Gift Reminder Program

Role: Research, UX, UI, Design Sprint Facilitator
Timeline: 1.5 months (V1)

With our busy lifestyles, there are important events that we may sometimes forget about. Even if we have our Facebook account to remind us about our friends and loved one's birthday. At Man Crates we knew there must be a better solution, that's why we wanted to create a tool to capture those important events and remind our customers about their next upcoming gift occasions. This tool had to capture relationships and the occasions related to each relationship so that we can remind gift givers through their email.



At Man Crates we already had an MVP of a gift reminder using Typeform, and it was creating an excellent retention flow, but of course it was a broken flow. This flow was really important because technically it was our best chance to connect with our first time customers and build a strong relationship. There were so many usability problems especially when it comes to mobile experience.
Since the Reminder tool was helping us with our growth plans to create a higher retention rate for the business, we wanted to achieve these goals in a new reminder flow: 
  • Increase the number of customers creating reminders by 50% (Increase the number of customers entering in the flow, increase the number of relationships created and increase the number of occasions created for each relationship) 
  • Increase the reminder creation funnel conversion rate by 50%. 


"For us as the team the task was to improve these numbers and release a program before the Valentines' Day peak, so that we can measure its massive success in the next big event, which is Father's Day."



From the gift-givers perspective, we wanted to know what do they care about when it comes to planning a gift. In order to shape a new flow that matches our customers lifestyles, I had to find out about their guiding principles, that's why I chose to hold a few hearing sessions before any brainstorming.



Hearing Sessions


In my Hearing Sessions with our customers I tried to listen as much possible and gain a deep perspective (and empathy) about these three behavioral domains: 
1- What are some of the reasonings and motivations behind the actions they are taking when planning a gift?


2- What are their reactions to specific events in this context, based on their unique stories?


3- And what are their general guiding principles when planning gifts for their loved ones?
Having an answer to these three major questions were the key for me to gain an initial empathy. I summarized my findings in a presentation so that I can share them as a lightning talk at the beginning of our design sprint. Some of those takeaways can be reviewed here:
About the Relationship


In my process I focused my ideas on two important things I learned during my empathy hearing sessions: 
  1. Our customers forget the occasions they can use our gifts for. 
  2. They care a lot about the quality of the relationship more than occasions. 


About the Occasions
There were also a few basic assumptions (mostly backed by data) we had over the time in the business and I had to consider them in my design process: 
  • Birthday, Christmas, Valentines Day and Father's Day, are really important occasions that customers buy gifts for. But we also learned gift-givers might have anniversaries too. 
  • Some of these occasions are in fixed dates (Valentine's Day, Christmas and Father's Day) that we know in our business calendar, and some of them are varied based on the customer inputs (Birthday, Anniversary, persona to be remembered days). 
  • Some users don't celebrate Christmas, or some of the gift recipients are not necessarily a father.



Design Sprint

I defined steps to go into a Design Sprint with the Retention squad and run through the Design Sprint steps to come up with something that we can test during valentine's day. Here are the steps we took to get to a final solution:


  • Share outcomes of listening sessions (Lightning talk 1)
  • Lightning talk 2 and HMW note taking
  • HMW note sharing and voting
  • Defining golden path, metrics and design principles
  • Sharing examples
  • Sketching and sharing and voting
  • Defining the flow final flow, focusing on mobile users
  • Designing in Sketch and creating InvisionApp prototype
  • Add interactive elements and animations
  • Test the flow using on-site user testing sessions
  • Cleaning up the flow and final copywriting round
  • Handoff to the engineer in the squad



Sketching Voting


As part of the process, each of us individually had to go through sketching experiences. I love this part of the process because it allows everyone to come up with ideas and it's not just the designer in the team who is doing all the ideation. From my experience, most of the time the ideas came from my teammates who are not designers, and that's what fascinating about cross-functional design sprints. 


After going through the sketching process individually, it was time to share it with each other and vote.

