Poorly-run meetings waste time, money and decrease efficiency within a company. In fact, it’s estimated that employees waste up to 31 hours a month in unproductive meetings.
Meeting Habits is a simple way to improve these meetings. The service promotes a new smart meeting habit every month. The founder, Lee Pichette, has had prior experience with corporate wellness programs and applied the same concept to meetings. With MeetingHabits, employees are encouraged to hold each other accountable for implementing smart habits into their meetings. They can track their progress, and view their data to see how they and the rest of their company are improving. This data motivates teams, helping companies save time and money, thus improving workplace efficiency.
Scout aimed to help the client in two ways:
#1 Creating a brand identity and logo. The brand identity would be that this service fosters employee satisfaction, since, shorter and effective meetings mean more time to get important stuff done. Thus, this creates a culture of productivity in the workplace.
#2 Designing and developing a marketing website for the product to show the benefits of adopting MeetingHabits, provide a clear description of how the product works, and give customers various ways to reach out if interested.
Improving meetings is usually not a top priority for CEOs or HR Reps. Our challenge for the marketing website was to make meeting efficiency seem much more urgent— lousy meetings were using up a lot of precious time and money, and MeetingHabits would really make a positive impact for the company culture.
Thus, accordingly, we made two major decisions for the client.
#1 Choosing illustrations over photography: We decided that we wanted to use solely illustrations rather than photography. We wanted to stay away from the stock photo feeling of most company imagery.
#2 Breaking up the website: Splitting the website into four main pages (Home, How it Works, Why MeetingHabits, and Contact) was a very deliberate decision. We toyed around with the idea of just having one page to explain the product and its benefits, then decided that it would be better to have the homepage serve more as a summary page, and have How it Works and Why MeetingHabits be more supplemental and in-depth. This allowed for better navigation and gave us ample room to go more in-depth, since, our primary focus was to present the benefits of the service.
Our client laid out his vision for the website; he wanted it to offer several methods through which the buyer could get in touch (varying CTA’s), and, he also desired to have a place on the site that, could help potential buyers understand the product on a deeper level.
So, throughout the semester, we came up with several different versions of each website page to make sure the user experience helped our client accomplish his goals.
Our final version of the homepage had color and font changes, since our client wanted the website to be concise, fun, casual, and quirky. Lastly, we also replaced text with illustrations, making it easier for the user to understand the product and see if it’d be beneficial for his/her company. Also, since the ideal customer of the product is a CEO, these changes would help him/her decide quickly whether or not this product is a right fit for their company.
With the time constraint of a semester, we really didn’t want to put ourselves in the position to have to scrap everything and rebuild. So, we built pages in a way that lent themselves to being easily changed and modified as the designs were moving closer to being finalized.
Our client was familiar with Twitter Bootstrap and was able to scaffold his own alpha version of the site before coming to Scout. Because he is the founder and only employee, he requested that we continue to use Bootstrap where we could so it would be easy for him to make tweaks to the website after we were completed in our work.
That was our only technical constraint given by our client, and luckily he didn’t require any backend features that an engineer would have to maintain. Following that we kept things light-weight.
We encountered three major challenges in our process.
Problem 1: The brand did not look ‘business-professional’ as intended
Referring back to the brand star, the brand definitely seemed helpful and relatable. However, we decided that it needed to look a bit more mature in order to capture the analytical and measured side of the brand. So, we made slight changes on the illustrations of the people— making their faces less round, changing their smiles, etc. We also chose more ‘sophisticated’ background colors, including muted greens and blues.
Problem 2: The product was still being vetted
We did not want any potential customers visiting the site to be confused about how MeetingHabits would work. Since the product was actively being tested and vetted with a beta client, specific language on the marketing site would have to be changed as our client developed the product further. Although certain details of the product were up in the air, there were core features we knew were certain. Our solution was to explain it in 3 very simple sections: 1) customizable programs for every company, 2) habits, delivered monthly and 3) progress reports. Deciding how to depict these steps visually was a challenge since our client did not want his current UI to be displayed publicly for competitors to access. Using our illustrative style, we abstracted the UI, conveying just enough information to explain what we needed to.
Problem 3: Deciding the call-to-action
We landed on a few different options for which CTAs to include and where to put them. Possibilities included “Email Us Now,” “Call Now,” “Schedule a Demo,” “Learn More,” and “Calculate Your Savings.”
After many iterations, we decided that we wanted to give users flexibility in how they would contact MeetingHabits, but we emphasized some CTAs more heavily with unique button styles and thoughtful placement. “Schedule a demo” is the highest-barrier CTA because it requires the user to actually select a date and time, so we placed its button in the sticky navigation bar so it would be accessible at all times.
An “Email Us Now” button would live in the footer of each page so that once the user scrolled through a page, if he/she had any remaining questions, it would be easy to reach out. There is also a contact page and contact information in the footer to give the user even more flexibility in their communication.
What We Learned
This experience has taught us many invaluable lessons related to:
#1 Branding: By doing branding exercises, we learned to think about the brand as if it was a person, noting all of the nuances, contradictions, and complexities. This process encouraged us to dig deeper and move beyond words such as “cool” or “modern” and lean towards words like “analytical” and “relatable.” To get to our final brand star (only 5 key attributes), it took a lot of discussion and having to ask our client, “What do you mean by that?” in order to get to the heart of MeetingHabits.
#2 Encouraging constructive conversations: As a team of young designers, challenging someone else’s opinion could often feel intimidating. Getting over that fear led to better quality work.
#3 Client relations: Keeping our client updated throughout the week outside of our weekly meetings ensured that there would be no big surprises when we were presenting him our work. Regular communication with him was essential to the success of this project to make sure that everybody was always on the same page.
Lastly, cultivating friendships within our team created a fun and encouraging working environment for our project. Being able to all bond and laugh and joke around made it easier to have open and honest discussions about our work.
Check out the site at meetinghabits.com