Start-Up Nation Finder

Product design lead

2017 - 2020
Start-Up Nation Finder mokup assembly

About the Project

Start-Up Nation Central is an independent non-profit that connects business, government, and NGO leaders worldwide with Israeli innovation. One of their leading projects is Start-Up nation Finder – a free online directory of the Israeli start-up ecosystem.

My Role

I was part of the Finder design team at Brio interaction Design ltd. since 2017, and since 2019 I led the design team and mentored the designers working on the various tasks. As part of updating the site's registration process, I led the research and concept formulation and instructed the designers to create the specific flows required.
the goal
Increase the number of site registrations while collecting information as a basis for future personalization.
The challenge
Create a registration flow that prompts the user to sign-up without interfering with the intended use of the site.
The Finder was created as part of Start-Up Nation Central's goal to make the Israeli ecosystem accessible. As part of this agenda, all the information is available for free and without registration. On the other hand, the company had a business goal of obtaining information about its users to support personalization features that should increase engagement. As a consequence, the design defined which features require registration, as well as how to address any reservations users might have.
the plan
men touring in almond field
Review of design conventions and best practices
Mapping user flows
Using FullStory to identify vulnerabilities. Rethinking the main user flows and when it is best to prompt users to sign-up.
Designing updated flows
Both sign-up and login
Analysis of best practices
After reviewing various sign-up processes, I found two main principles that guided the design:
Frictionless sign-up flow
To ensure a high conversion rate, the sign-up flow should be as simple as possible. This principle led me to put thought into each field added to make sure it was necessary. The goal was to retrieve further data through social login and the actual use of the site.
One-Click registration
To reduce friction, the new sign-up flow supported registration with LinkedIn, google, and email, instead of only LinkedIn before.
Mapping and rethinking the user flow
After reviewing sessions on FullStory and talking with users, it was clear the existing sign-up prompts were acting as a barrier instead of a catalyst to encourage more sign-ups.
Start-Up Nation Finder old user flowStart-Up Nation Finder new user flow
To avoid cutting the user off while she is in the middle of completing a task, I came up with alternate options to prompt the user to sign-up. For example, limiting the number of search results presented to unregistered users. This created a better balance between the business goals and the users' state of mind and reduced page abandonment. 
Improving popup layout
The original popup layout made it difficult to identify it as a sign-up form. Users tended to miss the email opt-in checkbox due to its location and text length; this increased the number of errors.
Start-Up Nation Finder's new sign up popup
Start-Up Nation Finder old sign up popup
I redesigned the sign-up popup to have a clear title, indicating what the user needs to do. I used typography and changed the layout to break the opt-in sentence into two parts, making it shorter and simpler to scan.

Messaging alignment

As users could access almost everything without registering, the advantages of signing up were unclear. To solve this I created multiple sign up popups with different value propositions based on the user's action before being prompted to sign up. This way, users could better understand why the popup even appeared, and there was a better incentive to register.
Start-Up Nation Finder sign up promt for collectionsStart-Up Nation Finder sign up promt for adding your companyStart-Up Nation Finder sign up promt for export

Creating a separate login flow

There was no login button in the original design, and the user had to click the sign-up button to re-enter the site. I added a separate login button wherever a sign-up button appeared, which prompted a separate login flow. 
It's all about the numbers
In the first months after the new design launched, there was a 5% increase in website sign-ups. There was a 40% decrease in sign-up errors and almost 5% improvement in abandonments during the search process.
future thoughts
There are still things I would change
The optimization of registration processes and forms is an evolving process that includes examining the data and iterations. When I go back and look at the designs of the registration process, there are things I would change to improve it further:
Changing the wording of the sign-up button
To improve conversion rates, I would try changing the button label to "Get free access". It ties the button's microcopy to the site's main value - access to the Israeli ecosystem for free. Using an actionable verb compels the users to act. 
Start-Up Nation Finder future button text change
Pop-up Button size
The registration buttons in the pop-up are round and small, so they attract less attention compared to other interactive elements. I would try to put large rectangular buttons in the registration popup to improve the entire layout's scannability, making it more straightforward
What I’ve learned
Working on these core flows with a data-driven design made clear how important it is to grind the numbers to detect necessary changes. Although the original requirements referred to problems in the sign-up process, this task highlighted how important it is to look at the bigger picture and make sure the design creates a complete experience tailored to all user and business needs. 
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