Duncan played the role of Functional Lead as Springbox developed user interface design recommendations to help PayPal's business customers find the solutions they need to get paid, grow their businesses, and support their developers so PayPal can increase signups and activations through their Merchant Landing Page.
At the center of a tangled, broken web.
PayPal’s previous Merchant Home Page suffered from too-many-quilters condition, when siloed internal factions vying for supremacy claim valuable space regardless of the overall outcome. The result was an over-complicated page with no discernible narrative, call to action, or point of view. Worse, many of the (too many) links taking users to more information were dead-ends or lead to out-of-date content.
Springbox was initially tasked with a “simple” redesign – some reorganization, fresh writing, and new images – and the team (UX Lead and Duncan) quickly discovered the greater complexity of the problem. We presented the revised problem to PayPal and won approval to proceed tackling a greater re-thinking of the Merchant Home Page including its functional and narrative purpose within PayPal.com
Users & Audience
When 5 became 3.
PayPal funneled their business audience into 5 personas: the started entrepreneur, the brick-and-mortar coming online, the business owner, the leader within a larger business, and the website (or software) developer. After studying these personas, Duncan developed three simplified categories for more direct communication. Anyone coming to the PayPal Merchant Landing Page wants to either get paid, grow their business, or find developer solutions.
Roles and Responsibilities
The butcher, the baker, and the key knowledge holder.
Duncan worked on the PayPal Merchant Home Page project in three capacities:
As UX Designer under the UX lead, who reviewed Duncan’s work, provided guidance, and worked on higher-level ideas;
As Creative Director over a UI Designer who took direction from white-boarding sessions and rough wireframes to layout concepts within PayPal’s brand guidelines;
And, eventually as Key Knowledge Holder Duncan worked cross-functionally – with strategy, UX, UI, and the client – throughout the engagement, developing a deeper relationship with the client, and aggregating a complex understanding of the project while other team members moved on to other projects.
Scope & Constraints
Deeper problems under the surface and an evolving brand.
PayPal’s brand was well established before Springbox began work, and they rolled out a more comprehensive branding and web design approach in the middle of this project. The brand rollouts could have presented further challenges, but PayPal did a great job creating and presenting these materials so they actually streamlined and confirmed many of the decisions Duncan and the Springbox team were already working on.
As mentioned earlier, the scope and timeline of the project changed once the Springbox team realized the complexity of the actual problem facing PayPal’s Merchant Home Page: a simple design refresh would not fix the broken, tangled web with this page at its center.
Do the research and iterate until you get there.
This project followed a process of heavy discovery (research and investigation) on the frontend, followed by an iterative reflect –> make –> observe process until delivery. Duncan was functional lead on many of the efforts after the initial discovery, including: user interviews, competitor audits, persona research, prototype and comp design, content strategy, and copy writing.
Duncan employed many UX Design tools during his comprehensive involvement on this project: user interviews, persona development, competitor audits, problem and vision definition, value propositions, message framework creation, prototyping, and Sketch design comps.
Duncan also developed a strong relationship with the PayPal stakeholders, even attending a two-day training workshop with them in which PayPal’s new brand and strategy tools were revealed.
Outcomes & Lessons
Happy clients from top to bottom and a new Merchant Home Page for PayPal.
At the end of Springbox’s engagement PayPal was very pleased with the final designs and recommendations. Not long after delivery, the Merchant Home Page was launched with the implementation of Duncan and Springbox’s recommendations.
Along the way Duncan learned, the importance of defining and aligning on the correct problem early in the process, and the importance of project planning and communication within the team. In the future, Duncan will push leads for a more defined plan and deliverables early in a projects development.
PayPal keeps their analytics largely to themselves, so Springbox never learned about tangible proof of the project’s success. However, as of 6/12/2018, the single page remains live and very close to the designs and recommendations Duncan’s team delivered.