Case Study - Redesigning the Dell 'IdeaStorm' Landing page
Innovating with your customers is no easy task but it can be highly rewarding when companies are able to do it effectively and for long periods of time. Dell are one of those companies, who have been actively working with their customers to gather suggestions and ideas on how to improve its services and products. They have been doing this on a platform called IdeaStorm since 2007.
Whilst this is a popular example of open innovation, an example that many companies use as a benchmark for success, I've always found it to have a number of fundamental issues, specifically associated with the design but also the process. Having previously worked in Idea Management, I've always been tempted to redesign some of these well know platforms, so today, I decided to embark on a redesign of the IdeaStorm landing page.
The current IdeaStorm Landing Page:
What's wrong with the current landing page
To kick the redesign process off, I started with a basic Heuristic Analysis of the current IdeaStorm landing page. This well known User Experience Design technique is a great way to kick off any redesign work. For this I took a screenshot of the current page and highlighted all the issues I could find. I could of gone into a lot more detail but as this was just a quick case study, I kept it simple.
Let the redesign begin
Before I started with any design work, I listed all the key elements from the IdeaStorm page onto my Whiteboard. Although I might not end up using all of them, this method creates a reference of all the elements that will be considered in my redesign. They are then listed in order of importance.
Normally I would start things off with hand drawn sketches but as this was quite a specific redesign, where I wasn't really changing the main 'structure', I decided to jump into Balsamiq and throw some thoughts onto a page. Here is what I came up with after some playing around:
Turning my wireframe into a high fidelity mockup
The improvements I've made
As noted in my heuristic analysis above, there were a number of things I wanted to address. Here are the things I think have been significantly improved:
- The page now has some balanced spacing. It feels fresh & free unlike the cluttered current version
- A lot more emphasis and contrast on the call to action "create idea" button. People won't miss it now, whilst still keeping the flow and not taking over the page
- Bringing the amazing stats to life. IdeaStorm has some impressive stats and yet in the current design they are so small. Now they are a focal point, reminding people how active this community is
- Removing the dual idea lists and allowing people to choose. I'd need to do some more research on this but I feel that the best default is to show people recent ideas. I feel like showing a constant flow of ideas is important. Trending ideas/Featured ideas can be worked in above if needed.
- Tidied up the cluttered contributor section. Nothing too amazing here, just made things a little neater
- Added in a getting started guide
- Brought the search inline with idea content
- Although I've not really improved the 'tagline' I've brought in a little more depth to the initial taglines that users will see
So, that's that. I'm pretty happy with this new design and I honestly believe that doing something like this would have a significant impact on engagement. I've not even touched the surface in terms of UI/UX enhancements but hopefully this will highlight how easy it would be to make significant improvements to this page.Tweet