Turning an ancient platform into a mobile-optimised and user-friendly website
Canon's website is divided into 3 categories: Business, Consumer and Pro Photo & Video. While the Consumer and Pro Photo & Video websites had information displayed on one platform, the Business website had the support section on an external platform, which was very old and impossible to manage. The Content Management System was also different and very old, only allowing us to publish or delete content.
Canon realised that this inconsistency in the user journey might have a negative impact on B2B customers since the user would loose contact with the main website after navigating to the support area.
Existing customers – who have already purchased a product but need information or instructions on how to use it, make up the majority of the support section's traffic.
The section gets 50% of the total visits to the Canon website and plays an important role in building customer fidelity and creating word-of-mouth advertising.
As UX and content specialist, I worked with an agile team and conducted user research, created user flows, personas, user stories, sketches and was involved in the user acceptance testing.
The first step in my investigation was reaching out to different stakeholders that were either users themselves or had direct contact with our customers.
- Contact Centre (the main contact point for our customers): asked for a report with customers' feedback and complaints.
- Internal Stakeholders (product managers, engineers, product specialists): asked for their feedback about the experience with the current platform.
"It's not perfect, but I've used this platform for almost 5 years and I can find my way eventually. The biggest issue is customers are not very comfortable finding the information they need."
The next step was contacting our developer teams. Regardless of the final solution, it was clear that the CMS had to be either upgraded or changed.
- An upgrade of the old CMS (SDS) that would offer us more capabilities
- Content migration to the CMS (Tridion) we were using for the Consumer site
I created a user flow to visualise the customer's journey to the support site and discussed it with the team in a brainstorming session.
For consistency, time and budget, we decided to keep the existent UI and run usability tests afterwards.
I put together a roadmap for a long-term project. The main steps were defined and grouped in smaller projects as listed below:
Improve content strategy
- Migrate B2B content to Tridion (the CMS we use for the Consumer site) and make it available across 28 EMEA websites
- Request translation of dynamic content in 10 languages
- Set up automatic publishing and translation rules for dynamic content
Improve user experience
- Create a landing page and intermediate pages across the site
- Define a usable template for the B2B product pages by using the current template from the Consumer site as a starting point
- Implement an on-site survey
- Add Google Analytics to the site
For functional changes, I created user stories that included mockups and discussed them with the business analyst and developers.
User story example
Product Page Mockup
During build, I worked closely with the developers to implement each change successfully. I and the team would have weekly Skype meetings where we would discuss the requirements and then score each user story by effort and difficulty – a process known as ‘Agile Poker’. The points were used later to define deadlines and priorities.
Occasionally, we would split some changes into additional user stories, which allowed developers to deploy different projects at the same time.
The user experience on the Canon B2B Support site has considerably improved, and the new CMS gave way to the content strategy improvement.
The online survey and Google Analytics allowed us to get constant customer feedback, which helped us recognise major pain-points in the user experience.