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Evaluating the purchase experience for the Hapi Talker app 

Background

The Hapi app is an emotional support app that anonymously connects people to listeners whenever they need someone to talk to. 

In July 2022, I took on the role of the customer support lead (Hapi Care), facilitating communication with customers and providing product assistance. During my communication with customers, I noticed a significant number of refund requests for accidental purchases. In addition, there were an increased amount of disputed charges through our payment processes. Consequently, the company incurred expenses from processing refunds, dealing with payment disputes, and time spent investigating these disputes. 

Given these circumstances, the purpose of this project is to focus on the current purchasing user experience to gain insights into the factors contributing to the high volume of refund requests. 

By understanding the user experience during the purchase process, we aim to identify pain points, usability issues and any other underlying causes that may lead to customer dissatisfaction and subsequent refund requests. Our findings for this research will guide us in optimizing the purchasing user experience, reduce the number of refund requests, and improve overall customer satisfaction. 

Problem Statement

The current purchasing user flow in the Hapi Talker app leads user to unintentionally purchase minutes, causing frustration, refund requests, charge disputes and a loss of trust in the app. Our objective is to thoroughly analyze the existing purchasing user flow to identify and address the issues users are facing, enabling us to enhance the user experience and ensure a smoother payment process on the Hapi app. 

Objectives

One

To gain an understanding of the factors that prompts users to make a purchase. 

Two

To determine and understand the step-by-step process that users follow to make a purchase. 

Three

To identify and uncover any issues or pain points that users encounter during their journey when making a purchase. 

Methodology

1

User Interview

We aim to explore user motivations, preferences, decision-making process, and overall experience using the Hapi Talker app. 

2

Task Analysis

We want to learn the user's path to purchase by examining user behavior, interaction, and decision-making patterns at different stages of the purchase journey. 

3

Heuristic Evaluation

We want to identify any usability and design issues in the purchase flow so that we can make improvements to the overall user experience. 

User Interviews

Participants were recruited through email or Slack and were invited to participate in an interview conducted on Google Meets. The purpose of the interview was to gather insights about their overall experience using the app, as well as their specific experience during the purchase process. Only users who had requested refunds after making a purchase were selected for interviews. 

A total of 5 users were interviewed, and during the interview, the primary objective was to:

  1. Understand when users decided to make a purchase, including the factors and considerations that influenced their decision.

  2. Assess whether or not users knew about the payment plan they were currently on

  3. Whether they were aware of the specific payment plan they had chosen. 

Through asking these questions, we aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the the purchasing behavior of the users and gain insight into their preferences.  

Insights: User Interviews

Lack of awareness about auto-purchase plan

Users, particularly new users and infrequent app users, were unaware that they opted into the auto-purchase plan. This suggests a lack of clarity or visibility in regards to the automatic purchase feature. This led users to unintentionally make additional purchases without their awareness, specifically during a call with a Hapi Listener. 

Difficulties with purchase confirmation

When users attempted to purchase more time on the app, they experienced uncertainty regarding whether their purchase was successful or not.  One user mentioned that the payment screen did not look like a typical payment screen. 

Auto-charging before the call ends

Users who were alerted about their remaining time attempted to end the call before their last minute ran out to avoid being auto-charged. However, despite their efforts, the auto-charge feature was triggered before the call ended, resulting in users being charged for additional time. 

Talker

“I ended my call before the automatic charge was applied. I was not on the call longer from the prompted message but I was still charged"

Talker/Listener

"I accidently purchased more time trying to walk one of the talkers on how to purchase more time in order to continue our call "

Talker

“I was trying to end the call when it automatically charged me. I heard the notification but I didn't know it was going to automatically charge or else I would have ended the call 5 minutes prior”

Task Analysis

The goal of performing the task analysis was to gain valuable insight into how users are able to complete a purchase in the Talker app. 

