Redesigning an online style quiz to convert leads

Creating design solutions for converting leads into customers on a fashion brand's style quiz, to decrease drop-off and increase conversion rates.

Business Goal

The existing website's style quiz was lacking in visual hierarchy, which may lead to high drop-off and low conversion. The goal was to increase lead generation.

My Role

In this hypothetical project, as a Product Designer, I carried out research, usability audit, and created wireframes of design solutions.

Project Overview

Short Story is an online platform that helps women 5’4 and under get easy access to petite clothing with beautifully curated subscription boxes. As a new user, I was excited to dive into this.

Short Story’s customer journey includes one critical entry point that helps with converting a visitor into a customer: their Style Quiz. This is the customer's first touchpoint before they receive their curated box.

In this case study, I’ll detail the process of
improving their style quiz experience to not only increase onsite conversions, but also create an easy and efficient process for new users.

How will improving the style quiz process contribute to business goals for Short Story?

The Challenge

After conducting an initial usability audit, I found a key area of focus:
⏰ The time it takes to complete the quiz. There were ~46 screens, and it took me about 20 minutes to complete.

To channel my focus further, I used a user story:
As a first time user, I want to complete the quiz quickly, so that I can start receiving my box.

Now, however there was a challenge that came up...

I had to balance business and user goals. How can we meet these two in the middle?

Balancing business goals and user needs

Business Goal
What does the business want to accomplish?
  • Short Story needs detailed data from customers to help their stylists better curate boxes for them; ultimately to increase onsite conversion of leads into customers
User Goal
What about the user's experience can we improve?
  • But at the same time, users want to complete the quiz quickly, or just simply don’t have the time

How might we keep the required quiz criteria as-is, yet still help motivate users to complete the quiz with less friction?

Proposed Design Solutions using Psychology Principles

My proposed solutions integrated these three key psychology design principles: 
1. Cognitive load
2. Zeigarnik effect
3. User freedom and control

Below I sketched a low-fidelity wireframe in order to explore these ideas further.

Cognitive Load

Cognitive load is the amount of effort that is exerted or required while reasoning and thinking for users.
When cognitive load is high, thought processes are potentially interfered with.

Originally the form on some screens have long text only, which increases cognitive load by making users read through every single line. Every option almost ends up looking the same.

If we introduce visual hierarchy with the use of icons and an easy scannable layout, then this will help users easily digest the information requested - thereby freeing up more cognitive space to answer questions more easily.

The less effort we put on a user’s mind, the less friction there will be and ultimately, more ease of use.

"It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice. "
- Steven Krug, Don't Make Me Think

Zeigarnik Effect

Zeigarnik Effect is a psychology design principle that when a user sees a complex task unfinished, they are more likely to remember it. Thereby, users are more likely to be motivated to complete that task.

If we take a look at the original screens, they did have a progress bar, however there was no indication/signifier to forecast how many pages a user would need to dedicate their time to completing this quiz. Having this will show the user not only where they are in the quiz, but also provide them more control over their decision-making and their time.

My proposed hypothesis would be - if we create a progress bar in tandem with a “page summary” text label, then this will help motivate users to complete the quiz.

User freedom and control - usability heuristic

This principle states: Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue, according to Jakob Nielsen’s usability heuristics.

With life many of us get distracted unexpectedly - it’s inevitable. The average office worker receives around 121 emails every workday. Imagine on top of that, notifications bombarding our phones from left to right.

Allowing the user to come back later, gives them more freedom and control. We’re empowering our users by giving them more options. This furthermore will increase their trust in the brand - Short Story cares and understands! Life happens 🤷🏻

To avoid losing users’ work, systems need to determine the user’s intent — cancel or close — and provide clear options. Here, I took it a step further by providing a clear CTA copy for the button as “Save & Exit," providing a dual-option of saving and exiting.

Jaycee Day's talk from Config 2023 furthermore reinforces this idea that if a brand shows they care by encouraging even taboo areas of a product, such as cancellations, with providing valuable content (reminders) to their customers, this will ultimately increase trust - amplifying the overall long-term customer loyalty.

If we give users easy access to return to the quiz at their previous “left-spot,” then they are more likely to complete the quiz.

Next Steps

With these features working in tandem, first time users will receive a fluid and easy experience using Short Story's style quiz to signup for their first box.

The onboarding experience for new users is a crucial flow in a customer's journey, especially in setting up new users for success. With businesses integrating quizzes into their onboarding process, they'll need to pay extra attention to how they can best balance time and content together.

I would take the following next steps to continue refining my solution and improving conversion rate:

  • Expand on other screens within the style quiz experience and process
  • Ongoing usability tests to improve time-on-task
  • Iterate on the “Save & Exit” feature, explore more variations of the progress bar feature

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