You moved my cheese, and I like it better this way

How we convinced our users that a major mobile redesign increased value, and made their lives better.

Duration: 6 weeks
My contribution: User research, Sketching, Wireframes, Prototyping, Usability testing
Tools: Sketch, InVision

Earlier this year, our company released an app-wide redesign. What we thought were great improvements received a lot of negative feedback from our users.

“Users hate change that doesn’t make their life better, but makes them have to relearn everything they knew. In fact, users don’t like change that might improve their lives if they don’t perceive the value of that change.”
— Christina Wodtke

Instead of understanding the value of the re-design, our users focused on what they lost: productivity, comfort and familiarity. A product of our failure to effectively communicate the need and benefit of the re-design, user pushback was misinterpreted as proof that our users “hate change.”

The moment you succumb to the notion that “users just hate change,” you’ve ceased designing for your audience. — Ryan Freitas

In order to win back points with our users, we decided to deliver a highly demanded, high impact feature on mobile. In six weeks, not only did we deliver, we designed with our users to create a new mobile workflow, proving that our “users don’t hate change, they just hate us.”


Design and deliver the ability for IT professionals to submit documentation and invoice employers on mobile.


Despite the majority of our users being remote and mobile workers, IT professionals can only document work and complete work actions from the mobile app. They cannot “complete for payment”.


Because we do not offer a complete workflow on mobile, a pro is required to “complete for payment” at home on the web, resulting in an increase of non-billable hours worked per day.


Optimizing accepted work orders

In completing the mobile workflow, we saw a need to improve efficiency, and reduce the number of clicks in the steps leading up to completing for payment.

Existing flow of OnForce mobile app

In order to submit a work order for payment, a professional must complete all of the fields required by an employer. Work actions are two clicks away from the accepted work order screen: one click on the hamburger menu to access a list of work actions, and a second click to make a selection. Depending on the employer, a work order can have between 6 to 10 actions to complete. This results in a professional having to complete 12 to 20 clicks per work order before they can submit for payment.

“I have a principle that anything that’s two clicks away — or two touches if you are on a touchscreen-is irrelevant to users” — Alex Castelleranau, Head of Design at DropBox

We wanted to see how professionals would react to reducing the number of clicks on the accepted work order page. In a first iteration prototype, we removed the hamburger menu, and consolidated all the actions on the accepted work order page. We replaced the hamburger menu with the check-in button, and added a “complete for payment” button at the bottom. Our first user session compared the first iteration prototype to the existing layout of the accepted work order view in one on one user testing sessions.

1st iteration flow for complete for payment

In order to determine the success of each prototype, we asked professionals:

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how quickly do you think you could you get work done?”

On average, the existing layout scored 1 point higher than the new iteration. Professionals liked that the actions were easy to access in the new version, but did not like that the actions and “complete for payment” button fell below the fold. Overall, users felt that it was easier to access work actions from the hamburger menu, than to scroll down. But, is it really more efficient to have the actions in the hamburger menu, or do users just perceive it to be more efficient?

In a second prototype, we separated the work actions and details with a toggle button to separate actions and details. In the second round of user testing, we compared the new prototype against the existing layout and asked users the same question “On a scale of 1 to 10, how quickly do you think you could you get work done?” The existing layout scored the same, but the new prototype scored significantly higher.

Designing “complete for payment”

We decided to keep “complete for payment” as consistent with the web experience as possible. We created a method for invoicing, and adding and deleting service dates on mobile. The only addition to the mobile experience that does not exist on the web is the review page. Because mobile allows for work to be submitted quickly, we wanted professionals to have the ability to review and edit before submitting.

Final iPhone screens
Final Android screens

Measuring Success

A mobile “complete for payment” beta was released to 150 professionals in July 2015. Overall, we saw a 20% decrease in work order completion time, meaning our professionals are getting work done and getting paid faster. We expect this number to increase upon releasing to the entire platform later this month. The “complete for payment” beta is the first major change to the platform, to date, that has received little to no pushback or complaints. User feedback has been extremely positive.

“I just completed my first work order using the beta version of the app, and it was fantastic! The app allowed me access to everything that I needed for the job. It was great! From checking in to checking out, and now even finalizing for payment. In the past I would have to complete for payment from my phone on the website and that’s no fun at all. Thanks again for including me in the beta testing.”
— Jesse