We’ve been spending much of the last month taking a hard look at the internals of canvasmatch and we are realizing that we have arbitrarily added some barriers to the commissioning process. In one example, we pulled ourselves out of the code and took a high level look at the agreement process (the agreement process starts when an artist submits a bid on a canvas and it is complete when the buyer accepts that artist and submits a credit card payment).
The process was structured such that it required the artist and buyer to alternately click through a series of actions in particular order. As a result of the “Artist > Buyer > Artist > Buyer” sequence the agreement process was usually stretched over a couples days and multiple logins. Furthermore, the ‘communication page’ was locked until the agreement process was completed. This was hindering discussion about the canvas and was leading to bids that were sometimes off base. We took all of this into consideration and got out the good ol’ fashioned paper and pen. Then we sketched.
We paired the agreement process down to only those steps that are necessary and ordered them such that the waiting has been removed altogether. A graphic helps illustrate this.
This simple redesign results in a sequence of actions that is more fluid and involves less clicks. More specifically, we have…
- -Enabled the artist and buyer to discuss the canvas before a bid is submitted
- -Reduced the # of clicks required from “Bid to Payment” from 8 clicks to 3 clicks.
- -Eliminated one page entirely (and one mysql table)
- -Removed 3 unnecessary bottlenecks/waiting periods from the process
- -Drastically cleaned up the PHP and MySQL behind the scenes
On top of all that, we have a hunch that this is going to lead to more successful buyer-artist pairings due to the ability to collaborate before a bid is submitted and accepted.
The new agreement page is in testing, but it isn’t live yet. We are going to wait to release this until the rest of “Operation Simplify” is complete. We are attacking the rest of the internals of the site with the same approach: Step back and look at user’s actions, Identify unnecessary clicks and waiting periods, then streamline the pages.