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Down tools week is an annual event at Redgate. Each year engineers, designers and product managers get the opportunity to work on interesting customer challenges as part of a down tools week team. As a team captain I led a team that explored how to improve onboarding for Redgate products.
Onboarding new users is always a challenge for complex products. Working with the team I agreed the following problem statement to help focus the week.
We have observed that it can be difficult for users to start using Redgate products. This is important because users won’t get value out of our products if they don’t know how to use them.
How might we enable first-time users to learn our products in less time than present?
I drafted and agreed a design sprint approach with the team. With the team working remotely morning, afternoon and end of day catch-ups were scheduled to help co-ordinate activities. Users were lined up for research sessions on day 4 to ensure that any ideas could be evaluated during the week.
The week before the design sprint I planned and facilitated a kick-off workshop with the team. This was important to establish the scope for the week, to agree the best approach and to discuss what everyone wanted to get out of the week.
Understanding the problem
I set-up an initial user journey mapping exercise to help the team better understand the problem. Using pre-existing insights the team were able to map the current getting started experience for a Redgate product, including steps, pain points and opportunities.
An inspiration board was also populated with product onboarding ideas from a range of digital products, including mobile apps and video games.
Utilising pain points and opportunities from the user journey map, along with ideas from the inspiration board a to-be user journey map was created to outline what the getting started experience could look like for users.
The team identified the most promising idea as using interactive product tutorials to help users to learn a product, with a particular focus on guiding them through key tasks. In order to test this idea with users a high-fidelity prototype was created (using Figma). SQL Data Catalog, Redgate’s tool for identifying and classifying sensitive data was chosen for the prototype because onboarding new users is a current challenge for this product.
Testing ideas with users
In order to evaluate the interactive product tutorials concept remote user testing sessions were set-up for day 4 of the design sprint. Working with the team I planned and facilitated the first of the 30 min sessions, and then supported team members who wanted to have a go at facilitating subsequent sessions.
Having run 5 remote user testing sessions, I facilitated an analysis session with the team to review insights, to identify key insights and to agree actions.
At the end of the week I worked with the team to create a short video outlining what had been learnt during the design sprint and what the next steps should be.
Having demonstrated that interactive product tutorials could be valuable for product onboarding, several product teams at Redgate are exploring their use. The idea has also fed into Honeycomb, Redgate’s design system with a view to establishing onboarding best practice design patterns that can be applied across a range of products.