Users were asked to navigate the Talker app and provide a step-by-step walkthrough of the process they followed when attempting to add more time to their current balance. This objective aimed to gain insights into the user flow and identify any potential usability issues or areas of confusion during the purchasing process. 

In addition, participants were prompted to share their experiences and indicate at what point during their usage of the app they decided to purchase more time. 

Insights: Task Analysis

Unclear purchase page

Users reported confusion and difficulties when trying to navigate the purchase page. The layout or design of the page made it unclear how to select the desired items to make a purchase, resulting in a less intuitive user experience. 

Unnatural toggling between packages

Users found it unnatural to toggle between different packages or options when attempting to select what they wanted to purchase. 

Expectation of a final payment screen

Users expected that after tapping the "Confirm" button to complete their purchase, they would be directed to a final payment screen displaying comprehensive details of the transaction. However, instead of a dedicated screen, they were presented with a simple pop-up confirmation displaying the purchase details and the amount charged. 

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Heuristic Evaluation

A heuristic evaluation of the purchasing user flow was conducted after analyzing and collecting insights from the user interviews.

 

This allowed us to evaluate the current purchase flow against established usability standards to help us identify any usability deviations and shortcomings. Performing a heuristic evaluation can help us prioritize improvements, enhancing the user experience, and overall satisfaction during purchasing process. 

Insights: Heuristic Evaluation

Inadequate Visibility of System Status

The evaluation revealed that the visibility of system status during the purchasing process was lacking. Users were not provided with clear feedback in regards to the progress of their purchase. 

Consistency & Standards

The purchase screen did not resemble a typical cart or selection screen where users can choose which items they want to purchase. This inconsistency with standard design patterns or user expectations may lead to confusion and a less intuitive user experience. 

As mentioned earlier, the purchasing screen did not align with the typical layout or design of a purchasing page that users would expect when making online or in-app purchases. This deviation can create uncertainty and make users unsure about the specific action they are confirming when tapping the "Confirm" button.

Inadequate error prevention mechanism

The evaluation revealed that the purchasing user flow lacked an effective error prevention system as users were not provided any guidance to prevent any accidental purchases.

The "Confirm" button did not provide sufficient clarity in regards to the final purchase action. Previously, users expressed uncertainty about what exactly they were confirming, which lead to unintended purchases. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the collected insights from the the user interviews, task analysis and heuristic evaluation provided a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and areas for improvement in the purchasing user flow. 

The user interviews revealed issues such as the user's lack of awareness of the auto-purchase plan. 

The task analysis shed light on the unclear purchase page and user's confusion about what they were confirming during the purchase process. 

Lastly, the heuristic evaluation uncovered inconsistencies in the resemblance to standard purchasing pages and inadequate visibility fo system status. 

These insights revealed a few usability issues in the purchasing user flow in which we can prioritize and create action items to enhance and refine th user experience. 

Recommendations include improving communication and transparency in regards to the auto-purchase plan, providing clear feedback and confirmation during the purchase process, and ensuring consistency with standard design patterns. 

By implementing these improvements, we can create a more intuitive, seamless and trust worthy purchasing experience. 

Next Steps

To enhance the current UX experience for the purchase flow, several opportunities for improvement have been identified based on our research.

  • Set the purchase plan to "off" 

    • Disabled auto-purchase plan, and allows user to opt-in if they desired. 

    • Implement a clear option for users to disable the auto-purchase plan. This empowers users with the ability control their purchasing behavior and prevents unintentional or unwanted purchaes.

  • Improve auto-charge timing

    • Ensure that the auto-charge feature is accurately timed and activated only after the user's call has ended. This will prevent users from being unexpectedly charged for additional time when they intended to end the call.

  • UX/UI Redesign 

    • Simplify the layout and design of the purchase page to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. 

    • Clear visual cues, proper grouping of options, and concise instructions to help users understand and navigate the page more effectively. 

    • A dedicated final payment screen after purchase to meet users expectations and enhance transparency. 

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