In the first in a series of blogs, we discuss how Veriff approaches design, and how this helps our partners welcome even more honest customers.
Heidi Taperson, October 6th, 2020
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I believe that design is inherently optimistic and helps to tackle some of the most complex business problems.
At Veriff, our approach to design is systematic as well as data-driven. That means our design language is consistent, we use design systems and patterns, we measure the impact of our design (I’ll talk more about that in a later blog post) and we make decisions based on the data we have collected.
First and foremost - everything around design is about understanding the problem. Every project or task starts with a deeper look into the problem we are trying to solve. It involves collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, then synthesizing and analyzing the information. Once we have an understanding of the problem, we can move on to the next phase where we come up with potential solutions, pick out one (or two) and build it.
We used to encounter a problem where conversion rates in our desktop web were a lot lower compared to conversion rates in mobile web. So, less users were getting verified when they were going through verification in our desktop web flow. In some cases, the difference was up to 30%. It was clear that we needed to improve the user experience on the desktop, right? Because that’s what the numbers showed us. However, we decided to go further and get a clear picture of the problem, to understand the root cause - so we dug in.
What we discovered while collecting and analyzing the data, was that the quality of desktop cameras (your average computer webcam) was lower compared to mobile phone cameras. Therefore, photos taken of ID documents (ID cards, passports, driver’s licenses) on webcams were often blurry and hard to read, understandably affecting the conversion rates.
Without this seemingly small discovery, we could have kept fixing something that could not be fixed. Of course, there's always room for improvement which is why we constantly experiment and strive to improve the overall experience on desktop as well as mobile.
In my experience, it's often easy to jump into a solution that hasn’t been defined first. Understanding user problems is the most important step in one's design process. Ideally, the time between research and development should be split 50/50.
With the example above, we've now reached the development phase in our design process where we try to come up with solutions to the problem.
After brainstorming and mocking up ideas, we decided to try out something we now call Mobile Fallback. Based on the camera quality, we either let the user proceed on desktop or recommend them using their mobile device. In order to do so, we give the user a link they can send themselves via SMS, or a QR code which can be scanned to open the link on another device.
Results have been excellent - we're offering a better experience without continuous hiccups caused by the poor quality of photos. By understanding the problem, we managed to increase the overall conversion rate by almost 5%.
Designers are often called problem solvers and that's true. However, design is not only about solving problems - it’s about being passionate and curious, challenging every idea. But also, taking into account the company’s business goals and objectives in order to have a deeper understanding of the users, the product and the problems.