Fivestars is a loyalty system that enables businesses to attract and retain customers and convert potential clients by providing them with rewards for their brand loyalty. Trusted by more than 10,000 local businesses, Fivestars has the tools to help businesses create powerful incentives that drive customer visits and increase their spending by up to 10% at every instance.
Critical to that promise is the ability to retrieve valuable data that helps the businesses identify their customers' preferences, spending habits, and visit trends. The merchant dashboard provides the tools for these business owners to create effective, customized rewards programs to attract existing and new customers. I was part of the team to build the dashboard from the ground up by understanding the small business owners' expectations and needs in order to use the platform effectively to get their customers back in the door.
The dashboard redesign and launch saw an increase of 138% user engagement. Some lessons I learned along the way:
Simplicity: Small business owners are busy—this revealed itself over and over again through the course of this project. Their time scarcity leaves little flexibility to learn new tools and technology. I leveraged the users' existing tech knowledge and used simple, encouraging messages in the UI as often as possible.
Collaborating with a Product Manager: At the start of the project, Fivestars did not have any PMs. About two months in, a PM joined and implemented a much needed structure and timelines, keeping Design + Engineering on track.
Mobile Everything: Related to the above, our research found that small business owners are rarely in front of their computers, and when they are, it's usually for accounting purposes. Frequently, business owners would task one of their managers to oversee their marketing campaigns. A top wishlist item was the ability to send messages via a mobile app or within their point-of-sale system.
Maintaining a design system: Towards the completion of this project, we hired a Head of Design, another Product Designer, and 3 interns seemingly all at once. The team quickly realized that we needed a cohesive design system. I spearheaded the updates and set guidelines for maintaining the design system for the future.