UX Research and Website Redesign
Strategy | Web Design | UX Research | Business Analysis | Development
Cricket Debt was referred to us by one of our IT Infrastructure partners because they had an ongoing need to modernize and address longstanding aging technology. Their existing system was built up incrementally over many years and reached the point where major refactoring of their code base was required in order to support their ever developing business.
After consulting we determined that it was best to first do a redesign project before tackling a full site rebuild.
Our initial engagement centered around UX Research and the redesigning of their external-facing customer portal website. This project was able to address more immediate needs that Cricket Debt and their customers had, so we could then shift focus to pursuing a more fundamental re-architecture subsequently.
We started the redesign by first identifying their customers and their technical level of expertise. We complimented this by documenting the customer’s organizational goals and analyzing the usefulness, usability, visual appeal, and value.
Questions we posed and explored included:
- Customer pain points
- The nature of customer frustrations (education vs. aesthetics)
- Abandon point metric data
- Lacking / missing features
- UI page-by-page analysis
- Conversion goals
Our Art Director’s approach was to clean up the brand and make it more sophisticated by reducing noise, and by toning down bright colors.
We removed any excess distracting elements and made the core functionality more focused by increasing the clarity of the application and its functions.
As we developed the new style guide, we took the time to develop a standardized set of design guidelines to better help achieve consistency and faster implementation on the web going forward.
Once all designs were completed we then developed them as exportable assets for our technical team to pattern and code into the site.
Development and QA
To implement our changes we took an iterative page by page approach, focusing on keeping the business logic undisturbed where possible. In cases where the new UX design required it, we had to reorder the logic for some pages while still ensuring the end result of the form inputs remained the same.
With collaborated with our IT Infrastructure partner to maintain security standards and a proper workflow for a secure staging and production environments. the various environments were change managed to gather feedback via client demos, perform stakeholder acceptance testing, and ultimately release our changes.
This was a challenging code base to work in because it had originally been built without the benefit of modern industry standards or frameworks, and then accrued technical debt organically as the business needs evolved. This was particularly challenging for our front-end developers as both the business and page flow logic lived in the same space as the HTML views. Another challenge was that there was a large number of undocumented details ranging from unexpected page flows, to nonstandard system configuration dependencies including, but not limited to, atypical Apache configuration.
The existing code-base ended up being more complex than anyone initially anticipated, which was a challenge to navigate internally and also with our customer. We were proud to learn that Cricket Debt told us at the end that many other companies had tried to implement a new theme on their site and none had succeeded due to the sheer complexity of their existing framework.
The feedback they received from their customers, board and notable end-users was all positive and paved the way for us to now subsequently engage with them on re-architecting their entire business solution platform.
Moving forward we are continuing to work with Cricket Debt to build a system that gives their team greater autonomy to react to business needs. More generally we hope to provide flexibility to all the teams involved both our team for solution implementation and feedback, and our IT Infrastructure partner for system security and stability.