Navigation & Dashboard 2.0
GetGround is a proptech scale-up; The core product offering involved forming and managing limited companies that contain customers' properties.
In June 2022 we realised that some aspects of the customer-facing app were holding us back, and furthermore that we needed to pivot strategically to survive the economic downturn by incorporating the ability for users to buy and sell property on the platform.
so as a group the product & design team set out to make some big improvements. We ended up running a research project and design sprint that set out to evolve the product, and adapt to the changing market conditions.
Research planning & execution
We held a stakeholder workshop to tease out some of the problems we felt to be most pressing. These would form the basis of our assumptions and hypothesis.
Navigation currently occupies 20% of the horizontal screen space - We currently list users' companies in the left of the screen, and these are always visible. Most users only have 1 or 2 companies. We should strive to be smarter with space.
Our current navigation is not scaleable - We plan to introduce new products in the near future, and our belief is that the left-hand navigation is the place to surface these new offerings for discoverability.
There are too many places where action items can appear - Inbox, dashboard, "To do"s, and throughout the app. We are lacking simplicity and clarity to make sure users don’t miss important items.
We are missing a chance to use the ‘home' screen as a dashboard view - what’s the status of my portfolio / account? Do I need to do anything? The aggregate view could be AMAZING, and is worth exploring.
The old GetGround dashboard and navigation
The old GetGround navigation structure
The project had several goals, with a lot of things we wanted to find out. We concluded that the best way to conduct this was via a series of 3 user sessions with GetGround users that included a 25-minute discussion, a 10-minute walkthrough of the live product, and a 25-minute prototype test and discussion.
User interviews to find out...
What kind of tasks and info users typically do and think about in relation to their buy-to-let companies on a regular basis.
What kinds of needs, attitudes and behaviours users have specifically around company financials, both on-platform and more generally.
A walkthrough of the live product to find out...
How users currently use the site.
What are their typical tasks.
Feedback about anything the users wanted to share with us.
Prototype test to find out...
If our new navigation and dashboard was intuitive and usable.
If any of our assumptions about valuable information and new features were correct.
If we could prompt a discussion about new features from the users' imaginations.
We identified trends from the user interviews and packaged them as a persona. This acted as a way to remind ourselves of the mindset and was shared around the business for widespread use and alignment.
Feedback on the existing user experience
From the live app walkthrough, the users enlightened us to their typical tasks, the difficulties they had encountered so far, and new suggestions. Key takeaways included the confusing numbers in "Portfolio Analytics", and that all the users logged on regularly to just "check everything was as it should be" in the company account and documents area.
Users reported that these numbers were confusing
The navigation was intuitive and clear, but 2 users had to think for second about which icon they should hit to move through the task.
Users loved seeing monthly and yearly changes to their top-level metrics on the dashboard, and the analytics in general were a big hit.
The new "Tasks" area was clear and understandable.
The "Recent transactions" area was a big hit, as an amalgamated list of what has been paid in and out.
Unprompted, 2 out of 3 users said they would love some sort of news feed of articles from trusted sources with news about the world of buy-to-let. Something for the future to explore, maybe.
We iterated our new navigation and the content based on the research, and proceeded to implement slowly over 6 months, and then very quickly over 4 weeks at the end of Q4 2022. What you see below is a snippet of the live product, incorporating the new navigation, key data to help users manage their investments, and new product offerings of a property marketplace and a "Search" product.
So far the feedback has been positive: anecdotally our operations team report a lot of customers who appreciate the new interface, especially the augmented business account, and analytics show that critical task times are down. Also interesting to note that engagement is up (MAU and DAU per capita) while time on site is down.
Reviews on TrustPilot have been encouraging, you can see some of them below.
A further use of the new navigation and dashboard have been as static screenshots marketing tools to present on the public-facing site.
Finally, an internal win has been the spread and buy-in across the business of user-research and design-thinking as a smart way to approach unproven concepts, and the research repository on Confluence saw a lot more visitors including senior leadership.