CLIENT: VERIZON WIRELESS, AKQA | ROLE: VISUAL PRODUCT DESIGNER | YEAR: 2016-2017 | LINK: MY VERIZON APP
Verizon wanted to roll out a new app later to be known as the My Verizon App. They wanted this app to empower their 113 million users to take control of their wireless experiences and thus reducing calls to customer care. In order to accomplish these goals, AKQA was tasked with creating an entirely new app which included features such as a personalized feed, data management, simplified billing, meaningful rewards, easy upgrades, a personalized shopping experience, and faster in-app live support. The AKQA team was divided up into 5 squads each consisting of a Project Manager, UX Designer, Visual Product Designer, Copywriter, and Data Analyst. My role as Visual Product Designer was to ideate and create wireframes, work with other designers to create an overall design system, take wireframes through to full designs, and define interactions.
FEATURES AND TIMELINE
Design began in December 2015 and continued through launch on July 8, 2016. Over the course of 7 months, the 5 squads, working closely with an internal Verizon team, worked on different feature sets to deliver an MVP version of the app. During the beginning half of the project, I was assigned to the Get and Set Up feature set and later transitioned to Shop. On the Get and Set Up squad I worked on creating the entire account section of the app which included completing tasks like upgrading your plan. On the Shop squad, I iterated on the checkout flow and optimized the personalized shopping experience. Once a week the full AKQA team would go to Verizon's offices where each squad would present a fully-annotated presentation of work to an audience of over 150 people. This allowed there to be full transparency with what we were creating and let all concerns and feedback be heard.
RESEACH AND IDEATION
At sprint kick-offs, each squad would meet with their Verizon counterparts to go through requirements and identify priorities. UX Designers would then write user stories and acceptance criteria, clarify the permissions associated with a feature and participate in story point estimations. From there UX and Visual would come together to research, ideate and create user flows and wireframes based off of rough sketches. After reviewing wireframes with the Creative Director and UX Directors, Visual would take wireframes and apply design system and UI elements. After that had been completed, I would work with a motion designer to create prototypes in After Effects that I would then annotate. These motion prototypes helped inform iOS and Android Engineers of how we envisioned movement within the app.
TESTING AND RESULTS
I was responsible for creating fully functioning InVision prototypes for each flow that would be user tested using a third party, in partnership with AKQA and Verizon. Each user testing session was conducted in Chicago and live-streamed. This allowed the AKQA teams to watch participants interact with our designs and hear what they had to say first hand. Full readouts of reports were given at our weekly Verizon/AKQA meetings. Using user feedback reports we were able to iterate on and change our designs right after a sprint had ended, enabling us to work very quickly. Within 7 months of the app’s launch, Verizon’s mobile sales conversion rate rose 15.6x, and overall usage was up over 50%. The completion rate for a plan change increased to 49%, which converted users at a rate that is 75% higher than the previous app. The new app gives the network’s 113 million customers more control, with less work, all in the palm of their hand.