Interviews • Comparative research • Interactive prototyping • Usability testing • Personas
Monicat Data provides data consulting for creative organizations and businesses. They asked our team to explore translating their in-person services to a SaaS model.
As a consultancy focused on helping creative organizations and businesses leverage their data, Monicat identified an opportunity to bring its services to a wider audience of independent creatives with SaaS. The challenge was how to replicate their current approach, which involves in-person engagement to customize the approach for each client.
The directive from the client was to do some early explorations as to how they might translate their personalized services into an automated approach, whether this would appeal to the expanded user base, and what core features would be most useful. To answer these questions, we conducted several rounds of discovery research, prototyping, and testing.
We identified the need to offer users education and friendly guidance about how to use their data at a variety of touchpoint within the site. The result is approachable, modular, and meets users wherever they are at.
• Conducted interviews with experts to shape research strategy
• Synthesized information from interviews and discovery research to develop prototypes for initial user testing.
• Concepted features that translated the current business model into a digital service.
• Rapid prototyping of high-fidelity mockups that could communicate unfamiliar concepts to users for testing.
Tools and Deliverables
High Fidelity Wireframes
Quickly getting concepts in front of users
Independent creatives were our primary users. They are unlikely to be familiar with how to leverage their data or how to set data-driven business goals.
To explore reactions to the product, we needed to create a high-fidelity prototype to bring to our first round of interviews.
We interviewed an expert in creative entrepreneurship and conducted a competitive analysis of other data driven services to begin building a prototype to gauge what resonated with users and get them to sign up for the service.
Landing page prototype
I developed a landing page concept that served as our testing prototype. In addition to bright colors and playful imagery that make data approachable for our primary users, we pinpointed the following features that resonated with users:
1. Language is clear and conversational
2. Abstract images evoke creativity and possibility
3. A short video demonstrates core functionality
4. Feature cards are modular—users can customize tools for their needs
5. Calling out past clients builds trust when asking users to upload data
6. Multiple case studies speak to a variety of users
Users consistently expressed:
• A need to be reassured that Monicat can be trusted with user data
• Curiosity and openness to working with data, but varying levels of comfort doing so (education needs to be embedded in the service at a variety of levels)
Using a card sorting exercise, we asked users to choose from a range of possible features that would be meet their business needs. After compiling the results, we created more prototypes for the next round of testing.
Next I designed a dashboard concept that allows users to easily view multiple data inputs, as well as access core features.
1. Learn feature supports ongoing data education for all users
2. Add New adds features designed to echo Monicat’s one-on-one services
3. Suggestions highlight new Recipes to show what is possible
4. Customize feature lets users emphasize what is important to them
Replaces Monicat’s current intake process. Users indicated that they were overwhelmed by the original prompts proposed by the client—the Project Builder addresses this by asking questions targeted only at the project at hand.
1. A progress indicator breaks the intake process into less overwhelming sections
2. Users are guided through the process of setting up a project with visual prompts
3. A chat bot is always available to answer user questions
While most users we spoke with were comfortable setting goals for their business, they expressed significant interest in roadmap-type features that help measure progress towards those goals.
We suggest a goal setting feature that helps users access data-informed guideposts and measure their progress against similar organizations.
Recipes deliver custom insights by combining two or more data sets. Created and shared by Monicat staff or users, they give all users ongoing inspiration for what is possible to do with their data.
The ability to access and share user-generated Recipes can foster community and ensure that there is always something new on the dashboard.
Users were very positive about having a central location for storing their data. The data module in the dashboard allows user to have a quick overview of all uploaded data.
The Data Uploader lets them link accounts that use an API for realtime updating. This will provide real value to users, who do not have the bandwidth to perform manual updates.
Moving forward, our recommendations include:
• Further testing to better understand how to structure a freemium to premium model and how to bundle services and features accordingly