The Quest for Successful Rollouts at Pingboard

Problem

Pingboard is most famous for being some of the best org chart software out there. But we have become so much more than org chart software over the last several years. So how might we convince new sign-ups to rollout Pingboard to their whole company?

First, a metric called Successful Rollouts was defined for us to track our progress on this problem. Our talented data scientist helped set up a dashboard on Chartio to track this metric over time. A Successful Rollout is a company that:

  • Invites at least 10 users

  • 50% of those users are active every week

  • And all of this happens within thirty days of signup

Pingboard offers profiles to get to know peers, applause to recognize peers, statuses to know where peers are, and much more.

Research

First, we drafted a survey for over forty existing customers. The questions were designed to identify jobs-to-be-done along with:

  • Patterns for Success

  • Pain Points

  • Willingness to be Interviewed

I then helped synthesizing the results into three major insights:

  • Admins were looking for an org chart solution to help everyone know who’s who.

  • With the org chart being the first destination, importing or syncing people data was confusing.

  • Hesitancy around rolling out was over nervousness of how to do it right.

Afterwards, I crafted a research plan that would achieve targeted qualitative research. The questions focused on their user journey from discovery of Pingboard to rolling out (or choosing not to). Seven of our survey respondents participated in this leg of the research process to provide more depth to our insights.

“If there are additional features that we could or should be taking advantage of, I’m not specifically aware of them.” - Interviewed User

Ideation

I then invited all stakeholders to an ideation workshop using Mural. After presenting our research findings, we opened up the workshop with a Needs Statement Activity. A Needs Statement Activity helps the group identify what the user actually needs instead of diving into technical solutions too soon. Our aligned user needs were:

  • An admin needs to know if Pingboard integrates with their existing tools to make the importing process easier.

  • An admin needs to learn how Pingboard can satisfy common problems in the workplace.

  • An admin needs guidance on the best ways to get their employees engaged with Pingboard.

Now that the diverse group of people were focused on the same three user needs, we diverged again into a Big Ideas Activity. I then gauged which ideas were thought to be most valuable by having the participants “star” their favorites. This provides a quick way of knowing which ideas to spend time conceptualizing.

Prototyping

With the most valuable ideas ready to go, I iterated upon all of them separately. Then I was able to put to together a “happy journey” that showed the most complimentary ideas put together in an admin’s onboarding experience. Out of all seven mocked-up ideas, five fit into a cohesive experience in the happy journey.

The Senior Product Manager and I then gave usability tests with five HR employees from a unique set of companies. To get fresh, honest feedback about the onboarding, none of these users had experience with Pingboard beforehand.

Usability test feedback was reflected in iterations of the design and then presented to stakeholders. Stakeholders then considered feasibility and impact to prioritize three out of the five ideas:

  • Having the home dashboard be the landing space on company sign-up

  • A customized product tour based on the admin’s company needs

  • A success center to guide the admin in recommended rollout steps

Coding

I was paired with a full-stack engineer and we broke up the work between API and UI. First, we defined the endpoints we wanted to communicate with and their data formats.

The most complex UI work was showing templated data during the guided user onboarding. This required creating an “example state” for each home dashboard component and layering that component above the faded out background.

The gamification methodologies to enhance experience activation were the biggest collaboration effort because we needed to identify which API endpoints automatically mark a goal as complete and create a manual overwrite API for those same goals.

Result

The new signup flow starts with the admin entering their information as before. We added a question of where their employee data is stored. This gives us a chance to educate them about our compatible sync integrations and celebrate if we have a matching integration for them.

The new admin then lands on the home dashboard instead of the org chart page. The org chart can be exported to anyone, but we wanted to highlight all the benefits of inviting the whole company to Pingboard. Before exploring the home dashboard, we ask the admin their company's needs to personalize the upcoming product tour.

For each need checked, we show them a product tour step that highlights how Pingboard satisfies those needs. If the step is highlighting content on another page, we show animations of that page to increase user engagement.

For steps highlighting abilities on the home dashboard, we fill that component with most common use-case example data. Admins are able to see the full potential of this ability rather than having to use their imagination.

Next, admins are shown a company success center. The admin can complete common tasks that were identified in our jobs-to-be-done research for a successful rollout, restart the full product tour, and find additional help. Progress in the steps to success is automatically checked if possible. Otherwise, the admin is always able to mark steps complete (or incomplete) themselves.

Finally, an admin is celebrated for completing a successful rollout. The company success center is always accessible from the nav bar within the first thirty days.

Outcomes

Within the first week’s cohort of launching our new company onboarding flow, we saw a new record for Successful Rollouts. Remember the strict definition of a Successful Rollout:

  • At least 10 invites

  • 50% weekly active users

  • All within 30 days

And we continued to reiterate on the user flow from there with AB tests. For example, we added to the relevant integration logo (Google, ADP, BambooHR) to the “Sync” buttons.

This project was a joy to work on due to the combination of qualitative and quantitative data to validate our efforts. The ideas required input from real users and company stakeholders across the company. Today, Pingboard continues to expand into more employee networking capabilities that bring people closer together.

James loves to design, code, and talk about weird web apps from ATX. He also writes snippets from the third-person.
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