Portfolio: Carbonite — Restore Manager, design & usabillity study
Carbonite provides automated, off-site backup. Once you install it, you never have to think about it again...
...until you need your files back.
Management realized that they could improve the customer experience and improve the bottom line by redesigning the process for restoring all the files from a computer. (You'd use this for recovery after a hard drive crash, or to load your files onto a new computer.)
The new process starts with a clear explanation and reassurance:
Business goals and user goals co-incided well:
- Tense users. Did you ever lose all of your files? An upset, tense user was one of the main design considerations: someone who wants files back, and now!
- Rushed users. That customer might be going to a presentation, a class or an interview and need a few files back imediately, before the rest are restored.
- A simpler process. The old restore process had dozens of pages, and they varied in appearance. This made the process seem longer and confusing. There are far fewer pages now, and the flow is more logical and reassuring.
- Business goals. On the business side, a smoother process could save money by decreasing support calls. This would free up the excellent support staff for other calls. And, of course, a better restore process means happier customers who renew and make referrals.
The design process
Carbonite has a great UI design group, so it was easy to develop a project plan:
- User and business requirements set the direction.
- A workflow diagram helped us understand all possible paths.
- Quick sketches demonstrated initial design ideas.
- An interactive prototype brought the sketches to life.
- A review with Customer Support took advantage of their knowledge of customer needs and problems.
- Optimizing for a quick path through the Restore Manager (accepting all defaults) and for a detailed path (where the user modifies many of the choices) helped fine-tune the design.
- Reviewing again with Support got us ready for development and usability testing.
- A usability study showed some areas for refinement in an alpha release.
- A final usability study helped refine the Restore Manager for release.
The new design
Features of the new design:
- All screens have the same layout and graphics. This limits the distraction of screens that look like they come from another process altogether.
- Users can specify files that should be restored immediately.
- There are fewer questions and less knowledge of the product is required.
- Improved feedback includes overall progress and progress for each file as it's restored.
More screens from the new design:
Customers can ask for crucial files to be restored immediately
can choose to change which accounts files go to
Overall progress and progress of individual files can reassure users
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