UX Expert Reviews @ Herbalife
“Expert review is a usability-inspection method in which a UX expert inspects a system (such as a website or application, or a section therein) to check for possible usability issues.”
UX Expert Reviews @ Herbalife
This work was done during summer-autumn of 2018. Two applications were evaluated: desktop version of HNConnect web application (Herbalife Nutrition Connect), and Herbalife EMEA mobile applications aimed for Herbalife distributors and retail customers.
HNConnect is the tool for Herbalife distributors to help with business growth. Its objectives are: 1) to increase sales (of Herbalife products), and 2) to better connect Herbalife distributors with the customers in their downline network.
This assignment started soon after HNConnect went Beta, and couple thousand distributors tried it. Expert Reviews helped quickly reveal usability problems while followed by slower usability research and experiments.
Prerequisite to Expert Reviews:
Understanding users’ needs and business goals. Since I am part of UX team and product planning meetings I have learned about the product thoroughly.
The steps of the UX Expert Reviews:
- Discover top task flows or user flows. This is the outcome of continuous learning about the product, identifying and refining Business Goals and User Needs (see “Task Flow Analysis” Trello card on the right)
- Identify usability issues and pain points in these task flows
- Visually represent task flow diagrams with the pain points, color coded comments, and smiley faces. Tool of choice is Sketch application. The Sketch task flow diagrams are here.
- Write a discovery reports in Confluence for each task flow using a standard template. Reports highlight key findings in easily digestible format, and includes expert recommendations.
- Present the findings for each task flow to UX team. One at a time if set of UX problems is vast or complex, and/or if solution requires brainstorming with the team.
- Report “low hanging fruit” issues associated with UI, such as labels, verbiage, or UI layout, in TFS (or Jira as alternative), which becomes assigned to engineering team. Bug’s list.
- Get the analytical data confirming the findings. Data is available through Adobe Analytics (Omniture) and Salesforce database. (see the sample Adobe Analytics screenshot in Deliverables section below)
- Deliver reports to the product owner, and have a review meeting with wider audience if needed. Stakeholders may represent functional, sales, marketing, and internal teams.
- Color coded, annotated task flows with pain points in Sketch. First versions had severity ratings for each pain points: High, Medium, or Low.
As we had more iterations down the road, and some issues were fixed, the ratings were converted to three categories: not yet addressed, development is in progress, and done/fixed.
- UX Expert Reviews reports in Confluence. Includes key findings and recommendations.
- Opened issues in TFS. (Bug’s list)
In addition to Expert Reviews, I built reports based on Adobe Analytics (Omniture) data, and reports about specific object counts in Salesforce database, prepared by engineering, which I will cover below.
Screenshot of Adobe analytics:
The task flows diagrams have “data analysis” markers , which indicates the data points where we want to record user clicks or taps. These analytical data offers evidence for why something may be a problem. This eliminates credibility concerns about the UX expert, and proves the analysis is not biased, but rather based on the solid data. Having analytical data makes the identified pain points be not just one person’s subjective opinion, but an objective fact.
Another step here: We have to collaborate with analytics team to add missing analytics tags, as not all UI elements on the studied user flows were recorded by analytics.
The result can be presented by this infographics:
Herbalife EMEA mobile apps
I took a different approach to UX Expert Reviews for Herbalife EMEA mobile applications.: Herbalife+ app for Distributors and HerbalifeGO app for Consumers.
The list of task flows (without steps) was given to me by a product owner. These apps have been in production for a year already. The problem with them is a low adoption by end-users.
Task to UX expert: quickly identify usability issues and pain points, document them, suggest recommendations, and present the results back to the product owner.
To perform this task I installed both applications on smartphones: Herbalife+ app for Distributors (Members) on Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and HerbalifeGO app for Retail Customers (Consumers) on iPhone X.
UX Expert Review steps:
- Getting familiar with the applications, and walk through the task flows, proposed by the product owner.
- Document the detailed steps with the identified usability issues (pain points), and questions to the product owner.
- Create the interactive (clickable) task flows with the visual illustrations of the ux problems. Here is the link to the task flow (and comments) created in Axure. I’ve chosen Axure RP prototyping tool for task flows because Axure is the only tool in my toolbox, which natively supports flow diagrams, AND has interactions at the same time. Neither Sketch, Figma, Framer X, nor Principle.
- Since the significant amount of the usability issues were found, I created a PowerPoint presentation with my discoveries highlights of IA, UI, and UX issues, and discussed them with the UX team. (download PDF)
- Based on the internal discussion with UX team I modified the presentation and shared it with the product owner, suggesting the continuation of the work, and follow-up reviews.
- Next Step? To be continued…
- Excel – detailed task flows steps and pain points in table format.
- Axure – interactive task flow diagrams and annotated screenshots with explained pain points. link
- PowerPoint – concluding presentation with emphasis on usability issues and proposed re-design direction, encouraging the business owner for improvements. link
- Sketch – wireframes with proposed design sample of dashboard screen. link
UX Expert Reviews a viable inspection methods when time and budget do not permit the usability research. They are proven to be an integral part of our design testing processes.
Unfortunately not all recommendations could be implemented, low hanging items were prioritized, instead of most critical to the user experience. Product managers agendas sometimes prevail over the usability of the products. It was a good learning experience to accept other points of view or business realities without getting frustrating.
At the end these exercises contributed a great value to the products, and helped to reveal hidden roadblocks along the user journeys.
Thank you for reading!