing team prior to dev handoff. Once a design team we established, we were actively working towards conducting UX research and usability testing on all projects.
- Establishing a design kit. This has helped to maintain consistency in the look and feel across different parts of the platform.
- Establishing a design system. This has helped the Development team to understand how and why we choose to implement specific components over others.
Our process at IncentivePilot was based on the Double Diamond Theory and Lean UX process. We aimed to incorporate the key phases of Discovery, Definition, Ideation, and Implementation in our projects.
Understanding the Problem
Before IncentivePilot hired a product design team, a beta release of the platform had been implemented; it existed as a bare-bones platform that was hard to navigate, unintuitive, and didn't perform as a self-service SaaS product. The product was created without any usability testing and had little consideration for the technical and product limitations on the scope of work.
I conducted research interviews with our primary users (account managers) to uncover any pain points that they were experiencing with the beta release.
My research encompassed:
- Understanding the user goals and needs
- Uncovering pain points with the existing user journey
- Determining the success of the tasks measured
UX Audit + Gathering Insights
Our team of designers conducted a UX audit of the existing platform to identify usability problems and detect problematic areas that would cause users to abandon their journey. I wanted to discover where users experienced difficulties in understanding navigation and functionality, what this data could tell us about users' behaviors and needs, and what could be changed to improve the platform's performance.
I relied on a data-driven approach, the severity framework, to inform my process and prioritize usability issues. The framework helps to identify the severity score of a usability issue based on the following three variables:
Task criticality x impact x frequency = severity
- Task criticality - how important is the task to the user? (1 = low, 5 = critical)
- Impact - how much of an impact does this issue have on the user's task? (1 = suggestion, 5 = blocker)
- Frequency (%) - how often does this come up from the total participants?
Without proper onboarding instructions, users were thrust into a platform without context on how to use it. Navigation was not chronological, and tasks felt disjointed. Using the product was complex and lacked convention. Furthermore, the product lacked consistency and increased the users' cognitive load by forcing them to learn new expectations.
Next, I conducted stakeholder interviews with the majority of the IncentivePilot team. I spoke with individuals from marketing, design, and engineering/development.
These were the insights that I gleaned from those interviews.
- Offer admins growth opportunities
- Maximize engagement and impact
- Leverage touchpoints needed to grow pipeline and revenue.
- Intuitive and self-service platform
- Reward-based engagement
- Clear processes for creating contest initiatives and rewarding users
- Integrate with existing channel software tech stack
- Actionable metrics
- Leverage single sign-on (SSO) and APIs to automate engagement in PRMs
- Automation of campaigns
I wanted to better understand our users' goals, needs, experiences, and behaviors, so I created journey maps for each user segment. They were based on user interviews and surveys, and I kept updating them throughout the project as I gathered more data. I used these personas whenever I wanted to step out of myself and reconsider my initial ideas.
Admin Journey Map
Wireframing the Solutions
Based on the above problems identified, I worked towards addressing these pains by coming up with potential solutions:
- Connecting the site's information architecture to its visual design by showing paths between pages
- Clarifying consistent ways for displaying particular types of information on the user interface
- Reducing the number of steps to minimize time to completion
- Establishing a clearer visual form hierarchy by grouping related fields
- The lack of a formal onboarding wizard also meant that I had to come up with a standardized styling and UI pattern for future users
I quickly mocked up some basic wireframes to gather feedback on the overall layout and structure of the product. This involved establishing a standardized visual hierarchy and layout for the future platform.
Validating the Designs
I conducted usability testing sessions with our primary users and stakeholders to validate whether the new designs would solve their problems.
During the session, I observed how they interacted with the prototype and navigate the platform. The usability session revealed that it was less arduous to set up a new user, create and track contests, and send rewards due to the new navigation and intuitive processes.
The next major milestone for this product was creating a design system. The current platform lacked consistency and scalability so creating a modular system that could grow with the product was paramount. While designing the new system it was crucial that I created processes that allowed for the ability to replicate and scale designs quickly by utilizing premade UI components and elements.
The Design System
Developing the Design
I created my high-fidelity mockups in Figma to allow the development team to inspect the file and export the HTML and CSS code.
I worked very closely with the Front End team to spec out any missing interactions that were not covered in the high-fidelity mockups. I conducted a review of each component that was implemented to ensure it was aligned with the designs before it went live.
Results and Takeaways
It took our team about ten months to redesign IncentivePilot. During this time, we recreated the entire platform from the ground up and made it look more professional, polished, and usable.
Since the implementation of the new rebuild of Incentive, we have seen a significant decrease in the number of tickets lodged through the help desk. Additionally, I have received positive feedback from users about the simplified configuration of the product, saving them a large proportion of their time.
Some key takeaways from this project are:
- User testing doesn't end after development. Design is a constant iteration of improving the experience for the end user. Always find ways to collect and listen to your user's feedback.
- Involve engineering upfront. This helps to reduce any rework later on, as understanding the technical limitations upfront will help inform your design strategy.
With the foundation in place, IncentivePilot is on track to scale as the company grows.