UX Designer | May 2022 - August 2022
Selling Partner Support UX Team
Envisioning a new support experience, I worked on redesigning the seller-facing case management system for Amazon Seller Central, focusing on improving search and filtering capabilities. Used by 2 million active sellers on Amazon.com.
Amazon Internship 🔒
RESEARCH & EXPLORATION
There are currently 1.9 million active Amazon sellers using Seller Central to manage and run their businesses everyday. Many sellers rely on the platform as their primary source of income.
What is a Case?
Selling Partners (SPs) create cases when encountering issues with selling on Amazon, which is under the umbrella of problem spaces concerning the Selling Partner Support team, one of 7 organizations within the Customer Trust department.
What is Case Log?
Case Log is the page in Seller Central where Sellers go to view Selling Partner Support’s (SPS)/ associate's responses and manage their ongoing and previous cases.
.Cases can carry important information such as status, case ID, and creation date.
With the current implementation of case log, sellers struggle with tracking all of their issues efficiently within the log, often resorting to other platforms such as email to do so.
The goal for my project was to understand customer's pain points and needs with the current support experience, and design search and filtering capabilities for a new implementation of case log to allow sellers to quickly find specific cases based on their priorities, considering new categorizations including bulk cases, cases with multiple ASINs, marketplaces, and case statuses.
Role & Stakeholders
Solo Intern Project: My designs are a component of the ongoing Meld 3-year project to improve the entire Seller Central Support Experience with an initial launch by December 2022.
2 Product Managers
Meld Project UX Owner
Mentor (Senior UX Designer)
Tech Team (Software Development Engineer II)
Understanding the Current Experience
Sellers are navigated to this help hub landing page from seller central. They can access case log with the top case log button or icon on the bottom.
This page is their case log where sellers are able to view and search through their cases.
Once clicking on the filter tab, sellers must also then press the expand filters button, and are navigated to the filter dropdown.
Before diving into research, I began to breakdown this current experience noting issues including unnecessary rows and buttons, inconsistencies between UI elements such as button styles, poor integration and consolidation of filter options, and an overall lack of discoverability of repetitive filter options.
I began conducting baseline research sessions with active Amazon sellers who have differing experiences with case log to understand how sellers currently navigate and monitor their cases, pain points in their experience, and common use cases for filtering features.
Recorded & Moderated via usertesting.com
Understand sellers’ primary reasons for accessing the case log.
Learn how sellers currently navigate the case log page and pain points in their experience. (Understand what features
of the case log they use most frequently and why)
Observe what attributes sellers prevalently use to look through their cases. Which filters are being used most commonly?
What key terms are sellers typing when using the search bar? How often are the top nav menu tabs being switched between?
Understand what elements of the case log are the most valuable to users and what is unnecessary or could be added (especially regarding short descriptions, search, filters, marketplace)
Learn what issues sellers have encountered in the past with case log and their concerns with the existing support experience.
🔒Full Plan Document Link (includes testing scripts)
After receiving insight from sellers, I categorized the research by case log list view, search/filtering, and case detail page across all participants to identify trends.
Case Log List View
The majority of sellers consider the short description and status to be the most helpful elements of each case
log entry since it allows them to manually search through their cases and track progress.
Some sellers classified ID and email as least helpful. Additional information SPs would like to see includes associate name, wait time, and description categories. This research allowed me to identify what to prioritize for each case entry.
Search and Filtering
The majority of sellers have never used the search capabilities in case log; However, if they were to, they would search using keywords regarding product descriptions such as “t-shirt” or issue descriptions such as “misplaced inventory." Other sellers would manually look through their cases, scrolling through the log or using Ctrl F.
Moreover, none of the sellers have used filtering capabilities, the majority struggling to even find the feature, resorting to email or sorting triangles instead. This research revealed a crucial area for improvement.
Case Detail View
All sellers were satisfied with the details included on the case page (hyperlinks, associate name, and responses) but sellers unanimously agreed that an indication of read versus unread messages would be beneficial, especially the integration of more color, icons, and visuals. Knowing what has already been viewed or answered would help sellers search through cases efficiently.
