5 Minute Read

MTN Next Generation

To help them keep the promise of a connected Africa, MTN requested a complete redesign of their self-service mobile app. This required a deep understanding of the needs of the users, solutioning for those needs and creating functional features that would be translated into meaningful experiences. Bright, illustrative interfaces makes the app experience not only functional, but also delightful to use. Combined with analytics, the teams’ initiatives ensured features that work to continuously solve user problems in multiple African countries.

Problem First

Discovering And Validating Problems To Be Solved

The business goal was to assist users’ self-service when it came to their MTN account needs. This meant a new information architecture and a fresh new design. The business required delivery on this project to improve the pace at which MTN responds to the needs of users through the localisation of the product team. Furthermore, MTN aimed to standardise the experience of the app regardless of the country the user is in. The project started off as a proof of concept in Eswatini, later scaling to support multiple African countries.

Methodology

Remote User Testing

Given that the app was being designed for several African countries, our team had to conduct remote moderated usability testing using Microsoft Teams. This was done before Covid-19 necessitated this method of user testing in general, and proves very effective for testing across international borders.

For each usability test conducted, the team agreed on what was being tested, a protocol and prototype was created and the sessions were recorded. After each round of testing, the results were packaged to present back to the rest of the team and then consolidated.

Design Thinking Approach

  • Customer Acquisition

    Successful user experience design provides a business with a competitive advantage. This differentiator will
    attract new customers. Great UX is more than just effective product design – it’s good business.

  • Customer Retention

    Competition grows with every technological advancement making customer retention increasingly important. By
    creating an experience that’s beautiful and intuitive, more people will want to use it, and more importantly,
    keep using it.

  • Lower Support Costs

    A well-designed app just works. If an application is poorly designed, there will be an increased need for
    training, documentation, and support later, which translates into higher costs.

  • Reduces Development Time And Cost

    An estimated 50% of engineering time is spent redoing work to fix mistakes that could have been avoided. Making
    sure the design is done right – and done well – the first time around will prevent future rework.

Empathize

Define

Ideate

Prototype

Test

The Underlying Problem

The Answers We Found

To fulfil their mobile network needs, users had to either call the contact centre, drive to the nearest store or use USSD. The limitation of these methods are that they are time consuming, have additional cost involved and are only available during business hours. The myMTN app was thus created to be a self-service gateway to MTN services and customer transactions. It is designed to give customers the option to serve themselves in real time without having to contact MTN directly. It also ensures customers have access to information about MTN’s products and services whenever they need it (24 hours a day) at their convenience.

The Solution

The Solution Took Into Consideration A Variety Of Factors

  • Features were selected and prioritised based on user research done to uncover the five most crucial features for MVP.
  • We needed to consider marketing. We did this by making existing MTN customers aware of the myMTN app with relevant messages across all touch points.
  • We aimed to encourage and incentivise customers to download and use the app. We set in place notifications and reminders to ensure that users find the app useful and engaging long after downloading.

How We Did It

Prioritised Features List

A key principle is that features are determined based on user need.

Features are prioritised:

  • Qualitatively according to research
  • Quantitatively based on existing data
  • Continuously aligned to new data

Sprint backlogs and planning in Jira was based on what the team determined to be the prioritised features.

Information Architecture

A well-designed information architecture is the foundation of efficient user experience.

To initiate the ideate phase, we started with organising the content and structuring the platform so that users can easily navigate.

This required that we assess:

  • The organisation of content
  • The structure (skeleton) of the platform
  • Labels
  • Searching systems

Design System

Building A Style Guide

The team took a traditional approach of design per feature and a Sketch library was created. The components were broken down into individual symbols to make them reusable and decrease development time.

Through the guerrilla design system approach, we demonstrated the value of a design system without spending money. Other countries in the group were assisted in delivering consistent work by using Zeplin to house components and a style guide that developers could easily apply.

User Flows

Constructing Journeys

The journeys that were selected were based on research done. Insights were extracted from a combination of methods. USSD analytics were used to determine the most commonly and least commonly serviced needs of the user. Contact centre data was analysed and themed to uncover common users problems. Furthermore, a competitor analysis provided valuable information on trends in the industry and set the benchmark.

Improvements

Measurable Performance Indicators

To inform continual improvement we used analytics that were carefully defined and embedded into each feature. A significant improvement was removing the shopping cart. We found that the cart was slowing down users’ buying times. It also added extra steps while not adding any value to our users. Removing the cart immensely simplified the purchase journey for our users.

Another crucial improvement was adding MoMo to the app. MoMo is MTN’s bank account. User’s who have a MoMo bank account are now able to view their balance and use MoMo as a payment option to shop on the app. This provides our users with more flexibility and richer MTN account information. We also added promotions to the app. This provides more value to our users and in turn, drives user engagement.

Results

MTN now has an app that provides users with a quick and easy way to self service. They have seen a notable increases in app usage over the months. Increase in overall sales has also been observed. Another key result of the project was the creation and implementation of the design system, which is being shared across MTN teams in other African countries.

From a team work perspective, the design team has also worked towards creating a sprint model. This model was created from trial and error with the broader team. The result has been improved collaboration and morale. Lastly, our analytics dashboard provides the starting point for continuous improvement on the app.