Call Capture is a system to manage a toll free number that can be used help with real estate advertising. Users can create extensions for the toll free number and place them on yard signs or other ads for potential buyers to hear property descriptions.
The interface was so hard to use and so confusing that the company hired 2 full time people to do everything for the customers. Also, the system the original product was built on was being managed and was owned by another company that was shutting down. A complete remake of the system needed to be designed and built quickly.
Because this was such a time sensitive project, I wasn’t given as much time for research as I would’ve liked. I was however, able to interview the two full time employees who did everything in the old product to ask them what made the software difficult. Here’s the main issues I found:
- The navigation is confusing. Users have a difficult time finding the elements that help complete the task they’re trying to do. Even when they find the section they think they want, often the actions they’re wanting to take for a related task are spread out over multiple different pages.
- It’s not mobile responsive. Many real estate agents are very mobile, and some don’t even have a computer. They do all their work from a phone or tablet. Because the site was not mobile responsive the product was almost unusable to them.
With those points in mind, I went through the entire application and took a screenshot of each page. I taped all the pages to the wall of my office in a site map fashion so that I could see all the features and how they were currently laid out. Here is a site map of the original application:
I determined that the core functionalities of the application were as follows:
- Call log — the ability to see a list of everyone who has tried to toll free number and what extensions they reached.
- Extensions — the ability to create, delete, and edit extensions for the toll free number, including the ability to add audio messages for the beginning, end, and menu options of an extension.
- Voicemail — the ability to listen to, download, and delete voicemails left on toll free number
- Order materials — the ability to order signs, flyers, and other paper materials with the toll free number/extension on them.
- Training and Help — the access to training materials and helpful links for how to use the toll free number best.
- Account settings — The ability to change defaults and settings related to the “main extension” or the first thing you hear when you call the toll free number.
To simplify the navigation, I decided to dedicate a page to each of those core functionalities and ended up with a site map like this:
Below our screenshots of the final design being implemented for CallCapture. The two main problems I wanted to solve with this version were
- Confusing and congested navigation.
- Non mobile responsive design for “on the go” users
To solve these, I focused on simplifying the navigation so that users would be able to quickly find the features they were looking for, and making the application mobile responsive so that they could use it on their phones.
This redesign of CallCapture is much better than what our current customers have and at the very least the users will be able to know what features they have access too. Without much user testing, it’s hard to know how “easy” it will be to use even with the simplified navigation and the mobile versions of the application. Now that the project is under development, I am beginning user testing to improve the usability for version 1.1 of the project. There will be more to come soon!