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Rebuilding Trust in the User Centered Design Process, IA Summit 2-28-04

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Case study of lessons learned during the redesign of the Wachovia.com investing center, outlining mistakes we made and how we rebuilt trust.

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Rebuilding Trust in the User Centered Design Process, IA Summit 2-28-04

  1. 1. Rebuilding Trust in the User-Centered Design Process Samantha Bailey, Vice President, Information Architecture COPYRIGHT Wachovia CONFIDENTIAL
  2. 2. For the Record •I’m a librarian who works in digital spaces •Currently: VP, Information Architecture for Wachovia •Pioneer in IA: First employee of Argus Associates, spent 5 years there developing their operation & methodology •MILS from University of Michigan, 1996 http://www.mcphee.com/amusements/current/11247.html
  3. 3. Overview What went wrong How we addressed it How do we keep from doing it (wrong) again? What can you learn from our mistakes?
  4. 4. Background Team structure & how we work with our internal partners Relationship between Bank & Brokerage (Wachovia.com and Wachoviasecurities.com) Internal Competition (“full service” vs. “self-directed”) Audience: mix of novice & expert, variety of investing needs
  5. 5. We used a user-centered design methodology, how come we got a site no one was happy with?
  6. 6. Initial Design Process When user-centered design…isn’t Weaknesses: • Investing center as subset of much larger project • Internal politics and corporate flux (merger) • Working relationship • Shared understanding of goals & methodology • Our level of subject matter expertise “You didn’t include us enough in the process.”
  7. 7. The Original Outcome http://www.wachovia.com/personal/page/0,,327,00.html
  8. 8. Usability Test Results Tested Wachovia.com site during site-wide redesign; users could successfully locate the investing center, but couldn’t successfully navigate it Users don’t understand menu structure (select one, series of steps) Novice users particularly confused Expert users don’t find scheme intuitive either “If I were looking for advice on where to start, I’m not sure this would be helpful at all.” “Wording seems to be confusing.” Knows she wants to invest in stocks. Comes here to determine whether or not she can purchase stock through Wachovia. She isn’t sure.
  9. 9. It’ s humbling to plan the redesign of a redesign before the redesign launches.
  10. 10. Laying the Groundwork Pre-Discovery • Understanding why the first attempt failed (humble pie issues) • Time delays worked to our advantage • Relationship building • Establishing new working agreement - Increased BU involvement - More sign-off points
  11. 11. Redesigning the Investing Center Phases: Standard UE Process • (pre Discovery) • Discovery • Design • Usability Testing • Iteration • Development & Implementation
  12. 12. Redesigning the Investing Center Phase Goal Discovery Improve understanding of customer’s & business needs Design Design several versions Usability Testing Test for most successful Iteration Design best of breed hybrid Development & Implementation
  13. 13. Trust Factor If this was to be a pretty typical methodology, how was trust increased (and why did we expect a different outcome)? • Communication—it’s cliché, but can’t be stressed enough • Repetition—didn’t rely on trickle down (luxury of time) • Pushed back on requests to compress discovery
  14. 14. Redesigning the Investing Center Discovery • Clarifying the business needs • Clarifying user expectations (conducted interviews with Financial Advisors and customers) • Involving the business in the process—asking for specific kinds of engagement
  15. 15. Discovery Conclusions User configurations Novice Users Expert Users Want Advice Don’t Want Advice
  16. 16. Discovery Conclusions Novice Users Expert Users Want Advice Don’t Want Advice
  17. 17. Discovery Conclusions Novice Users Expert Users Want Advice Don’t Want Advice
  18. 18. Discovery Conclusions Novice Users Expert Users Want Advice Don’t Want Advice
  19. 19. Discovery Conclusions Novice Users Expert Users Want Advice Don’t Want Advice
  20. 20. Discovery Conclusions Business Needs: • Tell the Wachovia story: what differentiates us as a brokerage firm • Provide more real-time market updates and fresher content • Focus the design on acquisition of new customers and on funneling verified leads to Financial Advisors
