Creating a better Out-of-Box Product Experience
The Sierra Wireless AirCard W801 Mobile Hotspot device enables consumers to set-up and access mobile wireless hotspots on both 3G and 4G networks. Using a mix of analytics and user experience design, OpenRoad worked with Sierra Wireless to improve the out-of-box experience of the Mobile Hotspot device.
The W801 Mobile Hotspot is targeted at consumers with varying degrees of technical expertise and experience. Preliminary feedback gathered by an online survey and customer service call trends indicated that consumers experienced difficulty with the initial set-up of the device and first time use. Product developers felt challenged with understanding this feedback, as they were far removed from the end users: the product was sold through telco channel providers that re-branded the devices themselves and owned the consumer relationship.
A poor out-of-box experience would:
- Create a bad first impression in the mind of the consumer.
- Increase costs to telecommunications providers as a result of increased calls.
- Increase the probability of returns due to customer frustration.
Therefore, the goal of the device is that any consumer should be able to purchase, set-up and use easily, without the need to call customer support.
To understand AirCard’s current experience in detail, OpenRoad worked with Sierra Wireless to create an evaluation approach that would answer some of their key questions about the interaction of the web and device interfaces. Our evaluation and testing focussed on the user experience starting at the initial set-up to the first time use.
OpenRoad was able to work with Sierra Wireless to integrate user experience design practices into the product design and development life cycle. This assured that the product was designed with the consumer in mind (building loyalty), and translated into direct cost savings for Sierra Wireless and increased customer satisfaction and retention for telco providers. Lesson learned for improving the product development lifecycle: it’s less expensive to iterate a product concept in a prototyping phase than it is during production, once the product has left the factory and is on the shelves in the hands of consumers.