UX ReVAMP of "rip.ie" 

Coping with grief and loss of a loved one can be very hard. “RIP.ie” offers post-death services online and has a huge scope of improvement. As a part of this project, we proposed a redesign to their website that would streamline the experience for a person needing funerary rites, increase the discoverability of necessary resources mentioned on the website, and improve their monetization model. 

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My Role

Redesign of “RIP.ie” was a week-long project and was done in a team of 3. The work was equally split amongst all three at each stage and everyone got a flavor of everything. On a voluntary basis, I worked as a project manager, and my additional responsibilities included:

Staying on track with the deliverables

Planning ahead and making a daily to-do list.

Reaching out to RIP.ie to validate our hypothesis

Assembling and delivering the final submission.

The Challenge

Removing chaos from the afterlife

We were asked to pick a website of our choice, evaluate its design through usability testings with a relevant customer segment, and submit our recommendations for its redesign at a lo-fi level. For the project, we chose RIP.ie which is in the top 4 websites in Ireland in terms of daily active users.

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Kick Off

Hypothesis

We started out by creating a profiling canvas for our website and it's users. This was based on our own experience and exposure to the platform. 

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Second Opinion

In order to validate our hypothesis, we created a google form and sent it out to the relevant user base. We received 43 responses and some of the statistics of our responses are shown below:

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Priorities

We analyzed the responses and selected the top 5 jobs that the users wanted to do on the website. Our final list of tasks were:

Search for a death notice.

Post a death notice.

Publish a death anniversary.

Search for a month's mind.

Setting up an alert.

Evaluating the platform

What's the script

For each task, we created a use case doc that explained the ideal scenario that an ideal user will go through when the tries that specific task on the website. This doc was made to act as a reference while evaluating a real user's performance when he is given a usability test. An example is shown below:

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Excuse me Sir

For each task, we created a usability task document for the document which clearly explained the jobs they had to do in order to complete the task. To do this, we did Gorilla testing and one to one interviews. In the limited time frame, we were able to do a total of 5 interviews and recorded how people approached a specific task, their success rate, and their comfort level towards the task.

Making Sense

Plotting Emotions

After the interviews, we got back to the studio and started unpacking our interviews to make sense of what we had recorded. To kick off we made experience maps for each task plotting their response at each step of the task flow. Once we had combined the experience for every user we could see emerging patterns.

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Extracting Insights

The next step was to translate the peaks and valleys into insights that were pointing towards usability issues. Overall the graphs showed us a neutral start, chaotic middle, and a happy ending. The top 3 insights were:

The homepage has a lot of friction since the initial clicks are causing most of the stress points.

There is a technology gap with the most important segment of the user base and it relies on others.

Posting a death notice cannot be done via the website but is assumed as a primary feature.

FOrming Problems

Based on the results from usability testing and our own observations we made problem statements that we were going to address with our redesign:

Redo the navigation system of the website to make top jobs easily accessible. 

Make a UI inventory list to analyze and remove ambiguous and inconsistent UI elements.

Do a heuristic evaluation of the top job flows and the homepage to find the usability issues.

Make the online store more visible and improve the monetization model for the platform.

Analyze flows of top jobs and streamline then to reduce the number of clicks.

Clearly mention what the website cannot do, for instance "Post a death notice"

Drawing Board

EXploring Task FLows

We kicked off the design phase by understanding existing user flows. We went deep into all the micro-interactions and made all the possible versions of reaching from point A to B on the website. Then we made our own version of task flows to reduce the number of clicks to accomplish the top jobs. An example of a specific task is shown below:

Navigation Review

An important part of making top jobs more accessible was to make them more discoverable. We figured the problem with rip.ie was their navigation system. So we decided to apply card sorting and make it more user friendly.

Knitting it together

Once we were done with task flows and built the new navigation system, we started exploring different ways to incorporate our research findings into the website and remove the pain points from the user's journey to accomplish top jobs. Our go-to method was sketching wireframes.

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We spent most of our time exploring different layouts for the home page through rough sketches. A different set of sketches was done with a different purpose i.e. increase monetization, reduce the complexity of primary features, increase the discoverability of secondary features.

Outcome

Paper Prototype

To test different concepts, we create a paper prototype for the desktop version of the website. We tested them with the people in our to see what worked and what did not work.

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We got several good bits from paper prototyping that helped us make tweaks in the placement and prioritize elements above the fold. We incorporated the changes in our designs and made a stop motion video of the paper prototype's final flow. Here is a video of one of the tasks:

Pitch

We found the owner of RIP.ie (Jay Coleman) via LinkedIn and wrote an email to him explaining about our week-long project. We asked him to confirm our hypothesis with his website's analytics data. 

 

Jay was hyped to hear about our work and decided to meet us in person and review our research. We were able to see the actual analytics for the website. Although there was a split in the traffic driven through website and mobile, most of our observed pain points were in sync and our hypothesis was validated!

He was impressed with our work and decided to take our research for the ongoing revamp of his product - rip.ie!