Design Sprint, Sketching day, sharing and voting

User Flow


Setting a reminder seemed to require thinking deep about the flow. From the beginning, I knew this would be a challenging part for us, but the good news was, we had our selected sketches, and we had a good idea of the user journey through this process. We just had to make sure we're putting screens in a flow that makes sense from the architectural perspective. I believe we couldn't pass this step without our lead engineer who helped us to consider the Database requirements. We also had to make some design decisions together: 
  • By default if relationships are categorized as significant other, we automatically add Valentines Day at the end (saving one questions) 
  • We need to let the user to review the reminders before finalizing the flow, we want to make sure they're okay opting in to those reminder emails. 
  • We don't ask users to enter their email address, we already have that from the order they just submitted. 
  • We only focus this version of the flow to be for users who bought a gift from us after their checkout experience. We will later add the flow to the other parts of the user journey.

Final flow that we all agreed on for reminder set up

Designing Forms


Once we were done with sketching and voting I had to take all those ideas and the flows, to take them into something that is polished product, so that we can test them. The main design challenge was to make sure different questions are being asked correctly, but still a in a consistent form. So I had to divide the gift reminder set up questions in reasonable group and define the abstract rules for each of those questions.

Different input forms - Reminder set up questions



The other challenge was to answer how we're going to guide the user into this gift reminder set up and what are our techniques to walk them through the flow, so that we can gain high conversion rate in the funnel. I also had to make a decision about the progress bar. I ended up not including a progress bar because of these reasons: 
  • The meaning of progress in this flow varies based on relationship types, adding a progress bar causes unnecessary confusion for the user. 
  • Customers already finished a checkout flow and went through a process. By causing more stress about going through another process, we're scaring them away. Instead we should make it fun. 
  • Less is more; we will track the flow later and we can add a progress bar and test it, if it's needed.

First two steps to opt into the flow



Instead of going through the whole progress initiation, I decided to add more delight to the flow, but still remind customers about the actions they're taking and make it fun and of course clear. That's why I introduced some simple animated gifs to be added to each question of the reminder flow. I also created one for the success page.
  • Popcorns Flying

    Added this to the end of the process to encourage them watch a video about our Customer Service.

  • Champagne Glasses

    For asking them about the anniversary date, in case if they're setting up gifts for a significant other

  • Birthday

    Added this gift, when we were asking about the guy's birth date so set up a bday gift reminder.

Testing the Wireframe


After coming up with the final wireframe and the flow, I reviewed that with the team. I also shared the animations and what I believe might be interesting to be added to the flow and we all felt it will be a good thing to be tested in the next day. I already had 6 users ready to come onsite for the testing.I ran the usability testing sessions and recorded their interaction with our simple wireframe. After these sessions, I summarized the takeaways and applied a few updates to the flow and had final review with the PM.

Final Screens and Deliverable

Besides all the animations shown above, I had to create a prototype that shows the entire finalized flow including the errors and edge case so that we can test them and also our engineers could have a reference to develop the project. I used Sketch for all the design tasks and InvisionApp for prototyping and testing. A simple version of the complete project can be viwed using the link below:
Here are some of the screens that can be found in the prototype too.


Loading screen, while saving data into database

Setting Anniversary

If you're interested to see the product in action, you can use this link to create gift reminders. (you need to create an account first)




We were able to meet the deadline and release the new flow before Valentine's Day. We first decided to release that as an A/B test for a short term. Right after the release, we saw the numbers growing massively, more engagement, more number of clicks, where the variant was making 60% more number of reminders and 25% more customers were engaged with it. So we decided to quickly push it to 100% traffic. 


In our next big event, Father's Day, we were able to overachieve our initial goals:
  • We were able to increase the number of customer created reminder by 65% YoY.
  • The entire funnel was performing at 85% conversion rate, which was three times better than the former version.



During our follow up improvement activities, we tried to make sure the flow is flawless and users can understand every part of it. As a result of one of our follow up researches, I found out, when users are adding an occasion, they don't know when we are going to remind them. Sometimes users thought they should put an earlier day for someones birthday. 
As a design solution for this usability concern, I proposed a solution to simply add an h3 line below the questions in every part of the reminder flow. This helped the funnel conversion to improve 5% and it decreased the average time spend in the program by 6 seconds. 

Hint text - When we send the reminder email


How might we help gift givers plan their future gifts better in a way that it also creates an X percent more retention rate for our business?


Design Sprint, User Testing (On-site), Prototype


Product team members and Marketing manager at Man Crates.