🔒 Full Research Report (Relevant Seller Testimonials, Detailed Research Insights, Actionable Recommendations)
Stakeholder & Project Values
Sharing these insights and recommendations with different project stakeholders, I summarized crucial values I considered when designing
Aesthetic Usability Principle
Hypothesis: Improving the appearance of our tool will increase the likelihood of its usage
Trust vs Operational Savings
Sellers must trust that associates will find a solution and adopt self-help tools versus seeking human contact
Familiarity of User Behavior
Redesigns must not stray too far from the original design and established practices to maintain a sense of familiarity for sellers
Positive User Workflow
To better understand the needs of sellers, I then developed user scenarios and workflows representing an average seller of 4 years. In this positive user workflow, a seller has an issue with product inventory and wants to contact support. They navigate to help hub and file a case, now checking case log 2-3 times a day since they have an ongoing case. When informed in their email about a reply from an associate, they use the sorting triangles and the needing attention tab to find the correct case, and exit with the back arrow, expecting this case to remain in their log for future references.
Negative User Workflow
On the other hand, in the negative user scenario, the seller tries to look through old cases to find a similar case to resolve their issue. They try searching as well as scrolling through cases manually. They end up not finding any relevant cases, are unaware of the filter capabilities, and resort to email on their mobile device. Deriving this negative and positive scenario from user research, my design focuses on addressing these pain points.
Existing UI Research
Exploring common methods of search and filtering on platforms using Dribble
Some interesting attributes I found were using colorful tags to clearly represent different states, “sort by arrows” integrated into the rows to save space, and consistent search bars on the top of the screen. I also explored horizontal filters where one can search to add filters, saving vertical space.
Before designing, I conducted competitor research studying search and filtering experiences for case management systems for other platforms (Outlook, Gmail. Amazon.com, Ebay, Slack, Etsy). This allowed me to better understand existing UI patterns to ensure designs would be familiar to sellers, such as how websites display dropdown search suggestions, integrate filters into search bars, and also use pop-up tooltips.
Internal UI Comparison
I began discovering inconsistencies across selling-facing interfaces (such as inventory, reports, catalog, and performance). I began trying to find ways to consolidate searching and filtering behaviors across these different Amazon products
This was difficult at first because each service tended to use a different visual style including radio buttons, dropdown filters, sorting arrows, toggleable filters, or sidebar menus. I decided to draw inspiration from multiple of these services and later test to see which
was the most efficient.
I then reorganized the information needed into a hierarchy, considering the overall page layout, which allowed me to outline which components were crucial for the new design such as including new filters like ASIN, Case Status, Product Category, and case type.
Due to confidentiality reasons, the following sections are password protected (if you are a hiring manager, the
password will be included in my resume). To access the rest of the project please click below.
Sketches & Wireframes
Ideation & Iteration
Pros and Cons Grid
2 Interactive Mockups
Usability (A/B) Testing
Research Insights & Reports
Design Team Reviews
In addition to working with a great welcoming team allowing me to better understand the role of UX design within the tech industry, I also grasped the significance of collaboration within small communities between other designers, project managers, tech teams, and multiple stakeholders, to understand different perspectives towards the vision for the project. Scheduling meetings with stakeholders and reviews with tech and UX teams several times a week, I was able to draw from their experiences and ensure consistency across products, as well as explore the feasibility and prioritization of new features, and constantly iterate on their feedback to create designs that holistically address the customer’s needs.
From this experience, I learned the importance of user research and usability sessions to truly understand the customer needs, their
familiarity with the existing interface, and understand pain points sellers experience on a daily basis with case log, to design a prototype that will resolve these issues, as well as later test ideas to validate design decisions. Conducting numerous user research sessions and usability sessions allowed me to pinpoint struggles in behavior and frequent user preferences, and design an interface that allows sellers to efficiently access their cases, understanding that many sellers heavily rely on Seller Central for their primary source of income. I enjoyed the opportunity to apply design towards a project being launched this year that will directly be used by sellers. improving their everyday experiences