Happier staff; systemised—a UX site audit
Finding opportunities for Welbee’s sales site to accommodate new areas of business expansion
Who are Welbee?
Welbee helps schools to systemise their staff wellbeing through digital products including tailored surveys, direct anonymous feedback tools and monitoring dashboards, so that senior school leaders can check in regularly on staff happiness and make improvements; fast.
Their products are currently used by 200+ schools in the UK.
Welbee’s current target audience are senior school leaders and headteachers, who tend to be the decision-makers when it comes to adopting new products in schools.
Welbee are looking to expand into new markets and verticals (public and private sector companies). They felt it was time to refresh their sales website strategy.
- A UX audit of the current sales website
- The deadline was quite tight, with only 3 days to conduct research and present findings
I turned this brief into a How Might We statement to help focus how I would present the research:
How might we sell Welbee products and services to new sectors while still appealing to the current Welbee audience?
I filled in a project canvas to collect all of my assumptions and to plan and structure my lean research, with a focus on knowledge gap areas.
I started with three user tests of the current site. Usually I would do at least 5 tests but the findings were so consistent I decided to move forward rapidly:
Positive points for the current site were that:
- Prices—2/3 testers thought the prices seemed very reasonable
- Client logos—all testers were impressed by the current list of Welbee clients
- Short video—testers liked the short summary video of what Welbee does
- Next steps—testers would book on a demo to find out more if they were still keen to sign up
There were also some key areas to improve upon:
- The pricing structure—very confusing for testers
- ‘I don’t get Welbee Voice’—none of the testers really understood this product
- Information overload—the amount of content actively made testers distrust Welbee, they also felt like there was a huge amount of repeated information
- Information architecture—testers felt like information was on the ‘wrong’ pages
To add some additional clout to these findings, especially as I was working with a new client, I audited the site using Nielsen Norman Group’s 10 usability heuristics.
Many of the issues identified matched those found in testing. Additional areas for improvement were in:
- Consistency—there were different fonts, colours and spacing used in the products and on the website and link and button colours were also used to highlight text
- Naming—sections were labelled in a way which appealed more to an educational setting, this would not work well when scaling to additional sectors
- Accessibility—colours were not hitting WCAG guidelines’ minimum contrast requirements on the site
Welbee regularly speaks with teachers and really understands their needs, however, I wanted to understand what could potentially alienate teachers and senior school leaders to ensure the new site launch would not scare current customers away.
I also wanted to find some examples of sales sites which the current target market responded well to.
I spoke to a teacher who works internationally in senior schools to help with the site’s global appeal.
Key points from this conversation were:
- Mentimeter—a tool for interactive presentations was a great site to look at for a teacher-friendly but broad sales appeal
- Staff wellness in schools is also a very high priority in other countries—however, institutions driving progress in this area can vary, from universities, to government, to governing bodies
- Clear communication—it was clear that senior school leaders have to communicate very clearly with a lot of staff so direct, concise copy would likely appeal to Welbee’s current target audience
I also spoke to a headteacher who works in the UK.
Key points from this conversation were:
- Arbor — this was a great MIS (School Management Information System) sales website for a product widely used by schools, it was a great piece of inspiration to draw upon
- Kids are always the highest priority—images of kids learning and looking happy could help sell the Welbee products to teaching staff
- The school runs staff wellbeing surveys—the school writes and runs its own staff happiness surveys. The headteacher feels they already have a lot of context to draw upon. Highlighting that Welbee surveys are customisable seemed another good opportunity
To encourage focused conversations with the client on next steps, I incorporated all the research insights into an early prototype, covering the highest priority areas identified in testing and interviews.
- Accessible and consistent visuals — colours and typography (including different states) all hit AA WCAG guideline requirements. Fonts were now consistent with those used in the products and icons were used to help communicate complex ideas more clearly within the navigation menu.
- Scalable information architecture—I used clear real-world terms like ‘Products’ and ‘Resources’ to cater to a broader audience. I also separated out ‘Industries’ so future USPs could be pitched to their appropriate audiences in the future. Each product had its own dedicated page and I suggested rebranding the larger Academies and School Groups product package to an all-encompassing insight platform. I also added a notification bar above the navigation menu as an option for new product information updates.
- Landing page content —I streamlined content available, focused strongly on the products and their USPs and kept the client logos and testimonial quotes that testers responded well to.
- Clearer pricing explanations—I suggested more of a package-type pricing model with clear visual differentiation on additional benefits available as price increased. This seemed more scalable as the business expanded into other industries. This was just a starting point for discussions, being a higher stake business area.
Check out a video of the prototype I presented.
I discussed next steps with the client when I presented my research. They were very impressed with the findings and work is ongoing to implement and measure the effectiveness of many of the ideas suggested.
- Prototypes are the perfect tool to facilitate discussions—having something to look at moves everyone from problem to solution mode
- Sometimes using a trusted authority adds clout to your work—assessing the site using usability heuristics had a really strong impact on the client
- Interviews unlock great sources of inspiration—these discussions helped uncover fantastic sales websites that were relevant to the current target audience, these helped to convince the client that suggestions would still be likely to appeal to current customers