Homepage Product Vision

Egencia

Floating macbook displaying a new design for a travel search form

How might we create a user-centric and task-focused homepage?

Context

Since early 2015, the Egencia Homepage team was tasked with migrating the codebase from multiple legacy platforms onto a single, global platform. This massive effort took over three years to complete and required the full attention of the entire team. This commitment meant that there was little time or energy left to devote to developing a product strategy, which led to a disjointed experience. It became clear that this lack of vision meant we weren't doing a good job of helping users with task completion or efficiency.

As the migration project came to a close, we began to feel a combination of excitement and anxiety about what lay ahead for our product. What we needed was a new vision, a strategy to take us beyond migration and into a strong future.

After collecting data, calculating napkin math, and running a Design Thinking workshop, we distilled all of our ideas down to two primary directions.

Goals

1. Customize the experience
  • There's actually quite a range of actions a user needs to do when landing on the Homepage.
  • The Homepage did not facilitate the most efficient way to accomplish those actions.
  • Our user role types have vastly different goals, but our product has never considered those differences.
2. Surface the most relevant content to the top of the page
  • Like many homepages, our Homepage turned into a dumping ground for lots of different features and actions, but without any real thought or direction behind it.
  • Utilizing data science, we intend to empower our users to complete their day-to-day tasks much faster with less friction.
Homepage Legacy early 2016; Global Homepage mid 2017

Homepage Legacy early 2016; Global Homepage mid 2017

Responsibilities

Lead designer for Homepage

Facilitating a Design Thinking workshop

Over one afternoon in our Chicago office, I brought together ~30 people across five different job functions and three different product teams to participate in a Design Thinking brainstorming workshop.

Utilizing insights to drive direction

After gathering insights from the workshop we supplemented them with available quantitative data to create our product strategy. Using the insights to drive this work allowed us to focus on solving for user-first experiences, and to defer or dismiss feature requests that did not align with our direction.

Building an AB testing plan

Once we had a strategy in place, I set out to create an AB testing plan. This included "happy path" and "unhappy path" designs and scenarios, all leading us to our desired (or acceptable) outcomes.

Solution

Creating a foundation for the future

Below are the current (March 2019) designs for the first big push toward our new direction. We've created a section at the top of the page to surface the most relevant tasks, redesigned many of the modules on the page for better understandability, and rearranged the modules for more efficient task management per user profile.

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Image of a giant screen in a conference booth displaying the Egencia homepage at a large business travel conference in Europe. Lots of people milling around.

Egencia participates in all the industry events around the world, including the Business Travel Show in London, Feb 2019. Hundreds of industry insiders and all of our competitors attend this conference to see product demos, including the Homepage, seen above (image taken right before the Hero test was launched).

Impact

Building a New Homepage

This new strategic direction has helped bring purpose to the product. We're now able to focus all work and feedback on whether or not it aligns with our goals. When we look at the user journey, it can be bucketed into three main areas: pre-trip, during trip, and post-trip. And when we cross that with each user role type, we can immediately see there's tons of opportunity to continue in the direction of personalization, making each user’s homepage their own. We’ve really only started with a small subset of features and ideas, and there are so many more out there.

Personal learning: We still don't know our users very well

Despite the research and anecdotal data supporting our hypothesis, the AB testing data seems to suggest that we were incorrect to move the search form lower on the page. Even though users can have many tasks when landing on the Homepage, the most important task still seems to be searching.

On the bright side, I helped deliver some big wins thus far:

  • Refreshed overall page design
  • New trip cards design
  • New unused ticket tracker design
  • Further optimization for the mobile breakpoint
** Full case study available

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