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Banjaiga: Creating happiness in the construction industry

Brief

Banjaiga is an online marketplace connecting various stakeholders in the local construction industry.
Going beyond listing services, products and connecting various stakeholders online, the vision was to build a platform that could offer more value to the community. However, we discovered that users had different expectations from the platform that allowed us to redesign the experience based on user feedback.

 

Role

I was responsible for leading the UX design – conducting research, information architecture, personas, wireframes, user flows, and helping shape the design direction along with high-fidelity designs.

 

Outcome

We designed a solution focused on an information clustering system for easier delivery. This method allowed associating different information packages together in varied combinations, allowing users to reach the same information in multiple ways.
Offline concierge service was designed as a secondary assistance system to help users connect with our customer care team.
We increased the time on the platform and form submission rates considerably, helping leads convert into opportunities

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Background

Banjaiga is Pakistan`s first online platform focused on building and construction. The platform connects house contractors, architects, building material suppliers, and service providers. End-users seeking their services or building material information can go online, get in touch with them or call Banjaiga`s in-house concierge service to get personalized assistance on any construction-related query.

The mission of Banjaiga is to build happiness in the construction industry by providing information, trust, and transparency to a home builder.

The challenge

 

We noticed a massive drop-off of users after they came to the website. In addition, the bounce rate was extremely high, limiting time on the platform and pages visited per session.

There were five distinct user types, all with a very different set of expectations from the platform; our primary focus was on the user type we called "the client" - the person looking for construction-related information.

We focused on the following four fundamental questions:

1. Why were the users(client persona) dropping off without taking action from the home page?
2. What were they looking for, and how could we better group the information to make it more useable?
3. How could we represent supplier/vendor/architect/product information that was actionable for the users?
4. Could we create interactions that allow the users to trust us more, hence spending more time interacting with the platform?
 

 

Putting the horse before the cart
 

From the very start we had data (few months) to make educated decisions. Although the metrics were showing engagements, it was very difficult to understand what the real users were thinking and why they were getting lost and not returning. This phase was all about discovery.

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Discovery

 

UX/UI Audit/ Basic Heuristic evaluation

 

Before starting with the user research, we conducted a basic UX audit of the platform. We used the ten-point Jacob Neilson system (visibility, match, user control, consistency, design, help, and documentation). There were obvious problems with error prevention, documentation and consistency, and standards - but easier to fix.
 

User interviews and testing

 

We designed surveys for the focus group to understand which questions the users came to the platform and how they looked for solutions.
Watching the users perform tasks on the platform gave us excellent insights into their challenges.

The primary focus was to see how they interacted with the platform and where they stumbled.

 

Card Sorting (Closed)

 

We had to streamline information based on the construction industry that was navigable for users. Closed-Card sorting was used to get the users to put cards into the correct category according to their understanding of the terms, material names, construction terms, and building phases.

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Early insights from the field
 

Valuable insights gained from the user testing process helped us define two main reasons for low engagement:

1) design and 2) information clustering.

The users found the layouts distracting and couldn't find the information they were looking for.
Our goal was to understand what was distracting them in the design and why they were hesitant to prolong their search.

We redesigned some other variations and tested them again.

Deeper Insights
 

"Users didn't want a simple listing website."


Back in 2017-2018, the way users were consuming information was very different, but in 2020, their behavior had changed considerably, and their expectations were not to see a vendor listing website and found google more helpful.
 

"Users came to the website to do research, not to solve an instant problem."


The second most important discovery was that most of the users were not in the process of making a house or doing renovations. Instead, they were in the process of doing their preliminary research. Therefore, they had pertinent questions based on their construction phase.

We had identified that earlier through customer journey mapping.

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"More means more confusion, but less also means more confusion."


Before improving the UX, it was essential to understand this paradox. Since the construction process is technical and extremely expensive, the users coming to the platform were quite confused already.
They did not know what they were looking for; the price, quality, location of vendors, and so forth. Any information that popped up made them ask another question for which they didn't have an answer. For example, "what is your budget?" is a wrong question from someone who hasn't done benchmarking. Also, showing random vendor information was not helpful within its self. But even when we reduced the data to just a google-styled search bar, the problem stayed the same: the users didn't know what they were supposed to do.