  21. 21. Sea Change Focus the design on acquisition of new customers and on funneling verified leads to Financial Advisors How were we able to come to this conclusion, this time? • More stakeholders around table in environment focused on building trust led to more candid conversations • The business units had more clarity about corporate goals and interdependencies.
  22. 22. Discovery Conclusions Novice Users Want Advice Expert Users Use website to direct qualified leads to Financial Advisors • Criteria for identifying qualified leads
  23. 23. Discovery Conclusions Novice Users Expert Users Don’t Want Advice Guide users through self-directed Brokerage options • ID candidates for richer service offerings
  24. 24. Design Three Approaches: • Needs & Tasks (wizard) • Filter • Portal
  25. 25. Design: Needs & Tasks Classification Schemes: • Investing Tasks (e.g., locate an advisor, rollover an IRA) • Life Event Planning (e.g., retirement, college) • “Getting Started” tool that guides users through steps, intended for the novice user
  26. 26. Design: Filter Tool (short series of questions) “filters” users into novice with advice, novice without advice, expert with advice, expert without advice categories
  27. 27. Design: Portal Classification Schemes: • Meeting Your Needs (i.e., investing tasks) • Life Event Planning (e.g., retirement, college) • Investing Choices (focus on investment vehicles) • Current Wachovia Customers
  28. 28. Business Unit Reaction • Had a hard time keeping the 3 approaches distinct— tended to want to converge by combining the elements they liked and removing the elements they didn’t—had to ask them to trust us & the usability testing process • Very skeptical about filter approach • Preferred portal approach
  29. 29. Trust Factors • Looked for opportunities to demonstrate increased SME • Relied on our business partners for SME guidance •Demonstrated points where our expertise was brought to bear in unique ways
  30. 30. Usability Testing Results Needs & Tasks • Novice users responded extremely positively to wizard (wanted to be sure it would be useful to them and not just a tool to gather marketing info) • Expert users generally successful (skeptical about wizard) •Life Event Planning: generated high level of appeal across board
  31. 31. Usability Testing Results Filter • Users rejected the filter—they felt confident self-identifying the categories and either didn’t like the idea of answering questions or only wanted to do so if the result would be more tangible (e.g., advice) • Novice users were less clear about whether or not they wanted advice • Expert users readily self-identified
  32. 32. Usability Testing Results Portal • Those who didn’t like it felt there were too many choices; others not bothered by this • No one understood the Current Customer category, didn’t like duplication in options • Expert users liked the Investing Choices category
  33. 33. Usability Testing Results General Findings • Users thought the Wachovia Story was marketing and tended to ignore it • Most expert users looking to other sources (e.g., Motley Fool) for market data • Looking for Fees & Commissions info. • Novice users intimidated by market chart • Novice users open to tools
  34. 34. Design Iteration Hybrid: • Provide Wizard front & center for novice users • I Want To… (task based) • Accounts & Services • Life Events Planning • Investment Choices
  35. 35. Business Unit Reaction • Confident about mix of options for novice and expert users • Liked portal aspect • Appreciated Wachovia Story, Market Research • Fought for inclusion of Investment Choices • Conceded to greater inclusion of Fees & Commissions info
  36. 36. Project Debrief “You included us in the process too much.”
  37. 37. Conclusion—for us • Rebuilding trust required focusing as much effort on nurturing the relationship as on our design efforts • The final product is a user-centered design that we expect to be popular with our users • The relationship with the business unit is such that we look forward to working with them in the future (and hope they feel the same way)
  38. 38. Conclusion—for you • Examine situation from every angle; decide what you’re willing to “own” • Balance eating humble pie with reputation management • Anticipate the effort required in relationship management as part of the project planning process • Don’t underestimate the importance of SME • Use usability testing to validate recommendations
  39. 39. Contact Information Samantha Bailey VP, Information Architecture samantha.bailey@wachovia.com