We finally got word back from our newest prospect, a major player in the hospitality industry: "Your app feels too juvenile". We were crushed.
This would be our third lost deal in two months where the look and feel of our app was a primary area of concern. Once the leader in the frontline training market, Axonify was beginning to lose market share to newer, mobile-first competitors. The app was cited as being dated and prospects were concerned it wouldn't be engaging enough for their audiences.
We knew we had to modernize the app but with so many things we could do, where do we start?
I conducted multiple discovery activities to help understand and scope the specific problems and opportunities we needed to address in a modernization effort. The main activities included:
Our business goals were two-fold:
We knew that a number of prospects--both lost and currently prospecting--had voiced concerns around dated looks, had trouble picturing the Axonify platform blending in with their existing branding and tools, or found the platform not fitting into their existing mental models of training tools. As such, we carved out the following streams of work:
Since joining Axonify, I had been trying to learn as much about learning, motivational psychology, and gamification as I could.
In order to get people excited and aligned on a long-term plan, I came up with a framework that was based off of Self-Determination Theory and ludology. I presented this to a cross-functional team and it has been a guiding vision for at least 16 months of UX and Product activities.
In essence, through this framework I proposed the following themes of work that could serve to drive learner engagement and reduce churn:
This framework proved very useful in eliciting immediate ideas and brainstorming.
Coupled with the research we had already done, we managed to create and break down themes of work into tasks which we documented in AHA, our project management tool. Eventually, these tasks formed a roadmap of ongoing modernization efforts that we internally dubbed UX 3.0
I shared the larger list of identified opportunities with the cross-functional team and we collaboratively weighed them against Design Effort * Dev Effort * User Value.
In total, we were able to create a roadmap of items that could keep the team busy for at least the next 16 months.