Heralds

Helping busy venture backed founders find the right Executive Assistant.

This is an on-going client project currently going through the development phase. 

stripeLanding (1).png

Role                                                                                                                                UX Researcher, UX/UI Designer

Team                                                                                                                                  1 UX Copywriter,  1 Developer


Platform                                                                                                                                                                          Web

Project length                                                                                                                                                      2 months

Tools                                                                                                                            Invision, Figma, Zeplin, Webflow

01 Problem 

Finding an executive assistant

is a catch-22

You need an executive assistant because you don’t have time, but finding the right executive assistant takes time. The search for a competent, trustworthy executive assistant is hard. We helped to fix that.

I started with the client.

 

Heralds is an On Deck backed Silicon Valley based company that specializes in connecting startup founders with highly trained executive assistants. 

The founder of Heralds' pain points were:

  1. Revenue loss from potential clients who didn't understand what service was being offered and how it could help them.

  2. Low hiring rates from prospective job seekers because the current website only catered to clients.

  3. Feeling ashamed of the existing website due to not having had any input in the design. 

 
 

02 Research

Group 256 (4)_edited.png

I dove into the research.

I conducted secondary research on the Executive assistant industry in the Philippines and its connection to Silicon Valley's tech companies. 
 

I uncovered Silicon Valley’s dirty little secret.

A large majority of tech companies in Silicon Valley are built on the backs of South-East Asian labor.
 

bpo.jpg

The Business Process Outsourcing industry in the Philippines is the single largest sector and employs over 1.2 million people across 700+ outsourcing companies.

Due to the low cost of labor and English speaking population, the world’s largest companies rely on outsourcing from the Philippines.

And yet, Filipino labour is kept largely hidden.

Despite providing the talent that allows technology startups to scale quickly and cost effectively, outsourcing is often perceived in a negative light. 

 

I conducted a competitive analysis of other EA companies and discovered a common trend:

not disclosing the location of their workers.

 

I was curious to see if the location of EAs mattered to clients so I turned to user interviews. 

Job seekers

Key Insights

With the research in mind, I carried out in-depth interviews with startup founders (potential clients) to understand their needs and pain points and the current hiring manager to empathize with potential job seekers.

Potential

Clients

Group 2_edited.png

Interestingly, when asked if the location of where the Executive Assistants are from mattered, potential clients overwhelmingly said they didn't care. This insight disproved the research finding that outsourcing is often perceived in a negative light.

Problem Statements



With 2 target users in mind, I came up with these problem statements:

Group 256 (5).png

Clients:

How might we improve potential clients' understanding of Heralds' value proposition to increase sales revenue?

Job seekers: 

How might we inspire potential job seekers to work for Heralds to attract the best talent?

03 Redesign

Group 256 (7).png

How the research insights drove the redesign.
After gaining deep empathy for the 2 users, I concluded the following issues: 

 

Problem #1: Potential clients don’t have time to go through several steps to find an EA

Problem #2: Potential clients don't understand what the company is offering

Original Hero Section 

Group 27 (2).png

In the redesign, I implemented the following changes:

Solution #1: Give users a consumer like experience similar to Amazon's 1-Click checkout that gives them instant access to an EA without an arduous, multistep process. 

Solution #2: Provide users with a clear value proposition as soon as they enter the site.



Redesigned Hero Section 

Group 28.png
 

Problem #3: Potential clients don't know what EAs can do

Problem #4: Potential job seekers don't know about career opportunities

Original About Section 

Group 29 (2).png

In the redesign, I implemented the following changes:

 

Solution #3: Show users how EAs can help them with their business with a FAQ section

Solution #4: Create a Careers page with detailed benefits of working for the company

Redesigned About Section 

Group 30 (3).png
Group 24 (3).png

Testing

I conducted 1 round of user testing with 5 individual participants in total.

Users had a good understanding of what service was being provided by the company. There was some confusion about the difference between Executive Assistants and Virtual Assistants. Additionally, users couldn't tell if Heralds was actively hiring and what the hiring criteria was

 

Changes made from testing output:

 

1. The naming convention in the next iteration was kept consistent with only "Executive Assistant" being used in the website copy. 

2. A "What We're Looking For" section was added to the Careers page.

3. An "Open Positions" section was added to the Careers page with specific executive assistant roles. 

Group 256 (8).png

Branding

 

Next, I defined the brand identity.

 

I conducted a design discovery process where I collected information from the client to determine the brand archetype.

brand1.png
brand3.png
Group 256 (9).png
brand archetype.jpg

The result: the Creator

Based on the information I collected, Heralds strives to be innovative by empowering others to think creatively and express themselves through the products they produce and the experiences they create.


 

The Word Mark and Logo Redesign

image_6__1_-removebg-preview 1.png

The original company name was not SEO friendly and would often be mistaken for the name "Harolds". Using the naming resource, Onym, we generated a new name: Hark

The original name, Heralds, came from Greek mythology. The heralds were the messengers of the Gods and had winged feet. Sticking with wing iconography, I brainstormed ideas for the redesign.

Group 14.png
Group 15.png

The chosen redesign

The Final Prototype

Desktop - 2 (1).png
Group 25 (2).png

04 Key Learnings

The 3 biggest lessons I learned from this project: 

  1. Users increasingly want consumer like experiences when navigating B2C sites.

  2. Choosing a company name that lends itself to wordplay can simplify branding and marketing collateral. 

  3. Working closely with a UX copywriter can lead to more buy in with the client.

This client project was my first time working alongside a UX copywriter. The biggest lesson I learned from this collaboration is that writers and designers should begin working together right from the start. That way we can see the bigger picture of the project, rather than compartmentalizing the project into silos. Additionally, having a strong partnership from the beginning allowed us to develop a more united front when we faced pushback from the client and developer regarding certain design choices, such as the decision to change the hero header. 

This project taught me to find design inspiration from outside industries, such as applying the ecommerce practice of  giving users consumer like experiences to the process of acquiring an Executive Assistant service. 

Next Steps

 

The client recently made some big changes to the business model and is planning to add workflow automation to the company's services. As a result, the next step is to focus on solving the new problem: how to connect executive assistants and workflow automation to one crucial customer persona.

 

An even bigger challenge will be to show how these 2 business units are interrelated and make each other stronger, as customers sometimes fall prey to the fallacy that adding additional business offerings may dilute the quality of the original service. 

 

TESTIMONIAL

"Corinna adds clarity to every project she's added to. She managed the end-to-end design process from research to execution, and somehow managed to be negative-maintenance throughout the entire experience."

Nathan Forster- Founder of Heralds