My experience with tech start-ups in San Francisco helped DNA land a contract with Spotlight Reporting, an add-on software for the Xero and Quickbooks Accounting platforms. The company had loads of potential and tight competition.
This was one of the smallest budgeted projects DNA had taken on in a long time and we were challenged to work quickly and efficiently. To do that we had to toss a lot of process overboard.
Zak Kinnaird (Visual Design)
Kristin Jarvis (Sr. Project Mgmt)
Tony Watson (Development)
I worked closely with key stakeholders to refine their online content and overall marketing approach to prepare them for the American market. Much of their written content was clogged with in-speak and customers were having a hard time understanding the very basics of what Spotlight Reporting was offering.
I worked with key stakeholders to refine their Value Proposition and then broke down their prime functions into user-friendly language. I pivoted them away for talking about what Spotlight Reporting is in exchange for what impact they have on their customers.
We struggled to get the client to understand that their fragmented product offering was too much for for customers to grasp. We eventually brought their sales team into a meaning and asked them how they were closing sales and they said, in short, "We sell it like one product that we can customize to fit". After that the execs were onboard for changing the way we presented and marketed the product online.
I worked over both Zak and Tony's shoulders. Zak would whip up a design while Tony worked to develop the page in WordPress. We worked off a basic set of wireframes I created.
I would also focus the client on the copy that needed work using a "Copy Master". Our team would flow the copy in as soon as it was polished.
While the visual design and functions of the site were improved, the content and language was greatly improved. We saw a dramatic reduction in drop-off rates through the first few interactions (the homepage alone went from 78% down to 45%). We saw a healthy uptick in conversion rates 22% up to 29% and the sales director reported that sales calls were much easier since potential customers understood the offering better and sales staff could direct customers to better content when they needed help.
The site has since gone through another design revision and I'm happy to see much of the language and content has remained.
Start-up owners tend to hold onto their ideas tightly, afterall, it's how they get their product off the ground. It's not a bad thing necessarily. I knew this going in but the rest of the DNA team was worn raw by it. We could have done a better job of setting expectations early on so that the client would be more cooperative.
I would've liked to run a small usability test on their site before we'd made any changes so that stakeholders would hear the complaints from their customers and not from the design team.
I also took on too many roles and got burnt out with this project.