TRAVEL REWARDS
CREDIT CARD

Leading the UX strategy for this credit card project for 3 weeks, I ran a mini Design Sprint workshop with the Ratehub team to understand user needs and come up with design solutions that were tested and validated with users. After two rounds of iterative design and usability testing, we launched the new design using the dollar earned to compare cards.

1.

Project

Travel Rewards Credit Card Rate Recommendations Page

2.

Stakeholders

CEO, Business Manager

3.

Team

Product manager (1), QA (1) and developers (2), UX Designer (TBD)

4.

My Role

UX Strategist

5.

Objectives

Increase the number of credit card sign up.

6.

Users

Employed individuals who look for getting a new travel rewards credit card.

THE
CHALLENGE

We previously had a hunch that points earned information is useful for credit card users to know about for general. What we realized is that is the calculations used for rewards points are not universal across credit card companies. As such we had a challenge to highlight the different rewards and the value of the points between credit card companies. We arrived at the belief that providing a net money earned in dollars($) score, so that users could compare the card correctly and more transparent, ultimately making it easier for them to accurately differentiate between reward values to help them pick and sign up for a card.

We initially worked with an external agency to help us with design. However, we felt that the design solutions didn’t answer or align with our assumptions about user needs. The agency focused on visual design and wasn’t quite familiar with the UX process and struggled to resolve the problem. I was brought into the team to help with research, lead learnings, validate assumptions, and suggest solutions.

DESIGN
SPRINT

Given a tight timeline to prove our initial assumptions, I decided to run a Design Sprint with the team, shortening the standard 5-day sprint to a mini 3-day sprint to allow the team can focus more on the problem itself and then right into design solutions. You can see the agenda and photos from the workshop below. Some items were untouchable in terms of design like brand and some elements of structure.

View some workshop highlights below. You can also view the full agenda deck I designed for the Design Sprint workshop here.

Agenda
  • Day 1: Understand users, define problems
  • Day 2: User research, Sketching, Prototype,Test
  • Day 3:  Hi-fi, Test, Learn 
Participants
  • Product manager (1),
  • Business manager (1),
  • Content writer (1),
  • Developers (2, remote) 

USER
RESEARCH

USER INTERVIEWS

As a part of the Design Sprint, we conducted user interviews. We discovered four key priorities that drove decisions for people looking for new travel reward cards. These included:

 

  1. Points earned
  2. Redemption flexibility
  3. Travel benefits: travel insurance, VIP upgrade, Lounge access
  4. Card conditions: Annual fee, Welcome bonus, Interest rate
CARD SORTING

We ran a card sorting exercise as a separate exercise to help us to set the right content hierarchy for users. Here are the top 10 most important features:

 

  1. Annual fee
  2. What are points worth
  3. Ways to redeem points 
  4. How to redeem reward points 
  5. Welcome bonus promos or incentives 
  6. No foreign transaction fees 
  7. Annual reward caps 
  8. Other requirements (ie need to open savings account) 
  9. Net annual reward points 
  10. Lost/delayed baggage insurance

USABILITY
TESTING

After the user research, we had a better direction on how to solve the problem. However, as part of our goals, we want to educate users to understand the benefits of the card rewards. The information includes how points get calculated, how subsequent years of point get calculated, and how the net dollar value gets calculated. 

With this goal in mind and combining the research insights, I used the information to organize the content hierarchy and create prototypes for usability testing. I followed this up with a high fidelity prototype based on the visual design from the agency. 

User 1

I want this (dollar value) to be bigger, in my face.

User 2

The total value is a bit misleading because it’s just one year. The first year is waived so it’s not realistic.

User 3

This one tells me how it’s worth, how many points a year, the total value I get minus the annual fee and that’s the net value I get.  That makes everything really clear.

User 4

I find it’s easier to calculate the kind of straightforward like up down calculated what value you’re getting.

THE
INSIGHTS

OBSERVATIONS

To get to the Travel Rewards Recommendation page, users are required to answer a few criteria and personal preference questions designed to provide a final recommendation. After a few rounds of usability testing, here are some of the responses and observations we noted for the Travel Rewards Recommendation page.

1. Users like the recommendation page as it covers the essential information about the card features, how the cards are ordered and just enough choices.

2. Users want to know which card has the best return value for the lowest cost.

3. Users would like to understand more how we rate the redemption flexibility or see more explanation in details. 

4. Users prefer a simple, logical break down. Both points and value per points are important.

5. Users value the year on year and long term value (even with the cost-conscious user type), however, they also want to know how much they get for the first-year bonus.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In response to user feedback, here are the recommendations we forwarded:

1. Use “Best for you because” as a feature tag and move it closer to the credit card name for more visibility

2. Include only selected criteria and preference from the previous step

3. Prioritize the earning value over the spending conditions

4. Add a tooltip to explain how we define the redemption flexibility

5. Separate Welcome Bonus from the dollar value calculation. Display Welcome Bonus as a promotion.

FINAL
DESIGN

Based on the insights and recommendations, here are the revisions we made:

PROJECT
OUTCOME

The team has launched the new Travel Card Recommendation page at the end of December 2019 at 5% of the overall traffic. The success criteria is the increase amount of users to apply (for the credit card). The sample size is not enough to conclude the success of the project yet.