The dire situation!
What was the business situation to create this?
Cisco is a leader in networking equipment. Every 2 out of 3 network hardware is made by Cisco according to SmartProfile Analytics.
However in 2017, their sales hit an all-time low. This was a time when everyone at Cisco were very tense as it could mean that their legacy could end!
In these times, they decided to investigate all possible means to increase their sales!
Ethernet switches are significant!
Sales of switching equipment (also known as ethernet switches) contribute to about a third of total revenue of Cisco.
Any improvement in sales of switches would improve the overall revenue. Therefore we decided to investigate into ways to improve the sales of switches.
Getting to the roots
Finding out what exactly caused this problem.
As a product designer in the team, I wanted to know who were the buyers of the switches. The marketing team connected me with some of the past customers and some potential ones. After interviewing about 15 of them, I was able to derive some insights into the problem they faced.
Interviewing the users and digging deeper exposed a number of problems which stemmed from only a handful of sources. I needed to address these core problem areas to improve the sales.
Solution: Creating a user journey map
I chose to create a user-journey map in order to understand and document the current process of ordering a switch. Using this I saw the mental states of the user at each point. This gave me clarity on where the problems were.
Current user-journey map to identify the pain points
Listing down my learnings from the user-journey map.
Users ask, “Will this switch work for me?” and the data-sheets don’t answer that. Talking with the help centre is time-consuming and inconvenient.
No tool for comparison
There was no tool available for comparing the important points which would help them make buying decision.
Finding an upgrade to ethernet switch was painful process. Comparing jargon-filled data-sheets was the only means.
Why users ditch the data-sheets
I uncovered that users don’t find the decision-driving data in the data-sheet
Buyers can’t use the data-sheets to make buying decisions because of too much irrelevant data.
Quotations from the interviews in which buyers directly identified the problems.
Solving the problems
Generating ideas to solve the problem and picking up the best one among those.
Once I had a list of pain-points identified from the previous exercise, I decided to brainstorm with the stakeholders and team members to solve the problems. Some of the suggestions from the customers were also thrown in. My objective was to get as many creative, yet functional ideas as possible.
Getting in the creative ideas and documenting them is important. Next step was to pick up the ideas that worked best for us. With the limited time, I needed to see how important each idea was and how difficult it was to implement.
Solution: Impact analysis
I created an effort-impact analysis chart, which enabled us to estimate how impactful an idea was versus how much efforts were needed to develop it.
The mind-map helped in documenting the ideas and generate more branched ones.
Ideas which created high impact and were easy to implement were chosen
Finding the perfect solution
Creating and picking the best solution
A number of solutions were generated, however I had to decide which one was to be implemented.
1. Converting the statements into technical solutions
2. Finding out the criteria to evaluate the concepts
I generated several concepts for implementing the solutions that we arrived at earlier. I created wireframes and presented it to the stakeholders. Based on their’s and the development team’s feedback, I created a weighted decision matrix to reach the perfect solution.
Three concepts for the solution
Which solution is the best? The one with most points!
Using weighted decision matrix, each concept was given a rating which was discussed with stakeholders and the development team.
This shows that Concept 3 – vertical wizard with progressive questions is a winner.
Pumping the details
Taking the concept to full featured page
The chosen solution needed to be translated into a feature-rich design. I created an initial wireframe and perfected it with feedback from users and stakeholders.
The wireframe with all features to convince the stakeholders
The final wireframe which captures all the features, obtained a buy-in from the business for implementation.
It was well aligned with Cisco design guide.