Reimagining Influitive Challenges

Reimagining Influitive Challenges

After a decade of focus on rapid growth, significant tech and UX debt slowed Influitive’s member app down to a crawl. In 2021, I was part of an ambitious project to rebuild Influitive’s market-leading customer engagement platform from the ground up, starting with Influitive’s flagship feature, Challenges.

My role

Lead designer

Length

18 months (entire rebuild)

Areas

Strategy, Research, Design, Launch

Platform

Responsive web

Team

Product Manager x 1

FE/BE Engineers x 20

QA Engineers x 3

Platform

Responsive web

Team

Product Manager x 1

FE/BE Engineers x 20

QA Engineers x 3

Impact

Overall increase in member engagement through increased Challenge completions and reduced user drop-off

About Influitive

In 2010, Influitive was created to help companies get closer to their customers. After 10 years, Influitive became the premier platform for 270+ companies to discover, nurture, and mobilize their most loyal customers and advocates.


In exchange for points, community members can complete Challenges that appear in the form of cards. When clicked, the Challenge Player appears, presenting a set of steps called “stages” that ask the member to perform tasks. These tasks are defined by community managers and can range from writing a product review and providing product feedback to sharing a social media post.

Original Challenges

THE PROBLEM

Tunnel-visioned on growth

For over a decade, numerous teams have contributed features to Influitive’s member app in an effort to rapidly grow Influitive’s capabilities. After years of neglecting UX and tech issues in favor of growth, Influitive’s member app became a frustrating experience that was uninspired, slow, and littered with bugs.

Our original app was filled with inconsistencies and bugs

THE GOAL

Rebuilding from scratch

At the end of 2020, our engineering team determined that our debt was too large to recover from and decided that it would be best to completely rebuild the member-facing app on a modernized tech stack whilst keeping the same user experience. This project was codenamed project Elevate.


The initial goals were to:

  1. Eliminate tech debt

  2. Improve performance


Despite being good improvements, our product, design, and executive teams couldn’t help but feel that there was a missing opportunity to right an important wrong.


  1. Address the countless UX issues reported by customers and members over the years

Staying ahead of the engineers

Designing on a project that was solely scoped for engineering requirements meant that design was subsumed into an engineering‐driven process. Milestones were driven by engineering estimates and the time left over was the time we had to reach the right design. The tight timelines created an intense environment that required value-driven prioritization and had many timing and coordination challenges.


Each feature phase of the project was serialized based on its importance to the core member experience. Once each feature was designed and approved, our engineering team began the implementation. Concurrently, I would design the next feature in the pipeline, whilst also working with engineers to execute the current feature through to completion.

This is the story of how we redesigned our flagship feature, Challenges.

RESEARCH

Rediscovering insights

Ever since the inception of Influitive, Challenges have always been the same. As expected, over the years, user experience issues surfaced through our customer success managers and our Influitive customer community called “VIP”.

Collecting customer feedback

To get an initial understanding of the issues members and admins were facing with Challenges, I did an inventory of the Challenge feedback posted by customers in VIP.

Product feedback submitted by Influitive customers through our customer community forums

We also wanted to ensure that the problems we captured match the current sentiments of our members and customers. To get responses from a roughly representative sample, we published a set of Challenges in VIP that asked customers to provide the most common issues raised by members in their community and from what they’ve experienced themselves.

Quotes captured from our customer survey

With so many different problems faced by different individuals in isolated situations, we had a difficult time seeing how they all relate to one another in the Challenge workflow. We needed a birds-eye view of the entire experience.

Auditing Challenge flows

I decided to construct task flows for our Challenge experience to map out exactly where the experience breaks down.

Task flows were created for all Challenge states and stage types. Issues were marked in red.

RESEARCH RESULTS

High-touch frustrations

Without the required time to address every problem, we weighed each problem based on its popularity in the feedback collected from VIP and where in the Challenge flow it occurred in. Since problems that occurred in flows with heavier traffic were likely to affect more users more frequently, we tackled those problems first while the others were redesigned for a fast-follow post release.

Each critical problem we discovered was mapped on a impact-effort matrix to help us identify our priorities

Challenge length is obscured

Without a visual indication of how many stages are in a Challenge and which stage they’re on, members are hesitant to start Challenges since they aren’t sure if they have the time or patience to complete them.

Challenges are accidentally closed

With members trying to finish Challenges as quickly as possible, many accidentally click out of the Challenge Player modal. This inconveniences them to navigate back to the Challenge.

Discussion reply stage is frustrating

When completing a discussion reply stage members are forced to leave the Challenge to do so. This requires extra effort spent on navigating back to the in-progress Challenge.

In-progress Challenges are rarely re-engaged

Members frequently drop-off mid-Challenge, leaving them in-progress. However, only a small and vague icon is used to identify these Challenges. In addition to the experience of completing these Challenges being confusing, in-progress Challenges are difficult to find and complete, and frequently abandoned.

Members rarely complete a series of Challenges

Community Managers frequently create a series of Challenges that unlock one after another for training programs and fun Challenge journeys. Despite being suggested other Challenges when a Challenge is completed, Members tend to ignore them and leave the flow.

New Challenges are hard to find

Community Managers constantly publish new Challenges to engage members and to fulfill their program needs and priorities. However, without a clear indication of which Challenges are new, they are frequently missed by members.

