Considering travel-focused incentive programs naturally fall off our radar during this time, engagement with their loyalty program has significantly decreased. We were given the challenge to create a digital solution within a tight timeframe (5 days) to get come up with a solution to get members engaging with the Aeroplan website and mobile app every day using their existing programs, perks, benefits and partners.
To tackle this problem, we followed the Design Sprint process
Before tackling the problem, we defined assumptions we had about Air Canada and Aeroplan members. With endless assumptions, we narrowed it down to focus on:
01 People feel encouraged to use a product through gamification strategies
02 People are incentivized by rewards
03 People feel encouraged by loyalty programs to keep interacting with a brand
04 People like being part of a loyalty programs but do not know what value they get out of it
05 People don’t feel Aeroplan rewards are attainable
We then mapped a typical journey that a customer would take when engaging with loyalty programs from various brands—from sign up to redeeming points or unconsciously allowing points expire.
After defining goals, assumptions and mapping the journey, we quickly wrote up a research plan, ensuring we cover three main topics including:
01 Brief introductions to gain context of what people value in brands
02 Engagement with existing loyalty rewards programs
03 Perceptions toward Air Canada's Aeroplan
Existing members of loyalty programs
After interviewing 4 people, I mapped out insights with an affinity diagram to understand common themes and patterns.
I was then able to highlight the top 3 interview insights that would be a guiding compass throughout the sprint to refer back to when ideating on a solution.
01 People become part of loyalty programs at stores they already frequent
The main reason why people are engaged with certain loyalty programs and not others is because they already frequent those specific stores that have loyalty programs.
02 People value being part of loyalty programs because of dollar discounts
We observed that understanding the cash value of these points is very important when deciding to partake and be engaged in loyalty programs.
03 Brand options to collect and redeem points from play a huge role in engaging with Aeroplan
Customers had the perception that Aeroplan points can be collected and redeemed only through travel or purchasing from specific stores that people don't normally frequent. This was a huge deterrent and one of the reasons why they don't engage with Aeroplan that much.
With these findings, we then defined challenges and opportunities and transformed these into 'how might we' questions to help us define a problem to focus on for this sprint. Formulating "How Might We" questions were vital in focusing on a problem without being too solution focused. With our own respective HMW questions, we each voted on which problems to scope in on, then determined top themes and developed a final "How Might We" question.
Before diving into finalizing our ideas and tackling the rest of the Sprint, we had the opportunity to meet with the Air Canada team to talk about limitations and further considerations of the project to ensure we were on the right track. We were then given these guidelines:
01 The Aeroplan shop site cannot be integrated within the Air Canada app
02 We can be generous with points, but be strategic with its use
03 There is no dollar equivalent to points, these vary depending how points are used, be value-oriented rather than dollar-oriented
04 Introducing new strategies to collect points that seem easy to execute is encouraged!
With one main How Might We question to focus on and clear constraints to work with, we moved on to sketching rough ideas for our design solution.
Before sketching, we did a quick competitor analysis to understand existing patterns that are widely used by other brands, specifically focusing on brands that have engaging loyalty programs such as Shoppers, Sephora, Urban Outfitters and more.
As seen with the sketches above, our team voted on which ideas we wanted to pursue further. We were then able to condense all our ideas to a cohesive task flow and delve into storyboarding and crafting a persona.
With a solution in mind, we crafted a persona and a relatable storyline to better show how our solution helps solve problems we initially defined.
Day 4 was spent crafting a prototype and fleshing out our idea with the main features we voted on. The final output for the day was a working prototype to use and conduct one round of User Testing on.
With the help of some team members, I wrote a User Testing plan, making sure we included a specific scenario and touched on key tasks in the prototype including:
01 Finding the "7-day Challenge"
02 Completing day 1 and day 7 challenges
03 Checking updated point balance
04 Checking progress on their goal
We were able to conduct 1 round of user testing on 4 participants and gained valuable insights about our design solution.
The final day was spent presenting our solutions to the Air Canada team, which was well received! They highlighted how our initial idea was a feasible solution to implement with leveraging the "quick wins" and actions that a user can do to be a more engaged Aeroplan member.
How does our solution address the problem? Our solution:
Emphasizing where your points can take you and what you can achieve with them
Making everyday brands more visible with the Aeroplan app
Adding game mechanics to encourage you to return to the app and check off challenges
One of the most common feedback we received was whether a user can finish all tasks at once. To add intrigue, we found that locking the next task and showing inactive states for a challenge would be a more effective way to encourage re-engagement.
It was common for users to constantly seek feedback on whether or not a challenge was accomplished, which can be done by adding a simple modal indicating clear user feedback.
We found that users didn't find the challenge itself as satisfying to accomplish when they were still a while away from collecting all the points for their item goal. It would be worthwhile to revisit the challenge mechanics to make this experience better for users.
With time constraints and limitations in resources of knowing in-depth analyses of the target audience, I learned the importance and value of using assumptions strategically. Working as a group with varying perspectives there were times it was difficult to understand which direction we were headed, but setting assumptions early in the process was important to help us all move forward with an idea. The idea may or may not yet be strong nor effective, but it was important to move forward and test these assumption in the process through interviews and user testing.
As an introvert it was not always easy for me to be immediately vocal about my opinions, but maintaining an open and honest environment in the team was important to work effectively and efficiently. One strategy that was helpful for us was defining our strengths and weaknesses early on in the project to be able to lean on those and divide and conquer. Throughout the sprint, giving timely updates with our work was helpful in being able to understand whether we were on track with our project. Most importantly, starting each day with defining and refining our project goal and How Might We question was an important process when communicating our feedback and opinions.
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