Vodafone

Self-service app

Introduction

Vodafone Spain had initially hired us at Designit to design a handful of small improvements to Mi Vodafone, the carrier’s self-service app. However, when the production designer and I got to work, we started to suspect that the work we were asked to do wasn’t addressing the core issues that users actually had with the app. We decided to run a quick round of guerrilla user testing on the side to confirm our suspicions.

Research

Patterns quickly emerged. Users didn’t have an easy overview of their consumption, bills, and plan, while key information was buried and lost in the details. This was a serious problem for Vodafone because this lack of clarity led to overage charges and soured their relationship with the carrier. This confusion also led to many calls to customer support, a growing cost that Vodafone was hoping the app improvements could address. Ultimately, Vodafone’s users just wanted the app to answer 3 key questions:

  1. How much am I consuming?
    How many minutes do I have left for the month, and have I used up too much data? Users were often fearful of running out of minutes/data.
  2. How much am I paying for this service? 
    How much is my last bill, is it higher than usual? If so, how come? User trust was generally low, as we heard multiple stories of surprise charges.
  3. What exactly is included in my plan? 
    There was a lot of confusion around plans, as they were typically quite complex and composed of numerous additions and exceptions.

Concept

We came back to Vodafone and offered to finish the round of quick wins they had requested, but asked the client to give us one week to pitch them a vision for an app that truly addresses the needs of users beyond incremental improvements. Here was a business opportunity for Vodafone to both provide users with a better experience and reduce its own customer support costs.

Design principles

We centered the concept around these 3 simple principles:

  1. Control and transparency
    Give users a clear overview of their Vodafone account.
  2. Start with the essence
    Surface key information at the top.
  3. Provide details
    Make it easy to drill down for more information.

Our concept structured the app’s content into 3 levels. A home page where users could browse between their various Vodafone accounts (personal phone, work phone, internet connection, etc)

In the middle, a series of ‘cover cards’, each containing a high-level answer to the key questions we identified in the research, along with other sections such as promotions or settings.

Swiping up from any cover, users could drill down for more details and information.

Implementation

Our client loved the concept so much that they hired us for a follow-up project to turn this concept into the next version of their national Mi Vodafone app. While some concessions were made in the process—such as switching back to Vodafone’s primary red color, as well as a more conventional hamburger menu for navigation—we were able to maintain the core idea of cover cards and rich use of Vodafone’s beautiful photography in the promotions section.