Optimizing a collaboration tool for every team.
How might we enhance the onboarding experience for end-users logging on to Cisco's Webex iPad application for the first time?
Cisco, Cheryl Couris + Ivy Zhang
January - March, 2020 (10 weeks)
UX Designer + Researcher
Interaction Design, Visual Design, Usability Testing, User Interviews
Anqi Cao, Erika Johnson, Evan Schmitz, Mojin Yu
Through usability testing, my team and I aimed to understand if users are efficient in their remote, collaborative workspaces through Cisco's video conferencing and whiteboarding platform, Webex Teams. Our goal is to find the usability flaws specifically on iPad devices and recreate mock designs to improve user interactions.
By redesigning the key usability issues within the onboarding process, first-time users of the collaboration tool were able to successfully activate their account, access prioritized functions, and visualize clear status feedback when utilizing whiteboarding or screen sharing features, leading to greater user satisfaction and an overall increase in iPad users.
Streamline Activation Flow
When users sign up for Webex Teams from the email invitation, they would be lead through a simplified account activation journey that will not be blockaded by confusing redirections.
Engaging with the app, users would be able to filter out their chats with teams, spaces, and people to create a clear differentiation between each term and visualize what they do and don't have access to.
In a meeting, users would receive explicit feedback information as to when their whiteboard or screen is being shared on the call with other participants.
"Hey Cheyenne, we want to roll out an iOS update for our iPad application the following quarter that will encourage more viral adoption and end-user retention. How might we enhance the onboarding experience for users logging on to Webex Teams on the iPad for the first time?"
Meeting with Cisco Webex’s Design team and learning their goals, we gathered more information about their target persona and some upcoming developments of the product. This information informed our decisions to test and find key usability flaws within the “Day Zero” experience, then address these flaws through prototyped mock recommendations.
In testing the iPad application, we quickly ran into issues and confusions with the account activation, chat experience, iconography, and feedback from key meeting features. We marked up the usability heuristics that were lacking in the app, which helped us to identify what was critical to test in our study.
10 Heuristic Principles
4-Level Rating Scale
Score: 0 - 4: 0 = no usability issue; 4 = high-impact usability issue
This severity scale was measured under three critical components: one, the frequency of which the problem occurred; two, the potential impact the problem could have on the user; and three, the persistence of the problem after the user would address it.
During recruitment, we aimed to enlist participants based on specific characteristics, such as frequency of internet use, frequency of iPad use, and experience with non-Webex Teams collaborative tools in both professional and/ or academic environments. From these, our two main constraints for participants were having an occupation as an information worker and having familiarity with iPad and/ or iOS devices.
Someone who works with computerized information on a daily basis.
Familiarity with iOS Devices
Someone with similar device usage and the behaviors that correspond with it.
We conducted our usability test with 8 participants, utilizing several testing methods that include observation, think-aloud protocol, system usability scales, and semi-structured interviews; this allowed us to collect more contextual data to help us further assess the usability issues. Our usability test concluded that the majority of participants felt the collaboration tool was complicated and confusing, directly reflecting the SUS score.
7 Tasks (18 Subtasks)
Score: 1 - 5:
1 = disagree ; 5 = agree
Score: 1 - 100
In this session with one of our eight participants, I took on the facilitator role, leading the participant through each task and asking key usability questions. Here, the participant is filling out their digital consent form.
After affinity mapping our data, we found six critical usability issues. These findings revolve around four major journeys and features within the iPad experience including account activation, messaging, screen sharing, and whiteboarding. From each finding, I took the lead in designing mocks to provide recommendations on their collaboration tool.
Account Activation Misdirection
The initial login flow was discouraging for all participants.
The constant back and forth between the web browser and application in the first task complicated the initial login flow.
The "Meetings" site was confusing and unfriendly.
As participants were redirected to Cisco's Meetings site, the majority became confused by the information and link, finding the design of the page unfriendly to interact with.
Inflexible Messaging Prioritization
Participants did not have easy, flexible access to contacts.
There is no clear, distinct list of contacts that show the separation of both direct contacts or
Terminologies like "spaces" and "teams" are confusing.
Participants found the two high-level concepts of "spaces" and "teams" to be indistinguishable.
Poor System Feedback
Whiteboarding and screen-sharing features lack system status and feedback.
These two features congruently do not provide enough status or feedback information when in use.
The screen-sharing icon was not easily recognized.
Participants found it difficult to locate the icon, and it did not provide enough context to its function.
After reflecting on this usability project, I would have liked to further validate the key findings. Beyond the current study, additional testing with a greater variety of professionals could have brought other usability issues to the forefront. This would have also allowed us to understand if a segment of information workers had substantial difficulty moving through the usability test, therefore scoping our assessment. Also, while the current study focused on iPad usage, investigating the onboarding workflows across other devices could have helped inform the standards required for the design recommendations.
If given more time, I would have also preferred to conduct more usability tests after concluding the design recommendations. Testing the designs I've made would immediately validate if these recommendations successfully or unsuccessfully relieved the usability issues. Given that Cisco's UX Design team has implemented most of my design recommendations, resulting in a well-streamlined user flow and an increase in iPad users, I believe my work has concluded to a successful outcome.