Kingdee Cloud Storage and File-sharing Service
Investigating user experience insights of a product new to the market
For: Kingdee Enterprise Cloud Storage Service
Challenge: Find out who the primary users are and what their needs and pain points are; indicate future design directions
Length: 260 hours
Skills: Workshops, user interview, affinity mapping, personas, journey maps, task analysis, data clustering, cold calls, SWOT analysis, value proposition design
My role: Lead UX researcher
When I joined Kingdee in October 2016, a free, trial version of the Enterprise Cloud Storage Service had been available to all users for six months. Created only to test the market, the service was quite young, and the product was incomplete, requiring further iteration.
Because Kingdee wanted to begin charging for the service in the first quarter of 2017, I was tasked with improving the user experience. In one month, I planned and conducted extensive UX research and offered product design suggestions for future implementation.
Enterprise Cloud Storage Transition Innovation Workshop
I was new to the company, new to the product, and knew little about how users’ opinions on the service. Wanting to learn everything quickly, I hosted a workshop with my peer designers who had already received some feedback from the small-scale market test.
We discussed users’ goals, identified pain points, and expected profits. We used colored post-it notes to write down our ideas and posted them on a value proposition canvas.
We voted on each idea and ranked them according to importance.
For each user task, we discussed the function or service we could provide; for each pain point, we discussed pain relief strategies; for each expected profit or gain, we discussed how we could add value.
Our main findings were:
Problem: File preview speed was too slow
Solution: Allow users to preview small files without queuing to reduce waiting; suggest users download large files instead of previewing them online to avoid disappoint
Problem: File upload speed was too slow.
Solution: Support resuming interrupted uploads; let the user know where they are in the file uploading process to give them a sense of in control of the situation
Although we could not change Kingdee’s technical performance, we aimed to design something to make the users feel better.
I used what I learned from the Enterprise Cloud Storage Transition Innovation Workshop to inform my user interviews. I led a team of interns for this portion of the project. Together we carefully invited interviewees to ensure we included employees and managers from diverse industries, and we designed our interview questions to learn about our users’ profiles, their expectations, and biggest areas of improvement.
We had a very hard time getting users to commit to interviews, even though we offered compensation for their time. In particular, many managerial users turned us down. To find enough participants, we had to make a lot of cold calls and refine our pitch.
I conducted twelve hour-long interviews over the phone, recording our conversations so we could refer to our users’ insights as we developed our design suggestions.
Each interview lasted roughly an hour.
To make sense of the data, I then used SPSS to cluster the twelve participants according to nine attributes:
User role (normal user; administrator)
Cloud Service experience (experience using cloud services, such as Baidu Cloud, Dropbox, etc.)
When I finished my preliminary analysis, I hosted a small workshop with my team and our boss to discuss the results. We validated customer loyalty using a formula I developed, a formula I developed to of calculating customer loyalty, and we worked together to map the journey of a typical user in our cloud storage service.
I used my clustering results to define the primary, secondary and complementary personas. I gave the three personas names based on their attitude towards our product so that the product team could quickly understand the personas’ features.
I printed copyright-free stock photos to represent the three personas, and I put them up on the wall to help me organize my understandings of the user groups and user journeys before creating complete, digitized personas and journey maps.
The complete personas I developed are considered proprietary information, so I cannot share anything more than the images and persona names.
My passion for this project attracted the interests of colleagues from other product lines, as seen in this picture.
I created journey maps by hand to visualize the five stages of our users’ journeys to map out their behaviors, needs, and pain points. I also identified design opportunities at each critical point in their journeys.
To ensure the manager received a high-quality product, I had the graphic design team digitize the journey maps. The digitized maps were hung around the office so the product team could easily empathize with the target users as they developed the next iteration.
I did a thorough SWOT analysis for each of our user journeys. for each of our user journeys., I listed out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of our product, and I cross-analyzed them to propose design strategies. A refined version of the strategies later appeared in my delivery to the product manager.
I created a 75 page PDF of my findings and my design suggestions, which I presented to the product manager for review. Due to a non-disclosure agreement with my Kingdee Software, I am unable to share my suggestions.
In July 2017, the Kingdee Cloud Storage Service was fully rolled out, and most of my design suggestions were included. By year-end, Kingdee had increased its user base by 146%, and revenue had reached 1,000,000 RMB. the product development plan was implemented.