February 2015. Denver, Colorado.
BridgeEnglish is a website that takes care of the enrollment of international students who apply for an English course that will allow them to study in American colleges.
The process is long and tedious, with many items to cover and many conditionals depending on a several numbers of factors. Moreover, you had to perform it all at once. And after that, a sales representative had to be in touch to deal with the payments via phone and email.
So this new product was a portal that allowed students to create an account and complete their required information at any time, at their pace.
For this project, there were 3 product managers involved. In addition to that, there was a Salesforce analyst, a developer, and I was taking care of the Architecture and interaction.
This portal was replacing an old 9 step wizard form, and becoming a link between the user and the company’s database. There were multiple goals:
Because of this program has been running for years, there was a lot of customer feedback and experience from the salespersons. That helped us trace the most common pain points and the possible workflows to address them.
The drop off from the 9 step wizard was an issue. There were some required documents you didn’t know you have to get them to complete the process. That means having to start all over again in case the smallest piece of information was missing.
There are some advantages in creating something step by step. But in this case, you could start from mostly anywhere from the whole list. The new portal addressed that by letting the user navigate through the interface and complete anything with no determined order. There was a progress indicator to use as a reference to know what was missing and what was not.
The sales team could log in and check the status without having to explore their busy email inboxes. Same thing happened to the students: Payment history was visible at all times, and that also brought peace of mind to the end users.
But, because of this product was still very complicated, we didn’t want to deprive the students of having a one on one conversation. That’s why the phone number and email address were still available. However, the primary focus was on the chat feature, in which you could even check the conversation history at any time.