Establishing baselines

At this point, we were confident that we had a good grasp on the largest problems members and community managers had with our Challenges. However, we weren’t sure if the issues would materialize in our users’ behavior since customers generally had positive sentiments toward our app. Surprisingly, after measuring a few metrics, we discovered that our Challenge engagement was quite poor. Improving this became our definition of success.

Metrics measured to determine the efficacy of our existing Challenges. Gathered with the help of an Engineer

REFRAMING THE PROBLEM

Seams and poor navigability cause poor engagement

In an age where products are fighting for your time, user interest is quintessential to the success of your product. For Influitive, although it’s natural for members to occasionally lose interest mid-Challenge, the existing version of Challenges exacerbates this through a disjointed modal experience that is susceptible to accidental closure and stages that require members to navigate elsewhere. To make matters worse, if members are still interested in the Challenge after navigating away, they have to jump through hoops to return to the Challenge and complete it.


This begged the question…

" How might we create a seamless Challenge experience that’s more engaging and usable for community members? "

FINAL DESIGNS

Challenges reimagined

More space, more fun

No longer will you have to worry about accidentally clicking out of the Challenge Player. The spacious new full-screen Player provides a comfortable and immersive experience that presents all the information you need when completing a Challenge. This includes a new progress bar and point counter that animates as you earn points and rewards you with a blast of confetti on completion.

Bring your Challenge wherever you go

Need to go elsewhere in the Community to complete a Challenge stage? Take your Challenge with you. With minimized Challenges, Challenges will stay by your side, notify you once you’ve completed the task at hand, and give you a shortcut for you to return to your Challenge and progress to the next stage.

Challenge history exactly how you left it

Do you have Challenges you partially finished? Influitive has your back. Find them using the in-progress filter or look for Challenges marked with a progress bar to continue exactly where you left off. If you have multiple submissions for the same Challenge, they’ll all conveniently available one click away.

Smart Challenge suggestions

Members want to earn points as fast as possible and Community Managers want to hear from them. When members complete a Challenge, Influitive keeps them engaged by suggesting more to do, whether it’s the next Challenge in a series of Challenges, a Challenge with related content, or a Challenge prioritized by admins.

New Challenges first

Influitive keeps things fresh and exciting by showcasing the newest Challenges from the past week via a badge in the corner of each card. This way frequent members stay engaged, occasional members stay up-to-date, and the most immediate program needs are met.

THE LAUNCH

The most radical update since 2010

For over 20 months, our team put everything into rebuilding our member app, working in lockstep as we brought our collective vision to life.


This feature update ultimately shipped alongside countless other improvements when our first wave of customers migrated to the new Elevate platform in September 2022 (blog announcement).

THE IMPACT

A good step towards better engagement

Despite being a long journey and an impressive achievement for our team, our initial launch was only step one.


Over the course of 2023, as more functionality was delivered and more customers have migrated, we’ve been able to collect overwhelmingly positive customer and member feedback. Fine-tuned changes were made in response to constructive feedback and a UX roadmap was implemented to curb any UX debt from ever building up again.

Early adopters and user testing participants had positive sentiments towards our changes.

After a year of our new app living in the wild, our Challenge updates have had a positive impact on Challenge engagement across our customer communities (as of September 2023), materializing through a reduction in Challenge drop-off and an increase in overall Challenge completion. Although encouraging, we were suspicious that these results were a reflection of member excitement from numerous communities relaunching after migrating so time will tell whether our updates live up to these numbers.

Our baseline metrics remeasured and compared

Increased design and engineering velocity by 50%

Reunified Influitive's platform around a new design system. Reduced accessibility issues, improved user sentiment, and drove product consistency

Read case study

Simplified the customization of Influitive communities

Designed a new tool for admins that will reduce time spent on customizing navigation bars by 99%

Read case study

Increased design and engineering velocity by 50%

Reunified Influitive's platform around a new design system. Reduced accessibility issues, improved user sentiment, and drove product consistency

Read case study

Simplified the customization of Influitive communities

Designed a new tool for admins that will reduce time spent on customizing navigation bars by 99%

Read case study

Increased design and engineering velocity by 50%

Reunified Influitive's platform around a new design system. Reduced accessibility issues, improved user sentiment, and drove product consistency

Read case study

Simplified the customization of Influitive communities

Designed a new tool for admins that will reduce time spent on customizing navigation bars by 99%

Read case study

My experience

Senior Product Designer 2020-2024

Product Design Intern 2019

Product Design Intern 2019

Product Design Intern 2018

Various companies

Software Engineer Intern 2015-2017

Have a question, some feedback, or wanna work together? Msg me!

brandon.tong.do@gmail.com

Copied

Copyright © 2024 Brandon Do

My experience

Senior Product Designer 2020-2024

Product Design Intern 2019

Product Design Intern 2019

Product Design Intern 2018

Various companies

Software Engineer Intern 2015-2017

Have a question, some feedback, or wanna work together? Msg me!

brandon.tong.do@gmail.com

Copied

Copyright © 2024 Brandon Do

My experience

Senior Product Designer 2020-2024

Product Design Intern 2019

Product Design Intern 2019

Product Design Intern 2018

Various companies

Software Engineer Intern 2015-2017

Have a question, some feedback, or wanna work together? Msg me!

brandon.tong.do@gmail.com

Copyright © 2024 Brandon Do

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