Interface for public service
Short summary of the project:
Team: a manager, an analyst, an interaction designer, a copywriter

September 2014

Duration: 2 months

Workload: 3 screen

orders doubled, bounce rate dropped three times
FASTVPS is an international hosting provider, one of the largest in Russia. The company hosts 240 thousand sites around the world and approximately 5% of all sites in Russian segment of the Internet. In a market where customers are using a countless number hostings, this is a considerable achievement.
When the trees were great and the Internet was small, programmers provided hosting to other programmers. Old FASTVPS website was great for this kind of situation. However, the hosting market has changed in 10 years. Now not only hard core geeks create sites, but most regular people do it as well.
Traffic from the Habrahabr blog and other professional forums converted nicely. But the visitors who came from Yandex search and through contextual advertising, didn't hurry to become clients. FASTVPS came up with a hypothesis that the site should be adapted to the ordinary people. That is to simplify it. At the same time, we shouldn't lose the image in the professional community.
When there is a nice hypothesis and understandable risk you should do Landing. FASTVPS created landing pages without complex technical descriptions, and began to advertise them for general inquiries. The conversion increased, the hypothesis was confirmed. Landing is a temporary solution in essence. There's a high cost to attract customers, and you can promote only through direct advertising. So, the company applied for a full-fledged prototypes of the site. Simple enough for mass client and sufficiently informative for geeks.
Upsides and downsides

— Clear objective
— The customer is not required to come with a crystal clear understanding of the result. But isn't it nice to work with already confirmed hypothesis?


— Typical service
— There's only one solution for this type of projects - "sit down and start working." There are no reveletions. The result will be quite simple.

All simple tasks have one dangerous feature. No, it's not a sudden complication, though it happens sometimes, there is something more subtle and insidious. You may want to cut corners and to simplify the process - to throw out unnecessary steps, because everything is clear. But our experience tells us not to do such things.

Conversion is one thing, what do the users want? We talked to users and specified the hypothesis.
1. As a rule, regular users don't know anything about web hosting and do not want to deal with it.
2. Ten different plans is too many. People can't choose.
3. Most people choose by price, they don't want to overpay.
But we also remember that we have a digital savvy customers. The list of portraits with user expectations was contradictory. Egor from Thailand is interested in slashdot-effect, Yana from Germany asked which plan would be best for her online store.

We think
Two heads are better than one, however, according to the methodology there should be at least three heads. We had a brainstorm on the topic "hitting two birds with one stone", discussed it with the client and chose the following solution. It's not so scary for an ordinary customer to see some unfamiliar words. Only if there is an answer to the question "So, what do I do?".
Basically, we have came up with a simple hosting selection service. On the main page, the customer types in his website address, the computer evaluates the site based on seven parameters and offers a choice of three suitable plans. As usual: minimum, optimal and maximum.

And what about those who do not have any hosting? Well, in fact, this is a little less interesting group of customers, as they either have to choose the cheapest rate, or chat with online consultant.

We design and write texts
We only needed to design three pages and write some text – the client decided to keep the content from the old site. There was no adventures, no revelations. Just calm methodical work, the results of which, by the way, clearly show the difference between interaction design and web design. The value of the result is not in the pictures, but in detailed specifications for developers. Answering all their questions like «what needs to be developed?», «where do we place it?», and «why do we need it?».
The orders from search traffic doubled, the bounce rate dropped by one third. The budget for the promotion did not change. The satisfied customer ordered three more projects.
Now I can definitely say that the new site did what it was supposed to: orders doubled comparing to last year. Bounce rate for visitors from search engines dropped by one third - to 15%. And this is despite the fact that the traffic of our Russian website decreased because of the crisis. I absolutely do not regret paying money for this!
Pavel Gavrilin
The company owner
You don't need to seek a wow-solution for simple tasks. Despite the simplicity, it is necessary to follow the methodology. And then there are all the chances for the wow-effect.

P.S. Prior to the publication, we showed this case to the customer. This is the first time when it took 15 minutes for a client to review the case.

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