Reframing The Problem

 

Simplified research, not product information, drives our user engagement.


The primary challenge was to transfer our fundamental value proposition to the users: How could we make the construction process easier?

Without looking like a vendor listing site, or just a pretty pictures site, we wanted to seem like a platform through which one could make informed decisions before getting their hands dirty.

Assuming that the users knew what they were looking for, we created a challenging situation that resulted in user frustration and platform engagement drop-off.

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How might we arrange the information to make it easier for users to make informed decisions and feel that they can ask someone to help them instantly and who is also a neutral party?

Ideation

 

This process involved re-tweaking what we had previously taken as core assumptions and user personas.

Deep insights we had collected allowed us to go through a complete experience mapping the user flows from scratch that involved many steps.

 

Recreating User Personas

The first step was to recreate the correct user personas based on data.

For this example, we will only discuss the ones associated with one particular user type (the client)

To create a better UX and make informed decisions, we created Saira and Imran.

Based on our continuous user testing and feedback, we were able to take informed customer-centric decisions by better understanding the pain points and challenges faced by the new personas

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Experience mapping

Due to the complexity of the product (four different user types), we spent time creating vendors, architects, clients, service providers, and contractors' customer journeys. They were spread out over construction phases, from pre to post.

We studied how Saira and Imran interacted with our products. It helped us pinpoint specific touchpoints to establish delight and reduce the pinpoints. It also helped us introduce a new vertical product offering integrated services.

Our goal was to figure out where we could establish a better experience through our product or service.

 

 

Re-tweaking business strategy (Lean Canvas/Business model canvas)
The UX research process brought forward new business opportunities. We were able to strategize and propose integrated services to go along with some of our online and offline experiences:

Products and services:
Website
Live event video productions/web series
Integrated services
Others

 

Tweaking User Flows

 

We did the following:
by creating a unique experience that resembled a concierge service for construction: by (1) clustering information in simple blocks, (2) creating tools for users to enable informed decisions, and (3) creating a bespoke "ask us" experience to get them to connect with us so that we could assist them as a neutral third party.

We recreated new user flows for the web platform.
We created new information clusters that allowed the users to find what they were looking for quicker alongside secondary and tertiary information clusters.

Hi-fidelity mockups were created and tested with our user group within the right demographics.

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The Repackage

 

BANJAIGA:

Your one-stop shop for construction

 

How did we get there?

Users are looking for structured information.
Rarely do users get their house constructed without doing months if not years of research.
They need to rely on a neutral third party to assist them with their queries and recommend trusted people to work with.
By creating a concierge experience on the website, the user can navigate based on their question, rather than relying on a search bar.

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Three primary questions informed our design and UX strategy:

 

1- How could we remove visual cluster and maintain uniformity?


2- How could we build a simple way to assist the users without pushing too hard?


3- What tools could be built to help out the end user to make informed decisions?

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1. Information clustering

We created a clear hierarchy of information clusters. Instead of users searching for individual pieces of information, we clubbed together with the most sought-after questions from the user side.

The information clustering was multiple pages deep and would allow the end-users to get the correct information without getting lost.

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2. Friction less help engine
 

It was essential to build a help engine within the platform.

We created a friction-less form-based information gathering system that gathered the correct information from the users and instantly allowed the customer care team to get in touch with them with the right amount of data.
This solution also complements the new business vertical of integrated services.

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3. Interactive tools/assistants
 

Based on the feedback received, we built simple yet powerful ways to help users get the correct information.

We did this by designing tools that they could interact with.

In the form of cost calculators and home configurators, it allowed the users to get estimates and learn about the construction before getting into the process. Once they had enough information, they were ready to talk to our customer care team.

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The impact


We designed a solution focused on an information clustering system for easier delivery. This method allowed associating different information packages together in varied combinations, allowing users to reach the same information in multiple ways.
Offline concierge service was designed as a secondary assistance system to help users connect with our customer care team.
We increased the time on the platform and form submission rates considerably, helping leads convert into opportunities.

We conveyed a precise value proportion to the user, a house concierge service that should occupy their headspace for construction-related activities to engage Banjaiga once they were ready.

(Deployment WIP, Prototype metrics)


Time spent on platform (Increase) 220%
Pages visited/User (Increase) 300%
Form completion rate (Increase) 50%

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