The user experience of online consumer support was identified as an area in need of major improvement. Our client struggled to gain traction for several months with multiple different teams until AustinCSI consultants were engaged with the project.
Our consultants took key leadership positions in order to understand the needs of our client and the initiative, develop a framework for delivery, and drive the project to completion.
The first order of business for our consultants was to understand what challenges the organization was experiencing that was prohibiting the team from delivering the project. Very quickly we realized that there were multiple challenges facing the teams from making significant progress.
- Online support supplies help content to all consumer products and services. The organizational structure at the time of this initiative had Wireless and Home Solutions products/services segmented into separate leadership towers. This resulted in multiple different sets of requirements and priorities being dictated to the project teams as the different organizations fought for their individual interests.
- During the initial stages of the redesign, our client was also implementing an agile transformation. Although delivery teams were structured to deliver using agile methodology, leadership was still thinking of requirements in a waterfall fashion.
- In addition to a redesign of the online experience, our client had identified a new content management system (KANA) for online solution pages. This required the re-authoring and migration of thousands of articles and created difficulties in developing a reliable delivery schedule. This also created a circular dependency between the redesigned User Interface and the backend structure of the KANA authoring tool. The KANA development team required the front-end UI in order to create the proper authoring fields, while the design team required newly authored content in order to design with the proper content strategy in mind.
- Design teams were faced with an update to the existing design standards. The targeted release date of the new support experience was the same as the targeted release of the new standards. This resulted in constantly changing design elements and requirements.
We found that these areas of difficulty compounded onto themselves in self-perpetuating feedback.
Responding to the Problem
- Conducted recurring meetings with all potential stakeholders to elicit and prioritize specific project requirements
- Coached new agile scrum teams as they developed a cadence of scrum ceremonies
- Conducted extensive research on the existing user experience, user commentary, and task completion data
- Drove strategic plan for content authoring and implementation
- Utilized a modified design system providing the framework for Responsive Web Design
- Developed dashboards to provide all interested stakeholders visibility into scrum team progress without disrupting team schedules
- Extract all external team dependencies in order to create and manage a feasible delivery timeline
- Created a multi-release strategy in order to delivery incremental value to stakeholders
- Worked with teams on a daily basis to provide continual improvement to the scrum process and overall lean thinking
Over the course of two years, AustinCSI delivered:
- The creation of an agile delivery structure:
- 1st release: KANA authoring system
- 2nd release: Unauthenticated consumer support solutions
- 3rd release: Unauthenticated consumer landing pages
- 4th release: Authenticated consumer support
- 5th release: Unauthenticated small business support
- Visability into team capacity and velocity created the framework for release readiness and planning.
- A UI structure that delivered a streamlined experience for all lines of business and their unique products and services.
- Improved taxonomy for scanning and finding solutions more efficiently.
- Extensive usability testing using card sort and tree-jack studies in order to provide the most logical organization of content.
- A new global navigation hierarchy to get users to the correct lines of business.
- Solution template that offered users multiple options to solve their specific need (tools, videos, step-by-step solutions, and community forums).
- An SEO strategy to provide better visibility of all solutions to internal and external search engines.
By providing skilled leadership in key positions, our consultants were able to break out of the churn the teams had been experiencing for several months and drive the initiative from ideation to delivery. Immediately following the initial launch of the unauthenticated redesign, our client experienced a 5% decrease in call center volume. Content authors also experienced a significant increase in productivity utilizing the new content management system. User satisfaction scores increased as users were able to locate solutions quicker and more accurately using the designs our consultants provided.