Upgrade Experience

Web/Mobile E-Commerce Verizon 2018


In a push to generate new AI backed experiences at Verizon, I led a small team to reimagine Verizon’s existing upgrade experience to pair with a new AI Machine Learning backend technology. I led a team including a product manager and designer through a fast, iterative, three-month design sprint. Originally asked to deliver in two weeks, I pushed the business to leave time for research and deeper user testing.

At the time of the project spin up, customers cart abandonment rate was incredibly high. The existing checkout/upgrade experience was confusing and encompassed over 30+ decision points. An opportunity to improve the current upgrade and checkout experience, the resulting redesign was not only praised by design leadership but resulted in a decrease in cart abandonment and an increase in overall revenue from upgrades.

The Challenge:
Looking to introduce new AI technology at Verizon, How might we provide customers with a familiar yet transformative Verizon experience?

My Role And Responsibilities
Project Lead and Designer, with designer Henry M.
Project Management, Design Research + Strategy, UX/UI, User Testing


1 Month

Hybrid: Design thinking + agile dev

00 High Priority Business Ask
Starting from Scratch

A high priority to the business unit, this project would be Verizon’s first use of a new in house AI technology and would pave the way for future products. Placed on a truncated timeline to meet executive needs, UX/UI was asked to be ready in just 2 weeks. Working with no support from a product manager at the time, I pushed to extend by 2 weeks to incorporate user research and testing. We gathered insights on the existing experience, audited comparative experiences from Casper, Google, and Shopify, as well as broke apart the existing checkout IA.

ABOVE Verizon wireless IA (built for another project) and a 2018 checkout screen

Excruciatingly long, with countless exit points and confusing dead ends, the existing experience needed a complete rework, not just a fresh coat of paint.  With the newly found time, we also identified our core user base: Customers on unlimited plans with a tenured relationship with Verizon (4+ years). We also pulled in other design teams to align with existing IA and Verizon eCommerce product architecture. Luckily—determined by the business and our research to be a more siloed, small batch release experience—we could push the existing UX/UI boundaries that were established by existing design.

ABOVE product architecture

02 Improving the user experience
Familiar yet new

The trickiest part of this experience was balancing user confidence vs. speed vs. being transformative. The interface would need to evoke a level of familiarity while still improving the way customers upgrade and checkout. We iterated and tested heavily on two key drop-off points in the existing experience: Required legal copy and the summary sidebar. An important insight from our users was the sheer amount of confusion found in the existing cost breakdown in the checkout. Due to the amount of dependencies, It was challenging to design a cost summary that customers understood and trusted.

ABOVE Final iterations of the order summary bar and legal agreement

The final design, while only a 4 page flow, struck the right balance between transformative and familiar, resulting in an increase in revenue and upgrade opt ins. Due to the success of ABC Upgrade, I was asked to translate the web experience to Verizon's native mobile app. For confidentiality purposes contact me for more information if interested in My Verizon App (MVA).

ABOVE Final ABC Upgrade

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© 2020 -  Jeremy y. Lu