RAPID GROWTH AND EVOLVING USER NEEDS
Sweden-based international communications powerhouse, Sinch, is a brand with rapid growth goals, prioritizing acquisitions across North America and beyond. With the launch of a new brand and market positioning, the "Sinch Global" U.S. website was born. Our challenge has been to keep up with the growing tech giant and integrate new initiatives into the site, architecting ways to incorporate personalization, lead generation, an elevated customer experience, and keep in lockstep with the company vision. Read the case study of the U.S. site launch here.
The Sinch redesign won the 2022 B2 bronze award for customer experience by the Association of National Advertisers.
Telecom and cloud communication platform as a service (CPaaS)
Lead UX Strategist & Researcher — discovery of new project initiatives, post-launch optimization. Collaborated with Visual Designer and Lead Developer.
New website launched in June 2021 after a year-long collaboration. Post-launch support and optimization is ongoing.
PRE-LAUNCH USABILITY TESTING
Questions to answer:
Can the users find what they need on the site?
Is the new brand design attractive to our customers?
Does the content resonate with our customers?
Are there any usability problems with the site?
Prior to the new site launch, I was tasked with conducting a usability test on the site to evaluate our design decisions and gain any important insights that may need to be addressed before the launch.
We worked with 10 test participants, 5 from the Sinch team and 5 Sinch customers. I created a list of tasks and observed the participants completing each. I instructed them to voice their internal monologue so I could understand their thought process as they navigated through the site completing the task.
After the sessions, I reviewed my recordings and notes and highlighted trends that were consistently emerging from all of the participants.
The largest priority was to look for short-comings in the new website so that we could improve them prior to launch. The tree test below shows the most common pain points from this test.
As you can see, the area where the users struggled the most or had the most negative feedback was with the content or wording of language on the site. I was able to communicate back to the team areas that were not well received, and make recommendations for improvement.
BUGS AND TECHNICAL CONSIDERATION
In addition to improving the content and design of the site, the usability test allowed for another round of QA on the site and a couple users stumbled across bugs in some of the interactive elements.
I was able to collaborate with our development team to prioritize fixes for now and new ideas to incorporate into the backlog for post-launch improvement.
POST-LAUNCH: INCORPORATING NEW PRODUCT LINES AND BUILDING FOR GROWTH
Sinch acquired U.S.-based telcom, Inteliquent and an email service provider, Pathwire. The navigation and site structure used for initial launch would not function for the expanding service areas. With these new product lines in mind, and future acquisitions on the horizon, we needed to build a new information architecture to support international growth as the company expands into new markets.
With each new acquisition, we conduct product mapping to see where the new offerings fit with the existing site structure.
This typically includes multiple day workshops with various stakeholders. Throughout the discovery process, I was consistently expanding the IA to incorporate more products.
However, with the rapid growth in new service areas it became clear that the existing navigation structure would not support all of the new product lines.
THE CHALLENGE WITH
"THE BEFORE" NAVIGATION
Products were grouped into 3 major groups: messaging, calling & verification, and campaign engagement/management. This worked well for Sinch's original product line-up, but after several acquisitions of trying to make products fit into only these 3 categories, navigation was becoming less intuitive and real estate was limited for all of the new lines.
"THE AFTER" SOLUTION: FLEXIBLE AND SCALABLE
The new navigation proposal reorganized the menu into a robust takeover experience to allow for enough room to appropriately communicate all of the new Sinch offerings. The tabbed hierarchy of the products also allows for room for expansion with future acquisitions.
The initial categories were chosen based on our discovery workshops, competitor benchmarks, and product positioning research.
VALIDATING THE NEW NAVIGATION
We conducted navigation treetesting on the proposed menu redesign with 50 participants in an unmoderated quantitative treejack study. We used our persona research to inform the demographic parameters and tested with professionals in the telecommunications sector. It confirmed users were able to find products in the new navigation structure.
DEVELOPING A PERSONALIZED USER EXPERIENCE
Using Sinch's research-based personas as a starting point, we explored various ways to introduce personalized content to site visitors throughout their sessions in order to boost engagement and provide a more valuable experience.
I took the group through a discovery workshop to help inform the personalization strategy. One of the most insightful activities was the personalization matrix. We selected several of their personas and created a matrix evaluating their needs, what content we have to meet those needs, and possible conversion points.
This has laid the groundwork for personalization throughout the site as users enter from targeting marketing campaigns, at different points in their buying journey, or their location.
When the Sinch global site launched, it was intended to be the first expansion into North America. On its heels are the LATAM and EMEA sites and with Sinch expanding all the time, we had to consider translations. Working with the lead developer, we modeled two potential solutions: one using IP detection and one using user input to control the displayed language.
USER CONTROL AND FREEDOM
We launched with the English global site and provided a user-controlled language selector in the utility navigation.
As Sinch expands its service areas and product lines, the international translation strategy will grow with it and new user research will be conducted in additional regions.