People Office Places
People Office Places is a Wordpress based website that provides members with the tools and info to create a healthy company culture and environment
People Office Places is a Wordpress-based website that provides members with the tools and information to create a healthy company culture and environment. People Office Places or POP was built to help companies strengthen their culture, relationships with clients, and improve productivity by providing a variety of content and resources. This content includes email templates, furniture reviews, tool reviews, signs and a community forum.
Using Google Analytics, we were able to see a few patterns emerge. Our "logged in homepage" had an extremely high bounce rate compared to other inner pages of our site. This pointed to confusion or lack of introduction to the site for new users.
The first thing I did was conduct a heuristic evaluation of the current site. I recruited three other evaluators for this test. This test revealed a few key themes for improvements as well as a plethora of specific issues. The first theme revealed was confusion over where to find certain items or products. The second was the colors used or lack of color used. This was included in 3/4 evaluations. I was specifically concerned with the amount of content that was hidden behind a paywall. Potential customers had no way of sampling this content and Google was having a hard time crawling this content, which was negatively affecting our SEO.
I conducted three moderated user interviews using the original site design. Using our analytics data and heuristic evaluation, I set up several different tasks. The first task was to navigate to a specific furniture category. During this test two users glanced at the content category icons on the homepage but chose to use the header navigation. When asked why they chose that route they said they were able to see all of the categories for the content more easily at once. During all three of my interviews we began discussing the actual content of the site. All three participants thought the content was funny and modern but thought that it was too immature to use at their current business.
Pulling from our current base of users as well as a pool of users who were related to the facilities industry, we conducted a survey. We used this survey to test our assumptions as well as get more insight into the themes we saw in our user interviews and heuristic evaluation. Two of our key insights from the survey came from the questions
- How often is People Office Places updated with new content?
- Does the content provided from POP match your company’s culture?
Users answered the first question ranging from "never" to "once" to “every few months.” In reality we were updating and adding content almost everyday. The second question helped us reinforce what we learned in our user interview ; the downloadable content didn't always match the voice or culture of the user.
Our final design of the user homepage features content blocks filled with the most recent content arranged as a feed of the latest pieces of content. This design helped solve several issues with the old site. The first being the lack of content available to non-customers before they sign up. By displaying small pieces of content we were able to drive more traffic from Google and increase visibility. Secondly, this design gave users the ability to see quickly new content that would have been otherwise hidden before. The new design followed the current dPOP! branding instead of the dull gray, black, and blues. The hero image and the featured tab near the top were added at the request of our content creators to give a place to add specific items or promotions the user might want to see.
We added related content blocks to every inner page of the website. The goal of this design change was to lower the bounce rate and give the site a much richer and more alive feeling.
Different strokes (signs!) for different folks. We decided to offer three different options for each of our office signs. Each of these signs catered to a different part of our audience.
People Office Places grew to about $30,000 in revenue during the following year.
What I Learned
You Don't Have to Please Everyone
Although we learned through the user interviews and the survey that some users felt that the signs’ messages was a bit too off-the-wall for their business, we should have taken a moment and considered our target market. This part of the site became a huge burden on our graphic designers to create three versions of every sign and we found that users were still sticking to downloading the original sign designs we had before.