Current State Analysis
Before diving into the redesign, I wanted to understand Drop as a business so I dissected the app’s main features. In the following analysis and throughout the Case Study, I will be primarily focusing on the user experience through the iOS app.
Starting with the first tab, this tab’s main purpose is to provide users with a categorized section of all the retail partner offers. One can assume that the Design team made the Browse tab the first tab a user sees in order to incentivize its users to utilize in-app offers. Drop’s main selling point to marketers is offering them data on how users spend their money. With in-app purchases Drop can also boast to marketers about their ability to positively influence the top line.
This screen’s main highlight is the Mobile Offers which remind users to use Offers before they expire.
The Community Tab has three main parts:
- Member Activity
- Friend’s Activity
Contests are a unique way Drop users can utilize their points to sign up for cool events.
Member Activity is a live feed of Drop Users interacting with the product.
Friend’s Activity is similar to Member Activity but instead it utilizes a Facebook API to connect you with your friends using the app.
The Rewards tab is by far my favourite aspect of the latest redesign. Prior to this redesign, I thought that the app lacked a gamification aspect that would encouraged its users to spend more to redeem rewards. My favourite app that has perfected this is the Starbucks app below. By providing users with a visual map of where they stand and how close they are to redeeming a reward, Starbucks has mastered gamification. An interesting note is how Starbucks has made this visual map their main screen, whereas Drop has this as the fourth and last tab on its app.
In order to identify potential design opportunities, I wanted to interview active users of the app. In my experience, it is best to focus on experienced users. Experienced users are more likely to encounter issues with the interface due to their frequent use of the app.
App Store Reviews
To complement the user interviews, I wanted to look through some of Drop’s most critical App Store reviews in the past year or so. Users noted that they were frustrated that they could not change their Power Offers.
I wanted to set the User Personas around the two major use cases I identified when interviewing users.
- Michael is a bargain shopper who is always interested in a great deal
- Julia loves the feeling of buying the perfect outfit and getting rewarded on top of it.
To organize all the feedback received from user interviews and App Store reviews, I summarized the main pain points below:
- Community Revamping
- Browsing Offers
- Power Offers
Problems or concerns with the Community/Friends feed are the following:
- Most users do not care about a random user’s activity as there is no connection with one another
- Friends Activity was not activated by any of the users I interviewed
- In the Friends Activity section, a user can roughly backwards engineer how much a friend is spending. The feature ends up turning into an intrusive feature instead of a sharing activity with close friends
Presumably this section is a feature to counter criticism from users that Drop, as a service, does not work. By actively showing that users are redeeming offers and collecting points. Drop is signalling to their users that both the point collection and redemption process is working.
Currently, a user does not have the capability to customize their feed to better match their preferences. Categories are preset in the following order:
See below how long it may take a user to find their favourite apparel brand.
The main onboarding pain point is the following:
- The Power Offers selection in the onboarding process is a pain point for users. Users are often rushing through the onboarding experience and thus are not making completely rational decisions.
“Users should not make a permanent decision on Power Offers before ever using the app.”
— Product Manager and Drop user I interviewed in Toronto
Using Luke Wroblewski’s On-boarding piece as a reference point — users will often delete an app altogether if they encounter a poor onboarding experience. As Drop’s service is dependent on a network effect, in other words, the larger its customer base the more attractive they are to marketers. It is crucial for Drop to ensure that a majority of its users complete the onboarding process and began utilizing the service.
There are three potential reasons why Drop has not fixed this user complaint. From a cost benefit analysis, it may be a sound business decision to hold off on this user complaint.
- Server load
- Engineering time
- Marketer needs
By allowing users to change their Power Offer brands on the go, the amount of data that the user would have to handle would drastically increase.
In addition, engineers would have to spend more time ensuring that users are receiving their rewards based on their updated brands.
Lastly, marketers paying for the insights related to user’s financial data may not be in favour of volatile user data (eg. Users constantly changing their Power Offers). Marketers may not be able to draw a clear picture of a user who is constantly changing their preferences.
Presumably a user’s Power Offer selections are brands they purchase frequently from. Due to their frequent nature and lack of communication, users on the App Store complain they are missing Power Offer rewards.
I am proposing that Drop partner with its Power Offer brands (Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, etc) to provide its users with a up to date list of its latest offers. These offers will have an option to share with someone, which will reintroduce the Friends activity in a more practical way.
The only pain point from the Browse Feed is the lack of customization in the categories a user sees. The following wireframes will address that complaint with a simple sorting feature.
Onboarding Power Offers
The proposed changes will increase user involvement by allowing a review of the user’s selection in one week’s time.
Power Offer Reinforcement
I want to propose Drop provide their users with positive reinforcement from their frequent and smaller purchases. These small ticket rewards are the lifeline of the service and should be a highlight of this screen.
- Make Power Offer initial screen a horizontal carousel for the five different brands. Instead of a continuous newsfeed where users cannot jump to their favourite brand easily
- Change the “Show Me Similar Offers” button to “Shop” where users can make their purchase online
- Rotate the icon in the second screen to point vertically instead of horizontally
Onboarding Power Offers
- Make the chart on the second screen bigger as it is currently hard to see. Include percentages as well
- Change the review period from one week to up to one month of review time. Most people budget their expenses in a month’s time and this time period will seem more intuitive to them
Drop’s Design team is constantly iterating their designs and when I began this redesign shortly after versions 1.25/1.26 the Community tab was still functional. Late this week, Drop announced version 1.27 where they have removed the Community tab — which is in line with my analysis above. The Drop team did not roll out a feature similar to the Power Offer feed below instead they emphasized the Points Tab.
A small tweak that will allow users to personalize the Browse tab to suit their needs.
Onboarding Power Offers
The wireframes for the Rewards breakdown screen were difficult to understand when I showed it to family and friends. In order to perfect this vital screen, I designed multiple options. Option 3 was seen as the best iteration because it was the easiest graph to read for users and the easiest to develop as well.
Power Offer Reinforcement
Lastly, a small tweak to the My Offers tab that will allow its users to know how each of their Power Offers is performing.
The four redesign ideas were made without access to any Drop internal information and thus will be limited in their potential impact. However, by basing the redesigns on current users input and App Store Reviews I was able to tackle real human issues with the product.
I also wanted to say thanks to Kody Melo for providing guidance throughout the entire case study!
Let me know your thoughts below, would love to hear your feedback!