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Elizabeth Hunt » Open Forum
  • Create Tools for Busy Entrepreneurs

Challenge
Small-business owners are busy people dedicated to making their businesses successful. To do that, they need tools and services that are fast and easy to use.

Solution
With the OPEN Forum website, American Express offers small-business owners a place to learn what works (and what doesn't) for other small business owners.

Contribution

Create a Profile

Based on site data, we could see that few OPEN Forum users completed their profile pages. But the data also showed that completed profiles led to more profile views that, in turn, led to more opportunities for connection and collaboration between small business owners.

To encourage users to complete their profiles, we transformed the profile creation and editing process. Rather than focusing on completing it all at once, we presented each profile section as a small "step" that could be completed quickly, independently, and easily.

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Completed Profile

In each profile section, users can see example content created by other small‑business owners. For busy entrepreneurs, this content helped them jumpstart their own content.

The Profile Completion pie chart shows the user not only how much they've completed, but also provides advice about what to do next.

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Mobile Landing Page

On this project, our team also brought the desktop OPEN Forum experience to life in the mobile context. OPEN Forum Mobile offers users all the great features they can find on the desktop website—from connecting to other small business owners to reading business advice from industry experts to following OPEN Forum Twitter updates.

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Mobile Features

On the mobile site, users are able to find and connect to other small business owners. They're able to search for business owners by location, industry, or by what the business seeks or provides. They can also easily browse and find content from industry experts.

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Mobile Article

Users can share any article on OPEN Forum Mobile using their favorite mobile share tools. Users can also comment on any article either by logging in with their American Express ID or with their LinkedIn ID.

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Overview
I was the Lead UX Designer on a number of OPEN Forum initiatives while at CPB. As the UX Lead, I led the usability testing and design work, as well as managed the work of other UX designers on larger projects.

UX - Start Creating a Profile

Our primary goal with the redesign of the profile section was to simplify as much as possible so that users could quickly complete the major content sections.

Here any incomplete (or not‑yet‑started) sections are marked with a larger font size and bold icons to help users focus attention on the parts that still need to be completed.

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UX - Adding Content to Profile

We initially designed an inline editing experience. But our research quickly showed that users were uncomfortable with the absence of control buttons like "Save."

We simplified the experience so users have clear control over deleting, saving, and publishing content while in "create" or "edit" mode.

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UX - Content Added

After the user saves or publishes a content section, they can edit its content by hovering over a section to reveal the "Edit" button. Clicking the "Edit" button opens the content in "edit" mode.

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UX - Create Profile Assistant

Users who want more guidance for completing their profile can use the Create Profile Assistant. The assistant guides the user through each step of creating a profile and provides tips and examples along the way.

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