CASE STUDY: MOXIWORKS - ENGAGE
What is Engage?
Real estate agents across the country use Engage to manage their relationships with their clients. Engage guides agents through a structured sales flow consisting of four sections. The sections are marketing, prospects, actives, and pending. Each area guides the agent through recommended interactions with their clients. Once each interaction is complete, the agent can move the client into the next phase of the sales flow. Moving clients through the recommended sales flow helps agents complete property transactions.
Time Frame: 19 days
Platform: Responsive site for desktop and mobile
Deliverables: Research results of user interviews, online surveys, and usability test
Team: E.J. Grijalva, Michelle Hsu - Visual Design / Information Architecture, Makeda Semeneh - Interaction Design
Role: User Researcher / Project manager
Summary of role
As a user researcher, I was responsible for leading my team through both the discovery and defining phases. By conducting the following research I was able to develop our problem statement, hypothesis statements, and proto-personas. I was also able to define our project scope.
Moxiworks needed help making improvements to the current state of Engage. We were to implement changes to one specific section of the very large tool. Our changes would need to improve the functionality, usability, and navigation.
As a team we would face our own challenges. Our time frame was small, we would need to learn how to communicate with each other, and we had a lack of experience with Engage.
finally, I would face my own challenges. The biggest challenge would be locating an agent who has free time.
Our clients described the current state of Engage as “quite static”. I found that our clients were not exaggerating. No matter how many tutorials I combed through online. I found the product demo to be extremely difficult to use. My questions of "how does this work?" were never answered. As I struggled to figure out how to navigate through the product my empathy kicked in. If I couldn't figure out how to use this how can I expect anyone else to? This usability problem is causing users to stray to other products.
Starting with with a competitive analysis pointed me in the right direction. I was able to discover what is commonly found in competing CRM's and what set Moxiworks apart. I was hoping to find out if Engage had any unnecessary features that we could omit to improve navigation. I found that some competitors offered many of the features our users were looking for. Engage offered many of those features as well, but it was not clear to our testers that they existed.
Online Survey OF client side of relationship
My curiosity of the client side of the relationship led me to conducting an online survey. This would allow me to discover which interactions the client side approved of. I found through 26 participants there was no problem with the amount and type of interaction between client and agent.
We had immediate access to three participants who were previously real estate agents. These three volunteers had no previous experience with Engage. We were also able to include one participant who currently employed by a brokerage who works exclusively with Moxiworks Engage. I conducted a three part contextual inquiry with each participant.
To begin the contextual inquiry I led each participant through a brief interview. Our participants provided us with information on their experience with their previous CRM's. I gathered that many agents have had success working outside of CRM systems to save time. I also learned that the general feeling associated with the CRM's brought up were not good. Phrases like "I hated using it" and "It was awful" were used.
Usability test of current state of Engage
The second part of the contextual inquiry was a hands on experience with the current state of the Engage. I had each participant run through a context scenario that was created for this activity. I was given permission to record each interaction. Each run through either confirmed found issues I had found on my own or uncovered a new ones. I began to notice similar trends among the myself and our participants. Locating content proved to be difficult due to misleading calls to action. The task list found in the marketing portion of the sales flow was not received well because of the visual display of a check mark next to an uncompleted task. This already present check mark led to many skipping one of the task that I had given them. The user was under the assumption that it was already completed. Our volunteers also noted that they felt they were being micromanaged by the task list
Follow up interview
After each hands on test I proceeded with a follow up interview. Our volunteers were able to point out more problems that I was unaware of during the test. I was interested to see how this product made the users feel. Many statements gathered were along the lines of "how the previous CRM's used were easier to use".
"many of the task found within engage are good practices, however, I still wouldn't want to us it."
Our participants provided us with a lot of information. I was more than excited to put together an affinity map with the information that I had gathered. Affinity maps help me to digest new discoveries and point out common trends among my users. Much of the findings directed my attention to areas that we could improve. Before started on providing these suggestions to my team I wanted to conduct on more survey.
Final Online Survey
My previous research allowed us to think about new users, but I wanted to shift my focus on the current user. Moxiwroks provided us with a list of clients towards the end of week two. Over the course of 4 days I collected information from 9 agents from across the country. The purpose of this survey was to figure out which of their daily task we could improve. Our findings validated the direction that we were moving towards. We were able to confirm that automating the most time consuming task would allow agents to spend more time with their clients.
Real estate agents need a CRM system that will provide an efficient and effective way to stay in contact with their many clients because they are busy handling other aspects of the business.
We believe that bringing the calls to action to the front of the design and focusing less on a task list, we will provide clarity of the features offered by Moxiworks Engage. By doing so we will provide a platform that allows agents to take control of their sales flow and manage their sphere of influence as they see fit. We will know this to be true when we collect results from future testing.
I kept in mind that agents are busy by nature and have a repetitive schedule while developing our two proto-personas. I designed Theodor Codwell to represent the new to Moxiworks user and the always on the go, multitasking agent. Jillian foster was designed to cover the repetitive task found in the daily life on an agent.
The Research done throughout the project showed that our users wanted to view the recommended task in a way that looks less like a list and wanted to ability to have complete control of how each task was presented to them. This would allow them to perform any task multiple times with each client. In retrospect, I found that being able to iterate our designs brought validity to our efforts. This was the biggest take away from the project for me. If given the opportunity to start from the beginning I would be more assertive in my role as a project manager. On more than one occasion, we found that a teammate would stray off course from the team plan. Despite the mishaps along the way, our clients were happy with our presentation. the research I conducted is being used to implement improvements to Engage.