Talkdesk platform

Builidng the platform where the new frontend of Talkdesk is being built.

MY JOURNEY AT TALKDESK

Talkdesk is the go-to solution when looking for a contact center platform, it’s a leader in Gartner magic quadrant, used now for 1800+ clients across more than 70 different countries with 50000+ active users every day. 

During my time at Talkdesk, I’ve been working in its platform, called Atlas, that allows customers to easily customize their experience to maximize their operation efficiency. 

Together with my peers, I’ve been fighting the status quo by shipping solutions that really improve the lives of people that work in such stressful environments.

Background

My role

I work on a multidisciplinary team as the owner of the users experience while using the platform. I’ve been helping the team to build empathy towards our users while advocating for their needs and making decisions to mitigate their pains. 

As a product designer, I’ve been researching users behavior with a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods so I can map journeys and discover new ways of iterating the platform. 

Just another day at the office. I'm the guy in the yellow shirt, btw

Besides that, I also work together with Product and Engineering leadership to define how the platform can disrupt the contact center industry, fighting the status quo by shipping products that build a new way of doing things and really improve the lives of people working in such stressful environments. 

A broken experience with no flexibility

You probably know contact centers as highly stressful and unfriendly places to work. And you are not wrong, these users really work in  a very stressful contact center environment.

Nowadays, as more companies are moving into the cloud for their contact center solutions, there’s an explosion in the offer of SaaS products with thousands of different ones that solve very specific issues and specific need. Having to access multiple products on a daily basis led to a completely overwhelming user experience and to a broken user journey since these products didn’t connect to each other

The result is: Low productivity and a steep learning curve for agents and agents are very error prone due to switch between so many tools during the same call. A contact center agent sometimes has to cope with learning how to use 5 or more systems. That’s a huge cognitive load and agents takes a long time to digest the information, harming their ability to provide a top notch customer service.

One platform to rule them all

Atlas objective is simple yet bold: to be a ultra-flexible platform that unify both the experiences from different internal solutions and products but also to allow that a external developer community to build extension applications in the same environment.

Build / Buy

Instead of having a single SaaS product that is very strict and doesn’t easily adapt to customers edge cases, the platform helps clients to solve their problems and needs by allowing them to extend it with native-like third-party apps that are rendered inside the product.

Design process

Working at such a core part of the product, as a designer, it was very important to always stay up to date with all things happening across the whole product. My job, besides scaling the platform, was also to guarantee that the experience was consistent between different applications.\

That said, while designing, I had 2 different groups of users:

Contact center workers — There are 3 different personas inside a contact center, each one of them with their own needs and pains. Therefore, I had to consider these individual aspects of each group of people while designing the workspace that they used on a daily basis to work.

Other designers and developers — Both internal and external teams were also key users. Basically, by creating new components/features for the platform, I was creating LEGO pieces for these teams to use while designing within their initiatives.

Challenges

When I joined the team, they were working without any designer for a while, so I noticed some points of improvement that could shape the process and teamed up with PMs to do that.

Kicking-off a design-driven product discovery

When I joined the team, they were working without any designer for a while, so I noticed some points of improvement that could shape the process and teamed up with PMs to do that.

Establishing data-driven process to make informed decisions

Assumptions. Assumptions everywhere. The team was not making informed decisions, which led to expensive features being launched with few or no adoption at all. 

One of the team’s major complain was the lack of time during sprints to either setup a service that gathered user data and also the lack of time to analyze the data afterwards. So, to demystify it we defined a strategy consisting of two streams of metrics that were easy to get, analyze and that could give us different outcomes and insights.

Tracking feature adoption — Having a place that gathers numbers of the capacities available in Atlas. The main reason for this was to understand the least used capacities and then go to a qualitative process to see what could be done to improve that specific feature adoption.

