Helping Liander to make a user flow more customer-friendly?
As a consumer or business you want the cables and pipelines that deliver your energy to be well managed. Liander is the energy network operator for more than three million households and businesses and knows this better than anyone. However, Liander had concerns about the customer friendliness of its user flow when consumers want to relocate their large-volume connection. The company turned to SPRINT. Together we worked out how, in the future, Liander can efficiently test the user friendliness of its own user flows.
When consumers want to relocate a large-volume connection via the Liander website, customers must work through a series of steps. This process is known as a user flow. On the main page of the website, customers must first find the relevant 'button'. This takes them to the appropriate page. Next, they enter all sorts of details, while being guided from screen to screen. Formerly, Liander used a qualitative method to test the customer friendliness of this user flow. They invited a group of people to their location and asked them to work through the user flow. Whilst this gave Liander the benefit of direct feedback, it was also costly and time-consuming. What Liander wanted was a quantitative test that would generate more results, in a shorter period of time.
Study method: questionnaire + System Usability Scale
Together with Liander, we drew up a digital questionnaire to test the user flow. The questions and statements were based on the System Usability Scale. Using this scale, it is for example possible to investigate whether users consider a flow complex, whether they need technical support to complete their task, whether the website is user friendly and whether certain buttons are easy to find. Liander customised this standard list with some special questions for its specific situation.
When it comes to a user flow, the first click is hugely important. It must be clear to users from the very first page (the landing page) where they need to click to go to the next step. The respondents were asked whether it was immediately clear to them where they should click in order to report an address change. They were then asked to suggest improvements. Other important questions included:
- What information do you expect to see on the next page?
- What was your first impression?
- What did you like the most? What did you like the least?
- Was the experience positive enough to use the user flow again?
Respondents were also shown a heat map of the landing page. On this map, they were able to click on the elements they considered successful and the ones they felt needed improvement. They were then able to state why they considered an element successful or in need of improvement. Finally, the respondents awarded the complete flow an overall score.
System Usability Scale
In the questionnaire, the respondents were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed or disagreed with a number of statements. These elements are based on the System Usability Scale. Examples of these statements are:
- I find the texts easy to understand.
- I felt confident using the system.
- It took me a while to understand how it worked.
The results for these statements show how customer-friendly a user flow actually is. Based on the results of the international benchmark, Liander could see for itself how customer- friendly its user flow was and decide which pages needed to be adjusted and how. The qualitative testing method that was used in the past took much longer; the SPRINT application delivers results within 24 hours.
Own test panel for Liander
The results from the first questionnaire helped Liander to improve specific areas of the user flow, particularly for its business customers. Meanwhile, 40 marketeers from Liander now have their own account for the SPRINT application. This will enable them to efficiently test user flows within 24 hours – and allow Liander to achieve great savings in both time and money.
My colleagues and I will be able to efficiently test a user flow or mockup of a web tool in the future. We can even have the test results in within 24 hours. This not only save a great deal of time, but will also achieve high cost savings.”