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Product Design & UX Research

Gamifying Balto

Role

Product Design & UX Research

Duration

4 months

Tools

Figma, Figjam, Dovetail

Team

Product Trio

OVERVIEW

Fun with a purpose

With the help of artificial intelligence, Balto Software guides Call Center Agents on 100% of calls while quickly adapting to any scenario that may happen during each call. However, Agent NPS scores consistently showed low levels of satisfaction, indicating that Balto wasn't something all agents wanted to use on a daily basis; it was something they were forced to use.

Balto set out to enhance the Agent experience and engagement. Incorporating gamification into an Agent’s workday would not only assist in driving performance by focusing on low-performing areas, but would also add some measure of delight to their day-to-day activities. 

CHALLENGE

Focus on engagement

Call centers are notorious for high Agent turnovers; largely due to the repetitive nature of their work, low pay, inflexible schedules, lack of training, a high stress environment, and high burnout factor. Adding gamification-like experiences to Call Centers has had a proven track record of improving Agent productivity and excitement.

 

Unfortunately, most Managers do not have the time or capacity to focus on consistently running contests & incentives, given that it's usually a manual effort. How could we create an exciting, yet non-distracting experience for Agents, while also improving their manager's workflows?

THE DESIGN PROCESS

Empathize

Understand users' needs

Define

State users' needs & problems

Ideate

Brainstorm ideas & develop

Prototype

Test & implement

EMPATHIZE & DEFINE

Understanding our users

We were given a strict deadline of about three weeks to empathize, define and ideate before needing to provide designs and flows to the Engineers for implementation. With the assistance of a Product Manager, I was able to dive into the design process for the MLP (most lovable product). My goal was to identify opportunities where gamified experiences would bring value to new and tenured Agents within Call Centers; anyone seeking to improve their actions and behaviors, all while incentivizing and engaging them, daily.

I started by performing generative research to familiarize myself on gamification and our target market. The insights and patterns that were found helped spark ideas and better defined the overall challenges we were facing.

Next, we conducted primary interviews with internal stakeholders and customers to get a better understanding of what our end users’ needs and wants were. Although our customer pool was limited at this time, these were the customers that jumped at the thought of incorporating a gamification-platform within Balto to help engage and reward their agents. 

Generative Research Findings

  • 89% of agents say gamification makes them feel more productive and happier at work

  • 85% of agents say they’d spend more time on an app or software because of gamification elements

 

 

Key Research Findings

  • Competing against others or within a team can drive competition, performance and motivation for new and tenured agents

  • Competing against ones’ self removes the stigma of failure or coming in last

  • Current contests have agents and managers feeling stagnant; resulting in short-lived engagement

  • Not all badges have to be tied to physical rewards

  • Managers want the ability to setup and maintain challenges and badges, but at minimal effort

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Personas

We had two target personas for gamification; Managers/Supervisors and Agents. This would require us to ideate for Manager workflows within the Cloud tool and Agent workflows within the Agent App tool. 

Managers:

  • Want the ability to quickly view preconfigured challenges and badges

  • Want the ability to create challenges that are focused on encouraging actions & behaviors for agents

  • Want the ability to track how their agents are performing over time via reports and offer coaching services if needed

  • Want the ability to send agents virtual kudos or a "thumbs up" now that many agents are working remotely

Agents:​

  • Want the ability to compete in leaderboard and team vs team challenges for the competitive aspect

  • Want the ability to compete in individual challenges or goals to stay motivated in continuing their positive behavior

  • Want the ability to track how their performance is improving over time

  • Want the ability to receive a variety of rewards

Agent App Sitemap

Once we had a clear idea of the problem, we began defining the potential solutions. To help me plan and start visualizing what the navigation of the Agent App would entail, I created a sitemap. I was able to simplify and trim off unnecessary pages while making sure I focused on the important features users would need. This including adding a couple of screens and panels to the app, such as:

  • Activity Feed

  • Profile

  • Challenges

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Our next set of evaluative research was planned to be ongoing based on customer feedback and Engineering constraints. During these exploratory conversations with Managers and Agents, I aimed to validate our MLP designs via prototype walk-throughs to ensure they met our users’ needs and expectations. These conversations gave us additional insight into what other features could be planned and added to our after-MLP roadmap. By implementing the now, next and later thinking into our process, the Product Manager and I were able to gather our key insights and map out the next versions of Balto’s gamification.

In parallel with these conversations, I began designing the look and feel of Balto's first round of badges (virtual rewards). 

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After researching what other gamification platforms look like, I aligned with our Marketing team to make sure products' vision matched branding's. Both teams agreed that the hand-drawn style I envisioned captured a friendly, fun, and fresh persona. Once I had sample designs composed for each badge, I began working closely and efficiently with an external Illustrator.

IDEATE & PROTOTYPE

Creating wireframes and prototypes

To make sure we were able to bring gamification from inception to implementation within the set timeframe, we had to cut scope and features out one-by-one. After creating a few design iterations based on what could be produced for MLP and reviewing with my product trio team, I began transforming my mid-fidelity wireframes into high-fidelity for both Manager (Cloud) and Agent (Agent App) workflows.

This included needing to design all Agent App screens in lite and dark mode

Manager Cloud Mid-Fi (Template Version)

Our original idea for how managers could create and manage challenges was through templates. However, our goal for MLP was to make this flow as easy-as-possible for users, so we decided to move this idea to the next/later bucket.

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Manager Cloud Mid-Fi (MLP Version)

With this iteration, managers would be able to: view the 10-15 default challenges we would provide for them, click "Create challenge", add a start and end date, add participants, and toggle "activate" to start a challenge for their agents.

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Manager Cloud Hi-Fi (MLP Version)

Agent App Mid-Fi (MLP Version)

As for the Agent App, our goal was to make the newer interface simple yet not-distracting for MLP. By adding the Activity feed, Profile, and Challenges panels, agents would be able to quickly see which challenges they were participating in, view challenge details (including how they were performing on each call), and which badges (rewards) they had unlocked (or still needed to). 

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Agent App Hi-Fi (MLP Version)

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Developer handoff

Below is a glimpse of how I prepare my Cloud (for managers) flows and Agent App (for agents) in Figma to prepare the continuous process of developer handoff.

 

For organizational purposes, I like to:

  • show a status banner for the user flows and states indicating if they are completed or in-progress.

  • separate each main flow into groups where I can better explain any changes, indicate the key action being taken, and show movements using connector arrows.

  • incorporate a "component" frame for each main flow groupings to help show any behaviors and interactions that occur within the flows

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Thanks for stopping by :)

Have questions or an opportunity you'd like to discuss with me? I'd love to hear from you!

Made with 🖤 in Fort Lauderdale, FL

UP NEXT... 

We are gearing up to conduct Pilot sessions with the first version of Balto's Gamification where we will continue to gather customer feedback and make improvements. By incorporating discovery continuously throughout our developmental process, we are able to build something that our customers want and will enjoy.