The bulk of our clients at GetThru are primarily promoting political candidates and ballot measures. With 2020 being a huge election year in the U.S., we wanted to assure the messenger was functioning at its absolute best.
Because of the updates previously made to the admin dashboard, the messenger branding and user interface were out of date. The mobile and tablet versions of the messenger also had bugs that made it almost unusable on a mobile device.
Role: Product Designer
Dates: Spring 2020
In the year of one of the most important elections of our lifetime, the product team at GetThru wanted to ensure that our app was prepared for the higher than normal usage and traffic. We also wanted to fix all bugs and broken UI elements to help decrease the load on our already busy support team.
With 20% of our traffic to the messenger coming from mobile devices and negative feedback from users on our mobile site, it was a top priority to make fixes to these areas.
Message sending volunteer for political campaigns and advocacy groups
Annual giving director for colleges, universities, private schools or non-profits.
Our Messenger is mainly designed for users who volunteer or are assigned to send text messages to a targeted group. In updating the messenger, we must also keep in mind how the messenger functions in relation to the admin portal. We need to assure administrators are able to provide and gather the data they require.
Should function smoothly and without bugs on all devices.
Messenger should feel familiar and easy to use for first-time users.
Branding should feel consistent to admin portal.
User Interviews on Existing Messenger
Wireframes & Initial Mock-ups/Prototypes
User Interviews on New Messenger
Revisions and Files Ready for Devs
Front End Dev Adjustments
Final Live Messenger
The Messenger is used by thousands of people a day, and our sales and support team hear lots of feedback on issues that users run into. Because of this, we wanted to start by asking some of our users directly what issues they’d like to see fixed or changed. By doing this, we were able to validate the things we already knew were pain points or broken.
A few pieces of feedback were:
• The messenger barely functions on mobile. Many admins suggest not using our app a mobile device.
• Message senders sometimes forget to collect survey data
• If an admin creates many recommended replies for senders to use, they can sometimes be difficult to sort through.
Because we had our updated branding and navigation, we had a pretty good idea of how we wanted to lay out the pieces of the messenger, and jumped right into designing. It was also important to keep the feel of the messenger familiar since we were coming up on a huge election year. We wanted to help customers avoid having to re-train all their volunteers.
We used the admin side navigation space for contact names and added a right panel for surveys, replies and overall campaign info.
Since there were many complaints about the mobile version of this portion of the app, we also cleaned up the navigation and created a special navigation for mobile and tablet.
The goal of our second round of interviews was primarily to validate the instincts we had from our initial interviews. We had some feedback on small items, but overall, users found the updates to be intuitive.
The bulk of our revisions at this state were around tablet and mobile layouts of the messenger. We created a bottom navigation based on the material design framework and worked to create fly out sidebars that would make it easier for a user to navigate through their contacts and collect data.
At this point in the timeline of the company, the design team was fairly new. This meant that there was still a lot of work to be done when it came to designer/developer handoffs and collaboration.
Our front end devs were tied up at this point with larger projects, so this allowed me the opportunity to get in and make the mostly basic front end edits I needed. It was fantastic experience to get to jump into the code and apply the html and css experience I had learned in previous years.
I have always felt like these skills have made me a better designer, because I’m aware of the challenges a front end dev may encounter and can design with their needs in mind.
Within the ThruText app, these users are labeled as “administrators” and create and manage campaigns, groups and the users that send text messages.
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