UX Sofia Workshops

November 7–8 2018, Hotel Hilton Sofia
November 7th, Wednesday
Dirty Little Tricks From The Dark Corners of eCommerce

Vitaly Friedman

Smashing Magazine's Co-Founder, Editor, Writer, Speaker

An average abandonment rate in eCommerce is around 65–68%. Often it's caused by ambiguous buttons, labels or copywriting as well as severe problems related to finding or understanding products as well as slow and painful checkout experience. We can't bring the abandonment rate to 0, but we can shave off at least 10% with some minor and straightforward optimizations.

A full-day-workshop can help us identify and tackle current problems, following techniques and strategies I or my colleagues used recently. In the workshops, we will use real-life examples as a case study and examine refinements of the interface on spot. I'd like to set up a very clear roadmap on how we can do the right things in the right order to improve conversion and customer experience. That means removing distractions, minimizing friction and avoiding disruptions and dead ends caused by the interface.

In the workshop, we'll be taking a microscopic look into:

  • Psychology of eCommerce
  • How do people buy, and when? What role does time, distractions, working hours, interface copy play for buying decisions?
  • How do we streamline the decision making process by helping out customers with thinking and reasoning? We need to understand in which state customers are and what is important to them before we start designing for them.

Category Product List + Filtering

People can't buy items that they can't find or don't understand. We'll look into optimal ways to listing items and allowing customers to filter them, on desktop and on mobile. It includes navigation, search, sorting, compatibility, carousels, filters, feature/attribute comparison, zero-results-pages, configurable items and faceted search as well as search hits coming through search engines.

Product Page + Shopping Cart page

What do we need to communicate on the product page and what should we keep in mind to convince the customer about the value of a product? We'll look into images, specs, compatibility details, reviews, labelling, categorization, shipping details, availability details, ship-to-store options etc. We'll also explore how to deal with FAQs, complementary and related products and recently viewed products.

Checkout experience

Checkout comes in different flavors. What to choose: multi-step checkout, one-step checkout or accordion-style-checkout? We'll be spending a significant amount of time looking into all the fine details of shopping cart, account creation, personal information, shipping and store pickup, form labels, error messages, payment flow and methods, delivery times, credit card input, data input in general, smart default, security seals, positive validation, autocomplete lookup and progressive checkout.

Optimizing For Mobile

Yes, the conversion on mobile is still much lower than on desktop, but it's growing rapidly year after year. Most eCommerce websites provide a subpar eCommerce experience and that's an opportunity for growth. However, mobile is a different beast, and the user behavior there is different compared to desktop. We'll look into searching, filtering, listing and labelling items, performance issues and copywriting ambiguity as well as layout and interaction design for the checkout experience.

New opportunities

The technology doesn't stand still. To take experience to the next level we can use an (almost) 1-Click-checkout with Payment Request API, third-party payments like Stripe, Apple Pay etc. or use Facebook Messenger chatbots or some sort of conversational interface to sell items and provide assistance. We'll look into trends and what companies out there are doing to innovate in the eCommerce space.

Decreasing Abandonment Rates

Tiny details matter. To reduce abandonment, we need to pay close attention to displaying final price up front, paying a lot of attention to details and consistency of thumbnails, eliminate hidden costs, deal with wrong data input, crafting error messages as well as paying attention to return policy and shipping time etc. We'll set up a holistic strategy for decreasing abandonment — going from the homepage all the way to order confirmation email.
By the end of the workshop, we'll have a detailed strategy of practical, tangible next steps to improve the interface, ranging from quick wins to long-term strategic changes.
Design of Chatbot Conversations

Ekaterina Mitova
Senior User Assistance Developer at SAP
Dimiter Simov
Usability believer, Product experience expert at SAP

Chatbots are a hot current step in the process of bringing humans and technology closer. This merging depends on successful conversations. We know relatively well how to design websites, apps, and content structures. We are still learning how to design conversations, though. Designing a chatbot conversation is not rocket science. Many professionals like designers, information architects, marketers, technical communicators, and support personnel have the qualifications and thinking necessary to design good conversations. This workshop will give you a chance to try and convince yourself.
November 8th, Thursday
Conducting UX research on a limited budget

Eric Reiss

Partner at FatDUX

The truth is, every project needs some degree of research – we need to verify that the "what" is accurate and will truly fulfil the "why" behind the project.
Without good-quality research, every project will fail. And that is a fact. Happily, there are ways to get the information you need even when the client doesn't see this need. But…

We all know the situation: Our client tells us they have a clear idea of what they want us to accomplish. The budget is tight, as is the deadline. There is little or nothing in the budget for research or a "discovery phase." Yet unless we understand the "why" behind the project, we will rarely find the right "how" so our client gets the results they want. Moreover, when we learn what is really going on, the client's definition of "what" may not actually solve the problems at hand. Yet if we do exactly what we have been told and the project fails, we will be blamed for its failure. This workshop will give you a dramatically improved chance for success – and introduce you to some techniques and tools that you won't find in any of the published literature!

In just a few hours, Eric will show you how to:

  • improve the efficiency of your desk research
  • conduct more effective user and stakeholder interviews
  • realistically interpret customer-satisfaction surveys
  • carry out simple ethnographic surveys
  • find secret resources within the client company
  • cheat your way to the resources you need

Throughout the workshop, Eric will also share some eye-opening "war stories" based on his many years of experience in marketing, service design, and UX. You won't want to miss this.

Note: there will be a simple homework assignment prior to the workshop which participants will receive about a week before the event.
How to flesh out a product idea and get everything ready for design?
Csaba Házi
CEO and UX Expert at Webabstract. Best-selling author ofSeven Step UX – The Cookbook for Creating Great Products

We'll cover how to plan the foundations of a product: a mobile app, a website, your new service or even an offline product, like a wearable. The goal of the workshop is to teach you a practical framework that you can implement immediately.

Planning a new product is a challenge. You have to deal with lots of information; business goals, feature ideas, design challenges, technical constraints, marketing strategy and so on. In my career, I've seen many businesses struggling from not having a practical approach to get all their ideas to the table and cover all aspects of a product.

In this workshop, my goal is to teach you a practical framework, which helps you to get a full picture of your business (or your new, fancy product) and identify and understand your users. First, we'll start with the business goals. You will learn how to identify, prioritize and document business goals and competitors. We will discuss what UX and market research techniques you can use to get more data.

Then, we continue by creating user personas to identify early adopters and understand their needs. The business goals and user needs will serve as the foundation of your new product.

During the workshop, we will use multiple templates and checklists, that is a huge help to UX work. You will learn how to create a User-Centered Business Canvas and a User Persona.

Additionally, I grant all members of my workshop with a free copy of my book, the Seven Step UX: The Cookbook for Creating Great Products. This is a practical, hands-on and down-to-earth handbook on UX work and all the methods, templates we learn are covered in my book.

Key takeaways:
  • Learn how to map out business goals
  • Identify your target users and early adopters
  • Get practical knowledge of what UX and market research can help you to make a better product.
Session topic level:
  • entry level
  • intermediate
  • advanced
Session career level:
  • entry level
  • managers
  • c-suite
Applicable Audience:
Hotel Hilton Sofia