Small business owners deal with the many facets of running a business on a daily basis. From payments processing and shipping to marketing and hiring, there are various tasks on an entrepreneur's to-do list. The right tools help business owners run their companies successfully.
Tiendanube (Nuvemshop in Brazil) is an e-commerce platform that empowers entrepreneurs across Latin America to run their businesses. Their omnichannel platform integrates products, payments, and shipping in a move to help independent owners with everything they need to build their business.
“To really solve our users’ problems and create a product that improves their daily life, we’re constantly testing the solutions we create.”
Designers play a central role in building Tiendanube to meet their users’ needs. “We’re a team of 150 people, and the design team has more than ten designers focused on improving the experience of our merchants, partners and consumers every day,” says Damián Horn, Head of Design at Tiendanube.
Each designer is responsible for creating solutions for specific problems and testing with users. The product team works in 6 weeks cycles, and during a cycle, they have new designs to test weekly.
“As a startup, we need to design, learn, and ship fast to continuously improve our product. For us, this is complex because we have three types of users located in different countries: merchants, consumers, and partners. To really solve our users’ problems and create a product that improves their daily life, we’re constantly testing the solutions we create.”
The Tiendanube team ran into a bottleneck—the existent process for testing new designs was slow, limiting the amount of feedback they were able to collect from users. Like most design teams, they conducted face-to-face interviews with customers, showed a prototype, and watched people work through several tasks.
While insightful, this took weeks of planning and interviewing to obtain valid data. “We had to coordinate meeting times to invite people to our office. It took one or two weeks of testing until we finally obtained some insights about the new flows.”
While teaching UX design at Digital House, a local coding school, Damián came upon Maze.
“When I saw that Maze provided metrics and worked asynchronously, I knew this is what our team needed.”
Damián introduced Maze to the rest of the design team and they started conducting remote testing with users straight away.
"Before we had Maze, it was very expensive for us to learn about our new designs. Now we can move forward in one or two days. Maze is giving us a big boost and helps us build faster."
The metrics from Maze allow the Tiendanube team to be confident in what they’re building. “We automatically get proof that shows if our design works or not. We send a prototype to our users and then wait and learn. That's awesome!”
Features like Maze A/B testing enable the Tiendanube designers to compare current designs with new solutions.
“We used to be able to do this only after we deployed. We can now measure one-on-one the old version with the new design before we launch and invest time coding.”
Asynchronous testing at Tiendanube happens in WhatsApp user groups. The design team collects feedback from merchants by sharing links to new design tests. “We used to spend a lot of time reaching out to customers, and that was really time-consuming,” says Damián.
So they set up WhatsApp user groups with users and accelerated the process instantly. The Tiendanube team operates from different locations in Latin America, so they created a dedicated group for each country.
“We use these groups to share Maze tests and gather feedback on our new prototypes. We have prototype tests running weekly. Before Maze, it was impossible to achieve that quantity of feedback and metrics so, so fast.”
And customers are very enthusiastic about it. “They see that the feedback they give us we incorporate into the product,” says Damián.
With three user groups in Brazil, three in Argentina, and another one in Mexico, Tiendanube can address their customers’ needs well. “The problems merchants from Brazil have are very different from the problems people in Buenos Aires have. We want to be local to provide those little things that make their experience better.”
With a focus on research and design principles that put their users first, the Tiendanube team is poised to create a product that allows entrepreneurs to start and grow their business.
“It’s really important for us to keep learning from our users. We are constantly working on the product so we need to test with a lot of users to identify any issues. With Maze, we design, test, and iterate—all this usually in a week!—and launch being confident about our new design.”