Ucommerce 9.5 Preview Event: A sneak peek of our new Promotion App and a tour behind the scenes of UX!

On May 26, we hosted the Ucommerce 9.5. Preview Event, where we took you on a behind-the-scenes tour of our user research process, showed a live demo of the upcoming revamped Promotions App, and updated you on our roadmap goals. We were blown away by how excited everyone was and how much was going on in the chat! We look forward to seeing you again soon as we will be hosting such platform-related events every quarter!

For those of you who couldn’t make it or simply would like a recap, no worries! We included the main highlights as well as the event’s recording below.

Behind-the-scenes with the UX: Collecting insights

We kicked things off with our UX Designer, Urte Spalvyte, who revealed parts of our user research process that drives each user experience improvement we bring to our product. 

There are many aspects to it, but we usually start by talking to various of our teams e.g. Sales and Product to help identify pain points based on the feedback we receive. Then, we reach out to Solution Partners and End-Customers to gather information about their experience using Ucommerce on a day-to-day basis. Once the research is complete, the UX and Product teams begin to work together to create an awesome and improved e-commerce experience.

At the Preview Event, we presented the upcoming changes to our User Interface. While our long-term goal is to update the whole User Interface of Ucommerce, for the 9.5 release we focus on the discount part of the old Marketing Foundation.

The Marketing Foundation is part of Ucommerce where users can manage discounts and campaigns. When planning the revamp, we decided to change the name of the section to Promotions App. At the same time, we focused on improving its looks and usability.

To help us determine the most critical struggles that our customers were facing, we asked them to give us their insights on the following questions:

What was your experience with the Marketing Foundation?
How do you work with the Marketing Foundation on a daily basis?
Do you have any frustrations related to using the Marketing Foundation?

Based on the insights we gained, we prioritized the two most essential issues to be implemented alongside the new User Interface:

🚀WORKFLOW » based on the feedback we received about the counterintuitive process of setting up a promotion among the new users;

🚀TERMINOLOGY » based on our users' feeling that they have to be extra careful when picking and selecting items, as some terms we use in the Marketing Foundation sound confusing to them.

So we rolled up our sleeves and began to work on what will become the Ucommerce Promotions App.

Revamp of the Promotions App

At the Ucommerce 9.5 Preview Event, our senior frontend developer Louise Strøh presented a live demo, showcasing the results of the joined forces of our UX and Product teams.

We redesigned and updated the Promotions App to match the looks of our new user interface. With the release of Ucommerce 9 in March 2020, we started introducing a fresh, unified, and user-friendly interface that complies with modern UX design trends. You can read more about our approach to the new User Interface here.

Both Urte and Louise also showed our viewers how we tackled the remaining pressing issues found during our research process - workflow and terminology.

Terminology

Even though Ucommerce is a developer-oriented platform, we want to make sure that it’s easy to use both for the CTO and the E-commerce Manager. That's why we needed to address the customer feedback regarding confusing terminology inside our Marketing Foundation. 

First and foremost, we changed the name of the Marketing Foundation itself to Promotions. By switching the name, we wanted to make sure the user quickly understands the purpose and contents of the app. That change followed one more, based solely on consistency - changing Campaign item properties toPromotion properties.

When renaming particular properties, we aimed at coming up with terms that would resemble the user jargon. For instance, instead of having the checkbox for a promotion say it’s enabled,” we opted forpublished,” which is a more commonly-used word. We also changed the overcomplicated Allow additional discounts if this discount is awarded  to Allow following promotions to be combined together with this one.

Last but not least, we decided to kill our darlings by letting go of some of the classic terms that we’ve used in Ucommerce for years. If you’re interested in seeing what the terms were and why we decided to remove them, check out Urte’s talk below. 👇

Workflow

The most apparent change you will notice when handling a new promotion in Ucommerce 9.5 is that the process is no longer happening in the side navigation. 

After creating a new promotion, the process moving forward enables you to work with three different areas:

Promotion properties (the old Campaign Item Properties) where you can publish and unpublish the promotion, as well as enable combining it with other promotions.

Criteria (the old Act section) where you can set and manage the requirements the user has to fulfill for a discount to be granted.

Discount section (the old Award section) where you can manage customer discounts.

If you want to see how easy it is to work with these areas and accomplish tasks as e.g. handle criteria selection, create promo codes, and much more in the updated UI & workflows, check out Louise's live demo below. You will get to see a full set-by-step example of these workflows in action. 

What comes next

We dedicated the last part of the Preview Event to sharing the newest updates on our roadmap. The main goal of the Engine Roadmap, which covers improvements to Ucommerce as a product and all the e-commerce capabilities, is to complete the transition into our new User Interface. To make that happen, we will release version 9.5 with the revamped  Promotions App, followed by the new UI for the Campaigns in Q3, and changes in the looks of the Order Management in Q4. While our product team is currently finalizing the Promotions App, the UX department is already working on Order Management.

Journey to the Cloud 

As we’ve already mentioned at the Ucommerce 9.4 Launch Event, our new mission for the next three years is to turn Ucommerce into a headless e-commerce platform. We’ve already started putting effort into reaching that goal by working more closely with companies in our Partner Program and expanding internally.

Once we succeed in turning Ucommerce into a headless web-based API, we will proceed with building a managed cloud. That will give our users an option to run Ucommerce in an environment taken care of by us and free them from the need to set up and update our software.

Finally, our last goal on the current roadmap is to transition Ucommerce into a cloud-native platform. We want to gradually keep taking more and more advantage of all the cloud opportunities, which will result in Ucommerce becoming more efficient and scalable.

You can hear more about our roadmap in the presentation by our Founder and CPO, Søren Spelling Lund.

“The managed cloud is our bet to the future. I believe that in 3-5 years, you will no longer see software installed locally on a server. It will all be managed, and we need to move in that direction to stay relevant.”
Søren Spelling Lund CPO and Founder, Ucommerce

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