Vamsi Gadey
PRODUCT + DESIGN
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Making Customer Reviews More Helpful & Trustworthy

UGC was previously mostly perceived as a driver for same session conversion. This has prevented the team from doing the right thing for all the players in the ecosystem: consumers, contributors, merchants and Groupon. I helped reposition the UGC team's mission, framed the discussion on why Groupon should invest in it, and what we should build. I also helped redefine the success criteria for this project around long-term metrics than short-term metrics.

TEAM 

  • Head of product

  • Engineering team

  • User researcher

  • PM/Lead designer (Me)

MY ROLE

  • Framing product mission, vision and strategy

  • Socializing and measuring success metrics

  • Designing and iterating

  • Planning experiments to validating

UGC ECOSYSTEM

UGC provides customers with a medium to share their Groupon experiences to:

  • Instill shoppers with confidence in buying Groupon deals

  • Provide merchants with actionable feedback to provide better customer service

  • Create a neutral and trustworthy marketplace that rewards and promotes quality merchants

Players and their motivations in UGC ecosystem

PROBLEM

Our product strategy for 2018-19 was to focus on:

  • contributors giving helpful feedback to consumers

  • consumers building trust in Groupon’s reviews

I can’t quickly give helpful insights
I don’t trust reviews on Groupon
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SOLUTION

We redesigned both the contributor and consumer flows making it:

  • easier for contributors to give helpful feedback with new forms of feedback such as dimensions, badges and photos

  • easier for consumers to access all reviews and derive insights from them

CONSUMER EXPERIENCE

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CONTRIBUTOR EXPERIENCE

 
 

DESIGN PROCESS

We started giving more definition for the ideas generated at the UGC offsite. Products and services with enough reviews invariably show increased interest and engagement from users. Many products and services have thousands of reviews but an average user doesn’t read more than 15–20 reviews before forming an opinion about it.

IDEATION

For consumers, the main questions we were focused on were:

  • How can we get users to trust Groupon’s reviews, not leaving to find reviews on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor or Amazon?

  • What can we do to make sure users aware of the most helpful tips such as availability of appointments, cash only, parking situation etc.

  • Can we summarize and use reviews in a better way? What can we do to make it easy for users to quickly extract out information they need among all UGC content?

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For contributors, the main questions we were focused on were:

  • For users who initiate writing a review, what can we do to motivate them to write more thoughtful reviews?

  • Knowing that not everyone is in for writing detailed reviews, what can we do to still collect helpful information from them?

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ITERATION

After we narrowed down our ideas, we iterated through the ideas, gradually adding more detail to them. Here is one idea where contributor and consumer experiences were tied, and we needed to balance them out. We wanted to finalize a design based on how easy and helpful it is for consumers on the deal page, while making sure we are able to capture that feedback from contributors directly:

USER VALIDATION

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LEARNINGS & NEXT STEPS

  • Trust: Trust is the foundation for any UGC platform. Without trust, consumers won’t engage with any content included in Groupon’s UGC.

  • Drive Faster Purchase Decisions: As much as users value ratings and reviews, they are another thing consumers have to pay attention to while shopping on Groupon. The ultimate goal for consumers is simply to feel confident about their decisions. The more we can reduce their cognitive load and extract key insights, the faster and easier it will be for them to make a purchase decision.

  • Invest in building a community: Many consumers just see Groupon as a place to get discounted services or product. The interactions are very transactional. There is little relationship among consumers or between consumers and businesses.