Havenly’s social voting feature is a way for friends and family to provide feedback on a user’s first round of design concepts. By encouraging roommates and partners to vote and comment on these concepts, the user receives valuable input on which design direction to take from the people that matter to her the most. In addition, sharing Havenly design concepts on social media spreads brand awareness and attracts new customers to Havenly. Social voting touts a special promo code for people who interact with the feature to encourage them to start a Havenly design of their own.
In this case study, I'll walk through key steps in my product process.
Note: To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study. This information in this case study does not necessarily reflect the views of Havenly.
The idea for this feature came out of a cross-functional brainstorming session on “sharing.” Our goal was to answer the following: “How might we encourage users to share Havenly? How can we make Havenly go viral?” I facilitated this session by providing interesting examples of sharing from inspiring companies, and asked people to pair up to sketch some of their favorite ideas.
One concept that arose was the “design squad.” People rarely decorate alone. They likely share their space with a roommate or partner who should have some input on design choices. And, if someone lives alone, they’re still likely to ask advice on design decisions (especially on purchasing big-ticket items) from friends and family. What if users could invite their “squad” along on their entire Havenly journey? Their squad could help provide advice, validate decisions, and collaborate on the design process. Users would share Havenly with their networks to garner this input, which would in turn, attract new customers to Havenly.
Once we got consensus for the “design squad” idea, I decided to execute the concept in a lightweight way by testing it out on just the first round of design ideas. If it performed well, we could start weaving in the design squad concept to the rest of the design process, eventually allowing friends and family to collaborate with the user from start to finish.
We built out the social voting feature in one week with one backend and one frontend developer. It received 126 votes after 3 months, which is substantial considering the feature was difficult to discover, and we provided no marketing support for it.
My next step for this feature would be to make it easily discoverable. Although there is a sticky bar at the bottom of the main design page driving people to social voting, users must stumble upon this main design page during a short window of time. Because of the way this first "ideas" step was built, it’s not as legitimized as the subsequent design steps: users don’t receive email notifications that their design ideas have arrived, and the designer will move onto the next step whether the user has provided feedback or not. By legitimizing this first step, we can send communication to users that their ideas are ready for feedback, and that they can ask friends and family to help provide that feedback.