Client Insight: The Leading Real Estate Marketplace
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
You’re not alone.
Service Catalog bloat is a thing. It’s real. We all start with good intentions and guiding principles about what gets in the catalog, how to organize the things, and how to name them. Then Day One happens. People see the power of our catalog, accessible through a whiz-bang portal and they want to be a part. Excited by the adoption, we offer them real estate and functionality in the portal and invite them to join the party. But, their services are a little different, their needs are a little different and their users think about their services a little differently than our users think about our services. Pretty soon, the catalog drifts from the guard rails of best intentions.
Our client, a company known as the leading real estate marketplace, had ServiceNow in place for a few years. They had been using the Service Portal to access service catalog items for a while. Over time, eight departments contributed to what became a disparate, unorganized catalog of services and there was an ever-growing number of departments wanting to list their services in the portal. Plus, our client’s user base has a very high standard for web app user experiences. By all measures, the existing portal wasn’t cutting it.
Here are some key things we did in partnership with our client to increase portal adoption and improve the user experience:
We started with a great front door.
The portal entry features key design considerations like:
Put the user first. We provide the user with different options for finding information so that they can decide the path that makes the most sense to them.
Color has meaning. Bright color used infrequently points out something important.
Consistency is everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but when the buttons look the same from page to page or from web to mobile, users adopt faster.
(Left) Our client’s home page on mobile. (Right) Our client’s home page on a tablet.
We made it easy to answer: Where are my tickets?
When it came to displaying ticket information, we knew we had to escape the prison of the old portal where users had to wrestle multiple lists based on ticket type, the supplemental data was out of control and all that data was just boring to look at. Our solution was to present a unified, easily filtered list that displays meaningful information about each ticket in an easy to read format. The following image illustrates:
The use of icons to convey additional information without using words
High-contrast color is used to promote legibility
The use of user-friendly labels to speak to users in a non-technical way
(Left) Our Client’s tickets page on a tablet. (Right) ServiceNow out of box tickets on a tablet.
We made Search Results sizzle
In the former portal, search filters were clunky and complex to configure. In our custom version, there is:
More meaningful and user-friendly info about each result
A separate tab for Catalog and Ticket results
Better use of modern mobile panel components to improve the mobile display
(Left) Our client’s search results page on a tablet. (Right) ServiceNow out of box search on a tablet.
We made finding what you’re looking for easy
The original portal was dated-looking, wordy and less interesting to look at. To make finding what you’re looking for easier, we did things like:
Associate images to brand catalogs and categories (and they are easy to change!)
Add filters by category
Include numbers to tell you about what’s in the category before you click-and-commit
(Left) Our client’s filter categories page on a tablet (Right) ServiceNow out of box categories page on a tablet
So … what are they saying about the new Service Portal?
Users love the mobile-first design, easy browsing tools, and unified My Tickets lists. ServiceNow admins love how easy it is to onboard new departments and categories of service. Business partners love the sleek, modern, unified design of the overall experience. In the end, our client’s successful custom portal came down to three things:
The project team’s comfort with trying something new
We were granted time to find the best solution, not just a solutions.
We committed to simplicity (in both visual design and data architecture)
Collectively, these things moved the dial on portal adoption and user satisfaction for the organization.