A better user experience for PostNL customers
With my redesign of the PostNL app, customers are now able to do things they couldn't do with the old app. Creating a package label with the app is now easier to do.
The design challenge
PostNL likes to see customers take care of their business online, before sending a package. This saves time at a PostNL shop. The current flow of the PostNL app needs to be optimized to create a better user experience.
With my solution, creating a package label is now easier. Users can now create a package label without knowing the weight of the package, power users can create shortcuts to create a package label even faster, and the user input now has better feedback.
About this project
During the second year of my study Communication and Multimedia design, I participated in a 10 week program called Project Interaction. During the project, I worked for PostNL: the biggest company in the area of postal services in The Netherlands. Together with three other students, I formed a team and we worked on improving the user experience of the PostNL app. In ten weeks, we did a lot of user research, prototyping, testing, and iterations. At the end of the project, an improved user experience was designed for the app that helps the user create a package label to send a package with PostNL.
Before starting with designing, we first did research about the current PostNL app and about its users. What problems do they experience? What does the user think could be improved? I talked with the users in person, the employees at the PostNL shops and of course the client.
Hierarchical Task Analysis
At first, we made a Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) of the current flow of the PostNL app to make clear what the different steps were in the process of creating a package label with the app. We discovered several main tasks and subtasks.
After finishing the HTA we created an affinity map with all the good and bad points of the current user experience of the PostNL App. Our goal during the project was to improve all the bad aspects of the current UX.
Designing the solution
After some short but good research, we went ahead to create the first version of an improved user experience in the form of a prototype. Individually, we all worked on a first prototype without taking a look at the work of the others. In this way, we were able to solve the design challenge in multiple ways and combine our individual prototypes to one in a later stage of the project. I used a morphological chart to brainstorm about many possible solutions for the different stages we discovered earlier in the Hierarchical Task Analysis. After that, I created three lo-fi key paths of possible solutions. After feedback, I chose the one I thought was the best and made a digital interactive prototype. This was a prototype that I tested with the user to get to know if the solution worked for the user.
The user test
After completing the first prototype, I tested it with a couple of users to see if my solution worked. I got some very useful feedback that I could use for the rest of the project. Next to regular user testing, my team an I also tested our prototypes using eye-tracking software. In this way, we were able to validate the focal points we designed for the prototype. Again, this gave us some good insights.
Developing the final solution
After testing my first prototype I got feedback from the client. The client, PostNL, said that they would like me to do more user tests to see if there are still any small problems with the new app. Also, two people from Essense, a service design agency based in Amsterdam, gave me feedback on my prototype. I got some good tips on finetuning my solution.
Fine-tuning the solution
In the last couple of weeks of the project, I spend most of the time fine-tuning my solution. On the basis of multiple new user tests, I validated my design solution continuously.
Helping the power users of the app
Next to the fine-tuning, I did in the last couple of weeks, I also worked on a solution that could improve the user experience for extreme users, or power users as I called them during the process. Power users are users that use the app more than regular users. In this case, a power user is someone that uses the app to create a lot of package labels. The user tests showed me that if you need to create a package label once per week, the improved process I created was fine. But if you send packages on a daily basis to the same address or a from the same size/weight, the process of filling in every detail of the input fields in the app can be a bad experience. That's why I introduced shortcuts. A new function of the app that helps create shortcuts in the app so the user can create a package label in just a couple of clicks. When a user sends a package to the same address twice, the app asks the user if they would like a shortcut for this kind of package to save time.
The final solution
At the end of the project, I presented a final solution to the client. This image shows the final screen flow. With my solution, people are now able to create a package label when they don't know the weight of the package and want to weight their package later in a PostNL shop. Also, users can now create shortcuts to create a package label even faster. Besides that, I completely redesigned the overview the user gets before completing and confirming their package label.