Note: this text was largely written for use on the User Intelligence website, though the project no longer appears there. I worked on this project with User Intelligence.
XS4ALL is one of the oldest and leading internet service providers in the Netherlands. It stands for excellent service, secure and high-quality internet services and social engagement. Because XS4ALL has no brick-and-mortar shops, their website is their primary sales and service channel, and thus of strategic importance.
In 2013 XS4ALL changed their position and a new and improved website design was thus required. They turned to User Intelligence to define the issues, learn the customer needs, and create a website that solved them. I worked as part of the (large) team of stakeholders, designers, researchers, copywriters and developers as a visual designer (there was one other visual designer on the team).
— The website didn’t work as expected on a tablet or mobile phone.
— It was hard to find relevant product and service information on the website.
— Content too much focused on sales, and too little on service.
— The website didn’t attract enough new customers from the desired target group (freelancers and small business owners).
— The website was unable to guide new and existing customers to the relevant sales or service information.
After an agile process of designing, user testing and developing we delivered a new, distinctive XS4ALL website.
Take a look at the pay-offs from this process:
1. The design and front-end development of a fully responsive website. We designed and built this website with the tablet first-principle in mind. As a result the website looks great, functions correctly and loads quickly, no matter what device customers use.
2. One design to serve all customers. Our research showed that the desired target groups (freelancers and small business owners) have similar needs and wishes. In addition, their work and personal life is highly integrated. So we decided to integrate the consumer and business section of the old website, and design one website to serve them all.
3. A design that combined content on single pages. Our research showed that the separation of service and product information was a source of confusion for customers. They simply did not understand why they had to look at two web pages for the answer to one question. Neither did we. So we solved this by designing pages that combined all relevant content.
4. The design for a website with less pages and fewer steps. As a result, the website has become more comprehensive. Customers now need fewer steps to find the content they are looking for. Easy access to the content you need equals happy customers, which is good for business.
5. A component for guided search. To unlock the large amount of service content, we designed a guided search component. The component can be accessed from many pages, and enables customers to quickly navigate their way through all the service information. It really is very easy to operate, try it yourself at www.xs4all.nl/klantenservice.
The new design was launched in February 2014, and has resulted in:
— Customer results
— One optimal customer experience on every device.
— An easier time navigating to pages with relevant product and service information.
— Product and service pages that present relevant information in a way that matches expectations.
— A website matching the new brand position, with increased recognition amongst the desired target groups.
—Increased accessibility to online service information, for both customers and employees.
— Better and more efficient service and sales experiences, with happy customers as a result.