Key elements of the role
Customer experience strategy | Research | Analytics | Stakeholder Management | Stakeholder workshops | Customer insights analysis/research | Customer Interviews | Co-design workshops | Competitor Analysis | Guerrilla Testing | Usability Testing Management | Wireframe | User Journeys
Qantas business owners from the travel domain and the Frequent Flyer program (Qantas loyalty program) identified a gap in their offering as customers, had a lack of awareness of all Qantas products and services, as many customers see Qantas singularly as an airline.
Some of the problems that required solving from a customer experience perspective included these sets of challenges.
• Build visual consistency between the Qantas family of websites
• Increase customer awareness and discoverability of the Qantas loyalty suite of products
• Simplify the customer journey when navigating the Qantas digital ecosystem
Other challenges for this stream of work were not limited to the experience of the customer, but also there were critical challenges with technology platforms and the sheer amount of stakeholders involved across the business. As you can imagine, a project of this importance, the number of products/services and complexity required key senior stakeholders within the organisation.
The Design Thinking methodology, as proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school).
Part of discovery was to ask the broad question, what have we set out to achieve and identify? This included
Immersion into all relevant existing Qantas research done to date
Understanding of user and business requirements
Identify additional customer experience tasks that need to be undertaken in order to move into ‘Define.’
We needed to understand our customers, their pain points and their goals. We also need to understand our competition, what worked, what didn’t. Our competitors' landscape review included airline as well as other industries and best in class sites. We also set out to identify where other business opportunities could be surfaced. Analysing data across the Qantas ecosystem was also a critical task to carry out, including external, internal search and customer flows.
Stakeholder kick-off workshop
To get the business stakeholders aligned, the very first activity to get underway was to conduct a workshop that was open and conversational, with the overarching purpose of the session being:
What we want from this workshop
Ideas.. We want as many possible
What we don’t want out of this workshop
Solutions.. Thinking how the final product will look, we’re not looking for a definitive answer
How we will use the output of this workshop
Your ideas will be the launchpad for our brainstorms, which will lead to ideation sessions
That way everyone would have a clear view of what we as a business were thinking and ultimately what were we trying to achieve.
The first kick-off session was split into three parts. With the questions being,
1. What does success look like?
2. What are the barriers to success?
3. And the final piece was to frame a ‘How might we…’ statement.
The stakeholders would write their comments on a Post-It and these would be arranged to display patterns and trends. They would then be further discussed and placed into a priority matrix, and voting would then commence, with stakeholders having three votes and placing their votes on what they believe is the key priority.
There was an educational piece around the ‘How might we’ statement as many stakeholders within the business had not been involved in these types of sessions and had not been exposed to these types of activities.
As a measure to gauge for value and purpose of the workshop activities, participants were asked via SurveyMonkey to rate their experience (you see what I did here? I wanted to get feedback and use those insights to improve on a ‘service’!). In order to identify what I needed to keep, tweak or elaborate on ensuring the workshop was a valuable experience to the business and how to improve going forward.
The stakeholder workshop insights were then synthesised and led to a co-design ideation workshop to a broader group, including other subject matter experts across the business, creative and technical talent. From the first stakeholder workshop, we now had our ‘how might we’ statement.
The co-design workshop utilised the Crazy 8’s activity tool where idea generation, speed and rapid sketching is more important, over detail and beauty. From this session, many ideas were explored, discussed and voted on. All designs answering the question and mapping back to our ‘how might we’ statement. Three particular concepts received an equal amount of votes and were refined and created as low fidelity wireframes and presented back to senior business stakeholders for buy-in.
As part of the presentation, the three ideas were mapped out against the ‘what success looks like’ matrix and tech feasibility. The recommendation was to refine the ideas and create paper prototypes and produce low fidelity interactive prototypes, as the feeling was the ideas were very compelling and deserved further exploration.
Paper-based prototypes were explored, and further sketching took place. Moving into wireframes using Sketch, the ideas informed our decisions. At this point, we felt we had ‘just enough’ information to enhance the wireframes further and take a more high fidelity approach, as the next phase was to create interactive prototypes and present back to customers via one on one interviews.
Test and learn
To obtain qualitative data, we conducted guerrilla testing. For this activity, we went to the airport. I put together an interview research kit that broke down tasks to their simplest forms, this included using iconography and a range of predefined answers, thus saving the customer time. As a rule, when conducting this type of research, I am very mindful and respectful of customers giving their time for free. Although I do offer sweets (yes, that's lollies to you Aussie's) or chocolate at times which always seems to be a fair trade-off.
Also, the great thing about this interview research kit is it can be updated when conducting further research as more answers and behaviours are identified. The kit has also been shared with other teams who conduct research in this manner, ensuring a consistent approach across the Qantas research teams.
The outcome of the guerrilla testing led to more insights and further enhancements to the desktop version of the interactive prototypes. Over two days, in one hour face-to-face sessions, I facilitated the interviews and spoke with five customers to go through tasks and get their thoughts on the four concepts. As not to prejudice the concepts, they were shown in random order to the participants. We used Lookback to stream (and record) the session from the interview room to the ‘control’ room where the core team, including business stakeholders, had gathered to observe and take notes.
At the end of the first round of interviews, the concepts were scored out of five on the following criteria; usability, discoverability, awareness and tech feasibility. The successful concepts were updated from participants comments and into a second round a final round of face-to-face interviews. The second round included a mobile version of the prototype. However, due to the different platforms across the Qantas ecosystem, some huge issues and risks meant any solution to mobile would only be an interim one. Therefore testing for mobile was minimal at this point.
After a second round of interviews and driven by customer feedback and insights, I was now in a position to propose recommendations. Due to the feeling that the concepts that had been presented were all solid and all answered our how might we statement to ‘Enable customers to discover Qantas loyalty products easier’ a multivariate test approach was decided. A crucial part of my role during this project was to have Qantas embrace a culture of experimentation and to test our hypothesis ‘in the wild’ and with customers.
Due to business decisions, technical issues, impacts to other projects and timing, it was agreed that one of the original concepts (with enhancements to the interface), would be presented in a live environment. The multivariate test consisted of the control version (current live sites) and three concepts to 10% of an Australia only audience over three weeks.
Using Adobe Analytics, the concepts were monitored for metrics that included, number of visits, visiting from one Qantas service to another and increase in revenue from this ‘referral’. Once we got to the stage of identifying statistical significance, the ‘winning’ concept was chosen for the universal navigation.
The component was then implemented across all of the Qantas digital ecosystems. The work effort involved in this was a huge technical undertaking, as all the tech teams across the Qantas verticals had to carry out implementing the code within their own sprints while adhering to a greater company-wide timeline.
Facilitation of business and products owners across 11 business domains, collaborating for the first time in new ways of working
The successful launch of wayfinding component across the Qantas ecosystem
A cultural shift to Human-centred design approach being instilled across Qantas digital teams
Human-centred design techniques that can be used to act on initiatives
Qantas Digital Direct adopting a culture of experimentation
Increase in traffic, engagement and revenue across the verticals that have been attributed to the new component
• The successful launch of component across the Qantas ecosystem
• Uplifting skills of Qantas teams in agile methodology
• Instilled a culture of experimentation with the introduction of multivariate testing
Tools & tech stack
• Adobe Analytics
• Google Docs
• Pen & paper
Qantas Digital Direct
Qantas photo courtesy of Holger Link @photoholgic