cPanel Store & License Management

July 7, 2021

PROJECT SUMMARY

cPanel is a web hosting provider’s tool to manage their sites, servers, and businesses. I designed and optimized the cPanel Store buying process and upselling offers to extend cPanel & WHM capabilities. I also improved the license management after their purchase.

cPanel Store
Core Responsibilities

Information Architecture, User Research, Usability Testing, Wireframe, Interactive Prototype, & User interface Design

Timeline

3 months from research to design before handing it off to developers and another 2 – 3 months to complete the implementation.

Additional Context

Oakley Capital acquired cPanel during the redesign phase, which resulted in many organizational changes.

Targeted Audience

cPanel Partners and small to medium-size businesses.


SITUATION

cPanel store is a place to purchase cPanel & WHM licenses and additional services directly without going through our partners. The objectives were to increase cPanel & WHM sales, find ways to upsell tools to extend cPanel & WHM platform and streamline license management. I worked in the marketing department, where I built strategies, executed all user research and testing, and diagramed the sitemap, user flow, wireframe, interactive prototype, and design direction. In addition, I coordinated, collaborated, and provided recommendations to the internal development team, ensuring a unified and consistent experience.

cPanel Store Information Architecture
Original Sitemap Architecture

Analyze and identify the pain points in the buying, upselling opportunities, purchase time, and license managing process.

RESEARCH PROCESS

The research phase is the initial process of understanding the areas of constraints in our current store. Below are the actions I performed, which I collected, analyzed, and formulated plans to discover and understand behavior patterns that impact buying experiences in the existing store. Data collection, such as monitoring the task time, success/failure, complexity rating, and error/observation logs, provided me with the benchmark to evaluate, explore a solution, and validate the user’s goals.

Original cPanel Store
Original cPanel Store

I gathered google analytics data, heatmaps, video recordings, customer service feedback, user flows, sitemaps, and updated persona.

I identified the type of UX metrics needed to develop appropriate scenarios and tasks. I recruited internal employees, performed user testing, and synthesized findings.

I hypothesized and developed wireframes and interactive prototypes. I performed several quick user tests to validate the hypothesis.


User Testing

User testing is critical information to gather quantitative and qualitative data and helps identify the needs, desires, confusion, struggles, and any anomaly we may overlook. Collecting evidence allowed us to support recommendations, mitigate the risk of design changes, and measure the return on investment (ROI) against future iterations. I devised a plan and developed 10 scenarios with 10 tasks to test the current and newly redesigned store if time permits. I then conducted 20 user tests utilizing internal executives and employees to identify common issues.

There were three reasons why I took this approach. 1) Performing user tests in public was not something we were allowed to do. The data I provided for testing purposes was not to be shared. 2) Educated executives and employees on the values of user testing. 3) Demonstrated the process by focusing on the end user’s journey and objectives when purchasing our products. Showing the methods of testing users’ thought processes and interactions was a highlight that our employees found invaluable. They saw the possibilities and benefits that allowed them to test product viability and optimize the user experience.

Planned and developed 10 scenarios with 10 tasks and conducted 20 user tests.

10

Scenarios, each scenario contained a task

20

People participated in user tests

8

Executive Managers, & Product Owners

15

Hours of videos recorded


Discovery & Findings

When performing the user testing, each user sits in a controlled environment with a computer that starts from our cPanel main website along with an instructional paper. Video recording took place before reading the scenarios and tasks aloud. As they read and performed the tasks at hand, confusion, inefficiency, pain points, and opportunities for improvement were revealed immediately. The main takeaway I gathered was not able to access the store and manage licenses from the corporate site. This finding was a huge gap we overlooked on the existing site to the store, so we fixed the issue immediately. Once they got to a product page, the license types (Solo, VPS, or Dedicated) were confusing and frustrating to determine which product to purchase based on the user’s requirements. Another discovery was users did not understand that IP addresses were associated with the number of licenses to buy.

One of User Test Scenarios & Tasks

Scenario: You have a server set up at home and need software that allows for server management for several clients. You discovered a solution that fits your needs.

Task: Buy a monthly cPanel & WHM license that allows you to sell web hosting and manage sites for at least 5 user accounts.

Users were unable to log in to manage their license(s) from the home page.

Confused

Users could not determine which license to buy based on the number of customers they have.

Orders

The user did not know the IP Address was associated with the number of orders.

6m 11s

Average time

65%

Task pass

2.35/5

Complexity Rating


DESIGN PROCESS

The next phase was where I hypothesized and explored practical solutions using the previous data. I’ve collaborated with a content writer, marketers, and product owner to gather the content information to kick off a low-fidelity wireframe and structure the user journey from the entry point of our website to the end of purchasing and managing cPanel & WHM licenses

Userflow Prototype
Low-Fidelity Interactive Prototype

Formulate Buying & Managing Licenses Process

I developed a new wireframe to address the confusion and common issues discovered in the user research phase. I included additional functionality and features to streamline and increased business opportunities that allow them to expand their services. Such as placing add-ons on the product page to extend the platform capabilities and adding UI elements that enabled them to include additional products without leaving the store. Other helpful information were status/progress notifications, setting the number of licenses that tie with IP address, purchasing verifications, and visual cues/aids to guide their objectives.

Wireframe
User flow & Wireframe

UI Design Concept

The final deliverable was to enhance the overall user interface and interaction and finalize the design using the cPanel brand and style guide within the store and license management page. The design shows what’s possible within the page, such as adding, deleting, configuring/editing, renewing, and cloning a product, add-on, or service. I provided multiple visual cues for users to identify what action is possible and showed the status of their current situation.

Configure Order
Configure Order
Manage Licenses
Manage Licenses

CONLUSION

Performing user research revealed many discoveries that allow us to rectify issues immediately, strategize, explore potential solutions, and validate our assumptions. When we first discovered the disconnect between the home page and the store, we added a new pathway by adding a navigation button to connect to the online store. We saw an increase of 30% in traffic, and sales were up by more than 5% in the first month. It was a defining moment of success that we took to heart when it came to user testing.

I also received recognition after sharing the analysis and user testing results with those who participated in user testing. A few people came for advice to learn about user testing methods for their team. 

After handing off the final design to internal development, the leadership, product owners, and employees recognized the value of UX and UI improvement in the store. Unfortunately, I left for another opportunity before I could see the results in sales or whether design changes had improved the online experience. I value all user research as early and as often as possible to ensure the best results we can rely upon without making guesses when building products.

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