I always enjoy doing case studies for the industry’s big and small players. This time I had a pleasure working with Upwork folks and did a couple of case studies for them. This particular one was done in August 2017 for their current version of Upwork Mobile App, particularly for the Freelancer’s end of the app.

The Problem:

Currently, freelancers are able to Search and Save Jobs, Submit Proposals, Accept Invitations and Offers, and Send Messages. They are not able to see or access submitted proposal which might significantly shorten the time spent on the apps while forced to access and track submitted proposals on the web. This interrupts the natural flow in Freelancer’s interaction with the apps. Judging by the freelancers’ feedback, the lack of Proposals feature is negatively affecting the overall user experience with the product, which might cause lower user engagement and, as a result, possible decline in revenue.

The Solution:

After conducting a thorough evaluation of the current UX and features of the Upwork mobile native apps as well as scanning through users comments in the App Store, I believe we’re facing certain problems that can be fairly easily solved without affecting the apps’ overall look and functionality.

I suggest to introduce Proposals and perform a round of A/B testing to gauge user’s response to the feature. By doing so, I believe we would be able to confirm the data we already have (customer’s feedback and requests). If successfully implemented, I am certain Proposals would improve the KPI numbers, more specifically: growth and activation, user engagement and retention.

Suggestions:

  • To rename Saved section into Proposals and keep Saved as a subcategory inside Proposals category.
  • To position Proposals, Feed, and Searches according to the provided mockups.

The Proposals feature should be built on iOS and Android platforms according to the User Stories and Wireframes. User Stories should be included in the final SOW to avoid any unexpected misunderstandings. Graphics should be done according to the app’s current conceptual design.
Designers and Developers should be able to provide a time-frame and a budget estimation for the feature development. Based on that estimation, we’ll be able to come up with a Project Plan and confirm it with the team.

One More Thing…

The Problem:

Currently it’s not easy to keep track on freelancer’s contracts and proposals progress inside the native apps. In order to see the list of active jobs, offers, and active candidacy, as well as to keep track of the earnings, Freelancer has to leave the app and access that information via Upwork’s website. Every time a freelancer has to leave the app, there is always a chance that she or he won’t be coming back, making his experience limited to the web app. It chains him down to the desk, and we’re losing users who prefer to stay “Mobile”.

Providing freelancers with necessary tools and access to the needed information will improve the native apps’ experience, which in turn will increase the KPI numbers and Upwork’s chances against the competition.

The Solution:

The proposed changes are meant to improve UX without adding any unnecessary
clutter, which means that certain functionality (that requires the user to perform too many steps for a mobile UI) should remain on the web app only.

  • To remove Searches tab/category altogether. Currently, while using Search bar, user is presented with the screen of Search related options such as: Saved Searches, My Categories, Recent Searches. User can also access All
    Categories from the same screen. Having a separate Searches tab that takes up prime real-estate on the screen might be too redundant.
  • To introduce My Jobs tab/category in place of Searches.

My Jobs would have Active Contracts, Offers, and Active Candidacies
subcategories to help Freelancer to keep track on his or her current work, to see
if he or she has any new offers, and to see whether his or her proposal moved to
the next step (from Submitted Proposals to Active Candidacies). Having the Total
Earnings number in the right upper corner will also work as an incentive for the
customer to keep returning to the app.

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