My team was tasked with improving a traditionally invisible, essential, and occasionally frustrating service, on a massive scale. We focused on 3 core areas to help anchor the experience:
Onboarding & Engagement "Get my internet working!"
- Troubleshooting "How can I fix my issue?"
- Insights "What is my internet up to?"
Research & Discovery
Over the course of the project we conducted many research studies in collaboration with our internal UX research group in order to communicate baselines, areas of interest, insights, and customer behavior regarding WiFi.
The results of this research outlined a complicated challenge that helped define and shape our product strategy. Specifically, our research highlighted the staggering scale of service issues as well as how critical clear communication and swift resolution is to customer satisfaction.
We also uncovered a difficult catch 22: despite being highly motivated to fix their own issues, due to a dizzying array of conceptual inaccuracies customers did not grasp how WiFi worked, how to interact with XFINITY to fix a problem, or even in most cases whether an issue was caused by Comcast as opposed to their or their own devices. As a result, nearly every household we interviewed reported suffering through a pervasive and frustrating internet issue, rather than taking the correct steps towards fixing it.
To tackle the massive scope of the project we focused on a few key touch points that would work together to achieve our near term goals and set us up for success.
First, we developed a set of responsive UI following simplified patterns to help stress test the cloud platforms and build in 'table stakes' features.
Simultaneously, we built a streamlined onboarding experience to bridge current gaps in the platform and address some vexing customer experience issues.
And finally, we built a set of high fidelity vision prototypes to influence and define product strategy. Our prototypes tested visualization and hierarchy of features in addition to organizational typologies and visual patterns.
To arrive at a visualization scheme, we exhaustively explored options by weighing various factors. Aesthetics, comprehension, usability, and feasibility were all at odds with each other. Our customer persona's helped to weed out visually complex approaches, and our aesthetics sometimes fought with a strict comprehension goal. Additional challenges posed by our developers and business leads made negotiations a complex tangle of weighing competing factors.
The winning approach was both feasible and simple to understand. Comcast toes a fine line when it comes to data usage in the home, so while we omitted total gigabytes downloaded, we still achieved our goals of quickly and easily communicating total activity on the network by person and device. All decisions laddered up to "what is my network up to?", and "who is using the most internet?".
To aid in our goal of providing insights on WiFi activity, we created a series of patterns to communicate system status across multiple levels. A central status hero element summarized activity across the network into broad performance buckets, and offered immediate troubleshooting if something was off. Smaller status headers attached to people and devices tagged data points relevant on that level. To finish off the system, icons and backgrounds changed to indicate if parental controls were on, and if devices were currently being managed.
While our product is still in its nascent stages of rolling out to consumers, several key indicators are helping us to validate and gauge the success of our design solutions.
Our simplified onboarding process has already contributed to a nearly 20% decline in support issues during setup. This figure is so substantial that it has essentially paid for the entire product.
During our unveiling at CES 2017, the positive reception was staggering. Hundreds of articles with over 230 million unique impressions talked about our product and described how we were empowering a new level of support, control, and understanding of home WiFi.