UX Sofia Workshops

November 7–8 2018, Hotel Hilton Sofia
November 7th, Wednesday
Dirty Little Tricks From The Dark Corners of eCommerce
Vitaly Friedman
Smashing Magazine's Co-Founder, Editor, Writer, Speaker

An average abandonment rate in eCommerce is around 65–68%. Often it's caused by ambiguous buttons, labels or copywriting as well as severe problems related to finding or understanding products as well as slow and painful checkout experience. We can't bring the abandonment rate to 0, but we can shave off at least 10% with some minor and straightforward optimizations.

A half-day-workshop can help us identify and tackle current problems, following techniques and strategies I or my colleagues used recently. In the workshops, we will use real-life examples as a case study and examine refinements of the interface on spot. I'd like to set up a very clear roadmap on how we can do the right things in the right order to improve conversion and customer experience. That means removing distractions, minimizing friction and avoiding disruptions and dead ends caused by the interface.

In the workshop, we'll be taking a microscopic look into:

  • Psychology of eCommerce
  • How do people buy, and when? What role does time, distractions, working hours, interface copy play for buying decisions?
  • How do we streamline the decision making process by helping out customers with thinking and reasoning? We need to understand in which state customers are and what is important to them before we start designing for them.

Category Product List + Filtering

People can't buy items that they can't find or don't understand. We'll look into optimal ways to listing items and allowing customers to filter them, on desktop and on mobile. It includes navigation, search, sorting, compatibility, carousels, filters, feature/attribute comparison, zero-results-pages, configurable items and faceted search as well as search hits coming through search engines.

Product Page + Shopping Cart page

What do we need to communicate on the product page and what should we keep in mind to convince the customer about the value of a product? We'll look into images, specs, compatibility details, reviews, labelling, categorization, shipping details, availability details, ship-to-store options etc. We'll also explore how to deal with FAQs, complementary and related products and recently viewed products.

Checkout experience

Checkout comes in different flavors. What to choose: multi-step checkout, one-step checkout or accordion-style-checkout? We'll be spending a significant amount of time looking into all the fine details of shopping cart, account creation, personal information, shipping and store pickup, form labels, error messages, payment flow and methods, delivery times, credit card input, data input in general, smart default, security seals, positive validation, autocomplete lookup and progressive checkout.

Optimizing For Mobile

Yes, the conversion on mobile is still much lower than on desktop, but it's growing rapidly year after year. Most eCommerce websites provide a subpar eCommerce experience and that's an opportunity for growth. However, mobile is a different beast, and the user behavior there is different compared to desktop. We'll look into searching, filtering, listing and labelling items, performance issues and copywriting ambiguity as well as layout and interaction design for the checkout experience.

New opportunities

The technology doesn't stand still. To take experience to the next level we can use an (almost) 1-Click-checkout with Payment Request API, third-party payments like Stripe, Apple Pay etc. or use Facebook Messenger chatbots or some sort of conversational interface to sell items and provide assistance. We'll look into trends and what companies out there are doing to innovate in the eCommerce space.

Decreasing Abandonment Rates

Tiny details matter. To reduce abandonment, we need to pay close attention to displaying final price up front, paying a lot of attention to details and consistency of thumbnails, eliminate hidden costs, deal with wrong data input, crafting error messages as well as paying attention to return policy and shipping time etc. We'll set up a holistic strategy for decreasing abandonment — going from the homepage all the way to order confirmation email.
By the end of the workshop, we'll have a detailed strategy of practical, tangible next steps to improve the interface, ranging from quick wins to long-term strategic changes.
Design of Chatbot Conversations
Ekaterina Mitova Senior User Assistance Developer at SAP
Dimiter Simov
Usability believer, Product experience expert at SAP

Chatbots are hot. They are bringing humans and technology closer by making the conversations between them easier, smoother, and more successful.
We know relatively well how to design websites, apps, and content structures. We are still learning how to design conversations, though. Yet, designing a chatbot conversation is not rocket science. Many professionals, such as designers, information architects, marketers, journalists, writers, technical communicators, and support personnel have the qualifications and thinking necessary to design good conversations.
This workshop will give you a chance to try and convince yourself that you can design and build a chatbot. You will learn how to:

  • approach and analyze the problem space,
  • prototype the conversation flow,
  • use a tool to build the bot and test the conversation.

November 8th, Thursday
Conducting UX research on a limited budget

Eric Reiss

Partner at FatDUX

The truth is, every project needs some degree of research – we need to verify that the "what" is accurate and will truly fulfil the "why" behind the project.
Without good-quality research, every project will fail. And that is a fact. Happily, there are ways to get the information you need even when the client doesn't see this need. But…

We all know the situation: Our client tells us they have a clear idea of what they want us to accomplish. The budget is tight, as is the deadline. There is little or nothing in the budget for research or a "discovery phase." Yet unless we understand the "why" behind the project, we will rarely find the right "how" so our client gets the results they want. Moreover, when we learn what is really going on, the client's definition of "what" may not actually solve the problems at hand. Yet if we do exactly what we have been told and the project fails, we will be blamed for its failure. This workshop will give you a dramatically improved chance for success – and introduce you to some techniques and tools that you won't find in any of the published literature!

In just a few hours, Eric will show you how to:

  • improve the efficiency of your desk research
  • conduct more effective user and stakeholder interviews
  • realistically interpret customer-satisfaction surveys
  • carry out simple ethnographic surveys
  • find secret resources within the client company
  • cheat your way to the resources you need

Throughout the workshop, Eric will also share some eye-opening "war stories" based on his many years of experience in marketing, service design, and UX. You won't want to miss this.

Note: there will be a simple homework assignment prior to the workshop which participants will receive about a week before the event.
Building a UX Road Map
Dean Schuster
Founder and partner of truematter

Defining digital products is tough.
Digital products are a mixture of moving parts: software development, UX design, content strategy, marketing, accessibility, internal goals, and—lest we forget—user needs. Bringing it all together into one cohesive, successful whole can be exceedingly difficult.

As UX professionals, we care deeply about making excellent finished products. But the way we get there is just as important. It also can be just as tough. We don't have to make it so hard on ourselves.

The Secret: Create a UX Road Map
The UX Road Map is a document that provides a clear path for moving your project through early stages to successful completion, launch, and evolution. Everything you learn, discuss, and decide in Discovery is presented in this document. It presents key information about users, tasks, assumptions, goals, technology, deliverables, metrics, and much more. It makes stakeholders and users part of the process, laying the groundwork for full acceptance. It is the rallying point that will drive your project. You will never create another digital product without it.

What You'll Learn
In this workshop, I will show you how truematter has used UX Road Maps to great effect. During this active, participatory session, you will learn:
  • What goes in a UX Road Map.
  • How to create one on your own.
  • The user and stakeholder activities involved (we'll do some together).
  • How to use a UX Road Map to create user-centered digital products.
  • How to use it to achieve project consensus.
  • Why this approach works so well.
  • How to make it uniquely yours.

Hotel Hilton Sofia