Being aware of user metrics — Track user interactions to have a quantitative analysis of their behavior. The approach was to start by tracking metrics that were easy to analyze but, at the same time, could have multiple outcomes. Some of the metrics we started tracking were:
demographics
number of switches between apps during our users journeys
time spent in each app

Qualitative research

Quantitative data helps us to identify problems, but we need qualitative research to deeply understand why they happen. After we had a solid solution to handle quantitative data, I started evangelizing the team, advocating for the importance of having a culture of collecting qualitative data. That would majorly help in 2 things: validate our decisions and also to get to know better the people for whom we are designing and developing.

In terms of methods, I made lots of usability tests, stakeholder and user interviews, forms, journey maps etc. You can check these methods in action in the Case Studies section below.

Case studies — The journey to great solutions

In a fast-growing company lots of stuff happens and things tend to move very fast. During my time working with Atlas, I had the privilege to design many important parts of users’ workspace. Below, I will outline the ones I liked the most.

Talkdesk Skin and Outfits — Scaling the product 

Problem framing

As the platform was growing, it was time to work towards deeper levels of flexibility and customization. We were aiming for two levels of reshaping the product: one for the whole account, by admins; the other for individual users. 

When talking about flexibility, it was important for us to apply the white-labeling concept to the whole interface. That means that clients should be able to make the platform look their own, applying their own branding to it.

Challenges

Color customization

Allowing users to customize your product’s colors has some big challenges attached to it. During the whole process, my biggest concerns were:

  • Letting users pick colors for each little detail of the components
  • Users picking colors with poor contrast ratios that would kill the components legibility

Users can choose one hex that matches their brand. When the color is selected, a spectrum of shades is automatically created and distributed on parts of the components.

The system should automatically identify the colors contrast ratio with white in order to define if the menu icons tint will be light or dark colored.

Accessibility and helping clients to make good decisions

We used a alert system to help users during the process of choosing colors. When the selected color had a bad contrast ratio, a message would pop-up in the screen warning users. 

Outfits

Outfits are pre-built teams created and provided by Talkdesk that make products fun and peppy. Each user can select their own theme, customizing their individual instance of the product. 
The options are infinite since new themes can be released anytime and be as fun as Halloween, Summer, Valentines Day etc.

2. Notification center — Helping users find the right information at the right moment

Problem framing

As a platform grows, sometimes it can be overwhelming for users when they face a scenario with a large number of applications requesting their attention at all moments.

We were noticing different in-house applications creating ad hoc ways of notifying users and even ways of calling for attention in the middle of others apps. This was creating an inconsistent notification experience and was very disrupting for the workspace general experience.

Challenges

Stakeholder interviews

We had lots of touchpoint with other internal teams in this solution, so the first logical step during the discovery process was to reach out to those people and interview them to get a sense of what they were expecting with notifications.

Interview structure

The interviewing process was broken down in two different moments On the first one, I used a structured interview to gather information that could help us quantify some things regarding notifications.

Below you can see what I discovered in this first part:

The second part of the interview was a more flexible structure where I asked interviewees to say which were the cases for notifications they already foresee for their products and solutions. With this qualitative data I got enough information to classify individual notifications into clusters, such as:

  • Reminders
  • Warnings
  • Alerts
  • Progress
  • System status

Team workshop

Even after interviewing a lot of people, there were still a lot of discussion inside Atlas team and, in the middle of all the burden, it was very hard to come to an agreement between all the parts in order to define an MVP for the Notification Center. So, I proposed a Design Workshop.

My objective with the workshop was to get out of meeting rooms, come together and get things done. I had the pleasure to led this intense but enlightening 6-hour session. As the artifact of this workshop, we had a list of capacities for the MVP that would guide us during the design process.

Notification item

The notification item is the atomic part of the Notification Center. I designed it to be as flexible as possible so it could be compliant with all discovered use cases.

Custom actions

Besides the regular clicking within the notification item, the platform also allows that applications define up to 2 different actions that users can perform via buttons on the item.

Notifications history

Notification history divides notifications into 2 separate lists: Today and Older. With the call center user's workflow in mind, this division was made to ease users on the things they need to get done that day.

Other projects: 
Joco