people giving each other a high five

Guusto

Product Designer & Web Developer

Guusto is a start-up in the employee recognition space based in Vancouver, BC. It offers a rewards platform primarily aimed towards helping small to medium companies build an employee recognition program. Secondary to their purpose, their platform also serves to support business development and boost customer loyalty. The platform gives colleagues, managers, or business owners the ability to send digital gift cards and nominate team members to express real-time appreciation. Guusto strives to be the modern solution to existing recognition programs that are labour and time intensive.

My role as the sole Web Developer and Product Designer Intern is to help better deliver their vision via the marketing website and improve the product experience.

Type

Internship

Role

Web design, Front-end Web Development, UX/UI design

Tools

HTML/CSS/Javascript, Bootstrap, Illustrator, Photoshop

Duration

Sept 2019 - Present

The Guusto Platform & App

Guusto's product is offered as a web platform and app. I was tasked to do a design overhaul of both to not only iterate on the existing, but to add new features as well. Currently, we are in the midst of a rebuild that is set for release in late July 2020. Hence, all product design work cannot be published at the moment but I would be more than happy to share in person.

new Guusto homepage mockup
The new Guusto dashboard
old Guusto homepage mockup
The old Guusto dashboard
new Guusto nombox mockup
The new Nomination Box
old Guusto nombox mockup
The old Nomination Box
new Guusto homescreen on the app
The new Guusto app home screen
old Guusto homescreen on the app
The old Guusto app home screen

The Marketing Website

The marketing website is the launchpad into learning all about the product, entering the platform, and making the most out of the platform through resources on building a culture of recognition. I was tasked with revamping this important nexus between Guusto and customers. With HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Bootstrap, I updated existing webpages and created many new ones.

Content First

For existing pages, my goal was to first identify any gaps in messaging then focus on usability. From watching demo videos and attending sales calls, it not only helped me gain a better understanding of the platform, but realize that there was a large emphasis on employee recognition, creating rewards programs, and how it is more effective than current rewards programs that are labour and time intensive. The old website, however, communicates the ability to send gifts but lacks context of what Guusto was selling, its positioning, and the value it brings. Customer confusion around what Guusto is reinforced this. With the new homepage, it now reveals Guusto's offering as more than simply gifting. I wanted to add a new introductory section to fill this information gap with an accompanying product image, right below the hero banner. As well, I wanted the language in the hero banner to be more explicit on the intention behind the gifting. Here and across the site, my manager, Skai Dalziel, and his co-founder have been ever-refining the content across the site.

wireframe of homepage
Wireframe of the new Guusto homepage

With regards to improving usability, I noted multiple uses of buttons which can create confusion around the main call-to-action, I restyled the “Why you’ll love Guusto” section as text alone can make it lost within the page, and I created carousels to afford more client logos and testimonials to help add to Guusto’s credibility.

The new Guusto homepage with improved messaging and usability
The old Guusto homepage primarily communicates gifting

Improving Navigation

Other areas for improvement was the presentation of information on the How it Works page and each solution page, i.e. Employee Recognition page. The information was lengthy and, specific to the How it Works page, inconsistently formatted, making navigation difficult which can impact bounce rates.

The new How it Works page has a consistent layout and subnavigation
The old How it Works page with lengthy and inconsistently formatted information

For the How it Works page, I created a consistent layout of text on one side with supporting visual material next to it and added a sub navigation to better support readability.

The new Employee Recognition page presents more digestible information
The old Employee Recognition page with lengthy information

For the solution pages, I turned the many features of the Guusto platform into clickable cards such that the information is more digestible at a glance yet affords the ability for users to learn more. Ultimately, these changes will help Guusto retain website visitors.

Increasing Discoverability

The new Customer Stories page consolidates different types of customer reviews
The old Customer Stories page only presents case studies. To find testimonials, one would need to go to other webpages.

Lastly for webpage updates, I wanted one place to house all customer stories, including case studies and testimonials to make it more more intuitive to find and not embedded in other pages. While testimonials still remain on pages for its relevancy, I wanted to direct visitors to one place where they can learn more from other customers. The new Customer Stories page now consolidates case studies, testimonials, as well as reviews from Capterra, a business software review site, to provide visitors greater social proof.

Scaling Up

The About page
The Holiday page

I also created many new pages, including the About, Careers, ROI Calculator, and multiple landing pages for capturing resource sign ups, showcasing at a HR conference, and enticing new and existing customers in time for the holidays. These new pages were created to support Guusto’s continuing growth as a business, enhance their marketing efforts in attracting new clients, as well as showcase their impact and expertise.

A notable project is the ROI Calculator. The ROI calculator was initially given to customers in an Excel sheet, a touchpoint that can look convoluted especially to those who do not have a confident understanding of finance or Excel. As well, as it was intended for potential customers to download and plug in numbers on their own, it can be difficult for the sales team to speak to those numbers, missing an opportunity to gain customer buy-in. I was tasked with turning the ROI Calculator into a simplified webpage for easy sharing. My manager helped identified which variables were most important as input and explained how the calculations work. I explored different interface designs and settled on a layout where changes input revealed changes in output contained in a sticky, always-visible container.

wireframes of ROI Calculator
Wireframe exploration for the ROI Calculator page
The ROI Calculator page

This ensures users will see an immediate connection between what is entered and the resulting ROI. Furthermore, I added an odometer-like animation to allow the human eye enough time to catch value changes as well as help users grasp how output increases or decreases depending changes to input. Initially, all input variables were visible. After iterating, the ROI calculator now considers audiences who are not numbers-oriented with only the essential input variables, while for other curious and number-savvy users, more input variables are offered as well.

Results

While some pages were not as effective in achieving desired results, i.e. receiving a lower than expected number of video sign-ups, it was interesting to see the co-founders’ pivot in strategy to remove the new customer sign-up form and make the video more readily accessible for greater customer buy-in. This was a learning for me to look beyond the user experience and sales numbers to marketing results as this can also impact design decisions. Meanwhile, for other website changes, my manager informs me that customers are seeing greater product clarity and showing more interest in Guusto. As well, google analytics reveals a 41% drop in bounce rate. Very happy as I am about the drastic improvement, the reduced bounce rate is a joint effort from the team of sales, marketing, and my managers in polishing website content, providing feedback, and passing the website along to clients.

Reflection

Working within a start-up has taught me to be highly attuned in many ways, from individual work to the company beyond. On personal basis, I strive to use design for the benefit of end users and to help improve business results, but realized from my time at Guusto that there was more to analyzing and improving sales numbers. Website analytics factored into design decisions, informing of what other pages were equally as important as the homepage. Also, seeing form submission results can also shift priorities on gathering data at all. As well, I have come to realize the impact of my work weaving into other teams' processes, i.e. creating a comprehensible ROI calculator tool for the sales team to better entice customers. It wasn’t only end users I had to design for. Outside the company, and especially so in the employee recognition/HR space, I also learned that customer optics is infinitely important. Gathering, responding, sharing, and celebrating customer feedback with the team is almost a second business alongside selling the platform. Although Guusto is a small team, being people-centric is a big driver at the company, making my experience as the empathetic designer all the more exciting.

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