WD My Cloud Onboarding
Redesigning the Out-Of-Box Experience for the WD My Cloud
When I joined Western Digital, I was asked to look into the out-of-box experience for the consumer end of the WD My Cloud product line. At the time the product had lower than expected sales and was receiving poor reviews. Customers were letting it be known that the product was hard to setup, and not fulfilling the promise of the “personal cloud”. That promise began with the out-of-box experience.
- Lead designer and researcher for out-of-box experience including web-based setup experience and all ecosystem touch points.
- Worked closely with mobile designer to ensure consistency in setup experience across mobile apps
- Competitive analysis, user research, and auto-ethnography diary study
- Sketching, storyboarding, wireframing, prototyping, content design, and final hi-fidelity design deliverables
- Content Design & Visual Design of the new printed setup guide
- Evangelizing consumer-focused approach to the personal cloud
The Director of UX tasked me with reimagining the entire out-of-box experience with the regular consumer in mind. Early on we established three primary tasks: get the hardware set up, introduce the user to the personal cloud functionality, and help the user migrate their existing data to their personal cloud. This was simple to describe, but tricky to do well given the product design landscape.
During the discovery phase, one of the primary insights I had was that the actual product experience was not aligning with customers' expectations for a "personal cloud". The company was selling a personal cloud, but the the product team was still building the same old NAS (network attached storage) drive. It was evident in both the language of the UI, and in how the team spoke internally about the product and its intended users.
I spent a great deal of time educating the product org about how this affected the product, and what kinds of opportunities we were missing by insisting upon the hardware status quo instead of the new value proposition outlined in the marketing push. Here is one of my (in)famous slides I used to conduct discussions with product managers and developers about the distinctions between the terms "NAS" and "Personal Cloud":
During the discovery phase I also conducted extensive competitive analysis, auto-ethnographic diary studies, and user review analysis. This research was synthesized to fuel a value hypothesis activity that helped identify key design insights and scenarios to design around. This was all put into an experience storyboard to gather feedback from stakeholders.
EARLY EXPERIENCE STORYBOARD
HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPE & TESTING
I printed the storyboards and hung them in a public design room where stakeholders could directly provide feedback. I synthesized this feedback in addition to data from user surveys and kept iterating. I honed the design to focus on "quick wins" for easy setup of the hardware, as well as a simplified “getting started” experience to introduce users to the full My Cloud app ecosystem and help them migrate their data.
The next version I created was a high-fidelity prototype that was used to test the entire out-of-box experience with users in our usability lab. We created a "real-world" setup of a living room where users came in, unboxed the My Cloud, hooked it up per the instructions, and went through the entire software setup experience, complete with mobile installation and data migration.
EARLY CLICK-THROUGH PROTOTYPE
REDESIGNING THE PRINTED SETUP GUIDE
The existing setup guide was unnecessarily complex, making it seem like the product was more complicated that it really was. It provided multiple ways to set up the drive, each with its own unique quirks. Content-wise, the over-reliance on text made it necessary to provide many language translations that further complicated the guide and used more paper. (This was very costly when hundreds of thousands of units each needed one in the box.)
As if all that wasn't enough to warrant a redesign, the existing content also didn't match the brand identity and marketing message of the WD My Cloud. This was problematic since this was the first thing customers saw when unboxing the product.
THE ORIGINAL SETUP GUIDE
What was originally nothing but an ultra-pragmatic, technical setup guide was redesigned to serve both as a simple guide and a greeting to the customer upon opening the box for the first time. This reinforced the brand identity and product value message.
The back of the card contained greatly simplified instructions, focusing on a single setup path (the newly created web-based setup experience). I created a visual composition that didn't rely on text, eliminating the need for multiple language translations. The smaller form factor also allowed us to use a better quality paper while decreasing the overall cost of printing.
This redesign of the printed setup guide became the standard style for the entire line of My Cloud products, and they are still using it today (2+ years later).
THE REDESIGNED SETUP GUIDE
The final results of this effort decreased the complexity of the cloud setup and better matched the expectations set by the "personal cloud" message of the My Cloud product line. When the product hit the shelves and the reviews started coming in, long gone were the comments denouncing the product as just a glorified NAS that was hard to setup and was "not a cloud replacement". Instead, the feedback about the out-of-box experience was full of quotes like these (from Amazon):
"I wanted a simple wireless / network backup solution for 2 Mac laptops. On reading some of the negative reviews, I was a little nervous about setup, but I can't believe how incredibly easy this was – it was even easier than setting up my iPhone!"
"Setup was amazingly smooth."
"You don't need to be tech savvy to setup the cloud drive."
"Easy setup, just took a few minutes...not complicated."
"Upon arrival it took about 10 minutes to set up and now I have my own cloud."
MY ROLE AND CREDIT
While I was the design lead for the entire project, I collaborated with many great folks along the way. Fellow UX Designers Burr Walker, Neeresh Padmanabhan, and Morgan Russell all helped with feedback, brainstorming, and storyboarding. UX Developer Dean Ashworth helped build the prototype during user testing. UX Researcher Raja Bell helped me put together user surveys and usability testing sessions. Visual designers Marianne Carmona, Rachel Donne, and Ofir Levy all contributed visual concepts and style guides for the final UI.
My Cloud 2.0
This design project ended up being part of a much larger "My Cloud 2.0" initiative to completely redesign or add to the full suite of My Cloud software products. On the back of this project, the scope of my responsibility was greatly expanded to include the MyCloud.com site, firmware upgrade experience across the product suite, and ensuring consistency across the desktop, web, and mobile platforms.