UX update on a site that provides SaaS Sales training and job placement.

3-Week Sprint
April 2021
My Role
UX Design Lead
Karem Ewings (Team Manager)
Chaneé Grant (Research Lead)

Project Brief

Aspireship provides on-demand training in SaaS sales through an online portal, and graduates of the program receive assistance with job placement. 

Skilled SaaS sales representatives are in high demand at the moment. In fact, they are so in demand that Aspireship’s partner companies are willing to subsidize the cost of online SaaS Sales training in exchange for access to high-quality graduates. Through these subsidies, there is no cost to students who graduate the program within 30 days. It is free, there’s no catch. 

Problem / Opportunity
Aspireship has seen a plateau in the rate of user signups. There is an opportunity to research how users interact with the site, and make improvements that will increase sign-up rates.

User Research

Before we could start working on solutions, our group needed to properly frame the problem, through the eyes of the user. In what ways does the current Aspireship site work well, and where does the site fall short of meeting user needs and expectations?

Five usability tests were conducted to help answer these questions.

Findings from Usability Testing

When first experiencing the site, users had an overall positive reaction. Users like the aesthetics of the site, but reported a low level of confidence in signing up for the Aspireship program. Blockers can be summed up in two main categories:

Unanswered Questions: Users reported wanting to know more about the curriculum, how Aspireship would help with job placement, and data on success rates. 

Distrust of Pricing: Users reported not believing that the service was actually free. 100% of users thought that there would be hidden fees, that the service was a scam, or that there was a hidden catch somewhere. 

The good news is that Aspireship can provide answers to all of these questions, and the service genuinely is free to the user. How can we better convey this information, and work to build trust with the user? Let us consider the site experience from their perspective.

4 out of 5 people could not find the information they were looking for.

5 out of 5 people do not trust that the service is actually free.

Mapping The Current User Experience

To better see the website through the eyes of our user, our group mapped the path, or "journey" taken by the typical person as they browse the site. The simplified map (shown on the right) is based on data from Google Analytics, and insights gained through user testing.

Check out this PDF report if you'd like to get to know our user better, see the full journey map, and dive into the thought process driving their actions.

Persona & User Journey [PDF]

On the current site, according to Google Analytics data, only 5% of users who visit the Aspireship website sign up for the program. What's holding back the other 95% of users?

Trusting the value of Aspireship’s programs is challenging for aspiring SaaS sales students because they don't have access to the right information to feel confident in making a decision.

Building Confidence Through Improved Information Architecture

When a user comes to this site, it means they are likely looking to get into into SaaS Sales. Changing careers is a big decision, but even the smallest details can determine how that decision is navigated, and whether or not the user will choose to go with Aspireship. 

Every time a user clicks a button, and that button doesn’t act as expected, it undermines confidence. 

Updating how the information is laid out on the site, and minimizing what was presented in the top level navigation allows for a more intuitive navigation.

Changing some of the language to more accurately reflect the content helped users better understand what Aspireship is offering. For example Classes was changed to Courses to more accurately represent the program. Another example is the Pricing page was eliminated, and this content was integrated into the flow of the Courses page.

Each decision our group made about architecture and language was the direct result of research, and every design iteration was validated with user testing.

We asked users helped organize content on the site in a way they thought most intuitive. Through conducting a series of three card sorts (one open and two closed) with a total number of 32 users, we were able to organize the high-level information according to an architecture that is intuitive to the majority of people visiting the site. 

Now when users click a button they see what they expect to see. Each additional click on the site helps build confidence that Aspireship’s SaaS sales training course is the right decision. 

Building Trust Through Clear Communication

Imagine you're visiting a site and the product is advertised as free. Does it sound like a good value? Would you trust it?

Original Pricing Section

100% of people interviewed did not trust that the service is actually free.

The original pricing section, the Free version and the Pro version are presented side by side. Users interpreted these as two distinct programs, but didn't understand the difference, other than the price.

First Revision

We created a low-fidelity prototype that reduced the section to its most basic visual components. The two Free and Pro Get Started buttons from the original site design both lead to the same page.

User testing revealed that the structure of how the information was presented lead users to make an incorrect assumption about the relationship between the two sections.

Final Version

In the final version, there is only one Get Started button, and users are able to more easily understand that the 30 Day Trial is Aspireship Pro.

The word “free” is left out all together because, as user testing revealed, this word can trigger distrust in users.

By making these research-driven changes, we were able to more clearly communicate the pricing structure, and inspire trust in our users.

Telling A Story

The more we refined and tested, the more consistently we got positive feedback on the site. 

Through this iterative testing and refinement, a story began to emerge, one that anticipated questions that users would ask, and presented them the right information at the right time.

Users reported enjoying the experience, and felt confident that they had everything they needed to sign up for Aspireship.

Final Design

We built an interactive version of the final design that was presented to the client.

You're welcome to view the final design through this link:

View Interactive Prototype

Please note that only the Home Page, Courses, Get Hired, and About Us are developed. The other pages were outside of our scope for this three-week project.

Next Steps

As of May 2021, Aspireship is currently incorporating these findings and design recommendations into their current site. We are eagerly awaiting analytics results to see how the new design will impact sign-up rates. 

Stay tuned for updates!