Research + Product Designer
Cormac Rada, Kaylie Henry
User App Review
Every year since 2006, the U.S. Postal Services (USPS) has experienced a year-on-year decline in mail volume.To engage with current and future customers, USPS launched a project to redesign the USPS mobile application and develop it native to iOS and the Android.
Both new and experienced USPS customers feel there is a “steep learning curve” for them to overcome in order to ship, mail, or interact with USPS. Every USPS seems to be configured uniquely and every package seems to have specific requirements.The mobile app treats core features differently. USPS Mobile looks and functions completely different than USPS Informed Delivery app, and USPS Mobile and Informed Delivery look and function different than USPS.com.
USPS Mobile isn't viewed as being helpful and often time pushes users outside of the app to their browser to complete most processes on USPS.com.
To inform the redesign of the mobile app we worked with the USPS to define three audiences that wanted to capture and satisfy through the next generation application design and features.
USPS customers that engage with USPS through Post Offices in the Washington, DC metro area, the USPS.com website, and the current mobile application. Within this audience segment, we aimed to identify and engage with USPS customers who are unaware of the current USPS mobile app and non-USPS customers using other apps for similar services.
Companies that employ less than six people. This includes residential-based businesses such as independent distributors, independent contractors, freelance artists, and online sellers on platforms like eBay and Etsy.
Individuals in two age group demographics: 14-17 years and 18-25 years who are not currently frequent users of USPS services.
Individuals who have used or currently use the USPS Mobile application. Within this audience segment we wanted to understand how they were made aware of app, their usage of the app, and their overall satisfaction with functionality and design of the mobile application.
All customer interactions with USPS should be visible via one single profile whether it be a post office, an online or mobile transaction. Tracking receipts from retail locations should be present within the app, and information that is known and frequently used (e.g. account credentials, addresses, payment, location information from home and work) should be pre-populated.
An overreliance on the post office clerk creates a notoriously confusing and lengthy experience. By redesigning USPS’s service model, a mobile integration would Allow users to pay for merchandise at the store from their phone (e.g. QR code, mobilewallet); measure and order ahead on their phone (e.g. print shipping labels,purchase stamps, supplies) and pick up in store, and offer 24/7 secure delivery and drop-off lockers.
When customers do not know what they need, they want the ability to easily learn about mailing/shipping options and pricing options based on schedule, size, postage, insurance, and relative to competitors. When users know what they want, they expect patterns of interaction similar to frequently used e-commerce sites showing inventory, wait time, recommendations based on their specific usage history, and an integrated in-app payment system.
We collected responses from 600 respondents, through 20 different online platforms, related to how customers interact with the USPS across their many platforms.
We facilitated discussions with 25 participants to capture feedback on the USPS app and similar applications offered by FedEx, UPS, Amazon and discuss desired capabilities in a redesigned app.
We visited six Post Office locations to in DC, MD, VA and surveyed 120 respondents to observe pain points to solve in the application and how different types of users experience the post office and .
To create the future direction of the USPS mobile app, we sought to conduct user research to capture how customers interact with the current USPS mobile app, gauge non-app users’ awareness of the current USPS mobile offering, identify what other non-USPS apps customers may use, and pinpoint the types of functionality target audiences would find useful in the redesigned app. Through this research we affinity mapped results and developed Personas to represent the primary audiences.