YIXING SHOU

NYC-Base Product Designer

























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Yixing Shou


Hi, I’m Yixing. I’m a New York-based Visual Designer.

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Who is our client?


BizBridge is an innovative digital platform designed to revolutionize the way small-to-medium business (SMB) sellers and prequalified buyers interact and transact. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, BizBridge offers a unique blend of tools and services aimed at creating a seamless and efficient marketplace for business transactions. The platform is driven by the following core objectives:



Solution Overview

(Left:Previous Version | Right:Redesigned Version)


Timeline


Due to the practical constraints of product development, we could’t strictly adhere to the Design Thinking process. However, we strive to integrate its principles into our design approach as much as possible.

Week 1: Client Interviews


I had the opportunity to directly speak with Randall. As a team, we decided to create an interview with open-ended questions. Here are some of the questions I asked:

  1. What is the scope of the project?
  2. Who is this product targeting (User)?
  3. What is the current product/user flow?

interview insights:

“Our target audience for Seller Span is Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), The market for boomers selling their businesses is significant and expected to grow substantially over the next decade.”

During the interview, Randall recounted the story behind his initial idea. A few years ago, his grandfather, who owned a local restaurant, decided to sell the business because none of his children wanted to take it over.

Throughout the selling process, Randall’s family faced numerous challenges, including high costs associated with hiring agents, finding a trustworthy buyer, and navigating the complexities of the entire process.

Given that Randall’s grandfather had dedicated his entire life to building the restaurant, the family wanted to ensure the sale was handled with the utmost care.

After iterviewing Radall and reading through the company’s past research, we came us with the user persona of their target audience.

We have also clarified that during the four-week design process, we will be focusing on redesigning the SellerSpan service provided to the Seller.

Week 2: Usability Testing / Find the Problem Space


The primary objective of usability testing is to evaluate the platform's user experience, identify pain points, and gather actionable insights to improve the overall usability and effectiveness of SellerSpan. We designed scenarios for users to complete, specifically focusing on the "Determine Asking Price" section. The scenarios included:



Our UX design team conducted usability testing sessions with boomers at a local cafe, resulting in four participants.  Below are the key findings from these sessions:


None of the participants could complete the tasks without assistance, indicating the need to rearrange the wireframe to better support user needs and expectations. Then, we addressed the How Might We questions to align the team’s goal in design.

Based on the "How Might We" questions, I've developed a user flow to reorganize the platform's user experience.

 

Week 3: Error State


Towards the end of the presentation on user flow and the review of the current site, I shared a concern: "Given the substantial amount of input required on the Sellerspan card, users feel overwhelmed. We should consider testing ways to reduce user stress during the input process. One approach could be designing a new wireframe that allows users to input information in more manageable sections with less input each time."

Randall expressed strong agreement with my views, and following the meeting, I began reorganizing the content on the SellerSpan card. Unbeknownst to me, developer Winston simultaneously implemented this idea, overwriting the original demo account.

When we discovered this, my team and I felt it was unfortunate, as coding without a design significantly increases development time and complicates making changes based on user feedback.

I asked Randall and Winston why they proceeded this way. They explained that they didn’t know how to convert the design files from Figma into code. As a designer proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I realized I could assist.
I quickly arranged a meeting with the BizBridge development team to share my method for translating Figma designs into CSS code. I also introduced some plugins for Figma's developer mode to streamline the process.

Week4: Style Guide & Hi-fi Design


My team and I also explained the importance and usage of a UI system/style guide to them. This universal visual system ensures all visual elements remain consistent and unified across the platform.


If the development team can preset commonly used visual elements according to the style guide, it will significantly reduce development costs.

(Redesigned SellerSpan steps with AI Bots)

At the same time, we have have scheduled another meeting to introduce NNG's 10 heuristics of user interface design principles to assist the BizBridge team in evaluating their interfaces for future development.



Moving Forward


BizBridge is entering the market at a critical time where many baby boomers are hoping to retire and pass along their businesses to new owners. We have provided BizBridge with a comprehensive critique of their website/application interface. As promised, we provided transparency in highlighting areas for improvement to enhance usability, consistency, and user satisfaction.

We have provided them with a foundation and introduced the importance of user research and iteration prior to implementation. We have recommended that they define a minimal viable product (MVP) that allows customers to use their site, test their product, and provide feedback.

For future improvement in any design decisions, we, as UX designers, recommended that the Biz Bridge team continuously conduct user testing. This approach will help build a user base founded on trust and professionalism.


A Side Story: The Bots


During the wireframe design process, Randall actively engaged in discussions about the role of AI bots with our team. He introduced that AI bots, as a key selling point in the product, could significantly reduce the need for real agents, thereby lowering costs for sellers.

Randall expects a better way of the bots’ apperance than this old version. (picture below)


Together, we explored image generation on ChatGPT and portrait video generation technology like SimoneAI, which Randall hopes to integrate into Biz Bridge products. His innovative mindset and willingness to embrace cutting-edge solutions were impressive.

As a UX designer, I had to temper Randall’s enthusiasm with some practical considerations. I explained that at our current stage of product development, our primary goal is to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for launch. While AI bots are a compelling feature, they are not the core service of our product, our product is the business selling service. Additionally, the implementation of AI bots must align with the preferences and needs of our real users to be effective. To solve this problem, my teammates and I all agreed on the necessity of conducting a quantitative survey to validate our assumptions.