Time keeps on slipping into the future ...


Optimizing the Buyer's Journey

From 2018 to 2022, I held a hybrid role at RingCentral, a cloud communication and collaboration provider, serving as a Senior UX Designer, Researcher, and Strategist. I collaborated with cross-functional teams to enhance the buyers’ journey and optimize RingCentral’s marketing website. I tackled the following key objectives and design challenges:

  • Streamlined the buyers’ journey
  • Clarified product offerings
  • Enhanced content strategy for better engagement
  • Boosted lead generation and sign-up conversion
  • Simplified wayfinding and information architecture
  • Led the site redesign to align with re-branding efforts
  • Established an atomic design system for efficiency and consistency
  • Improved site performance and speed

Additionally, I championed inclusive research and design, utilized data-driven insights for strategic decisions (what I term design intelligence), and fostered a culture of experimentation, encouraging innovative approaches and calculated risks.

Abstract Illustration of the Buyer's Journey

Leadership in UX Design + Research

When I started at RingCentral, I noticed a gap in qualitative research. Design decisions were primarily based on quantitative data, giving us insights into what was happening but not why. Additionally, we needed more detailed information on user behavior, like which content drove engagement and conversions. To address this, I aimed to integrate both data types for a comprehensive understanding.

To begin, I established an in-person research lab and shared effective generative and evaluative research techniques with my team. I also utilized digital analytics tools like ContentSquare to gather specific quantitative data. Through before-and-after analyses, we assessed the impact of design changes. This data was instrumental in crafting buyer personas, journey maps, hypotheses, guiding content, and design strategies that we could further evaluate through A/B testing.

Here I am (right) moderating a usability study in our research lab

Robert in research lab

Visualizing the Buyer’s Journey

I’ve crafted numerous journey maps that narrate a user’s experience. Using actual data, I visually outlined stages like awareness, research, purchase, and various touchpoints. These maps pinpointed areas of confusion, pivotal moments, opportunities, user thoughts, and the desired actions we aimed for. They proved invaluable for cross-functional teams, providing a broader perspective, enabling empathy, and illustrating a typical user’s emotional journey. Most importantly, they reframed problems and illuminated opportunities.

Example Journey Map (My Design)

journey map

Analyzing the Digital Experience

I used digital experience analytics tools alongside qualitative data to comprehensively view website activity. This gave us critical metrics like visitor count, bounce rates, and time spent on pages, as well as deeper insights into user journeys, content engagement, and scrolling behavior. I observed user actions with session replay and tracked specific goals like sign-ups and lead generation. I also segmented data based on factors like business size or interactions with particular content. Combining these insights with qualitative data gave us a complete picture and guided our testing and site optimization efforts.

Examples of Behavioral Analysis Across the Marketing Website I’ve Conducted

Behavioral Analysis Across the Marketing Website

Design thinking workshop
I led a design thinking workshop with a cross-functional team to generate ideas for
a redesign of our product pricing pages. In two hours we generated over 30 ideas and determined which concepts would have the most impact. These were used as a starting point to create wireframes and high fidelity prototypes that were tested.
Holistic UX Design

As a design leader at RingCentral, I strengthened team culture by blending research and design thinking methods. I led numerous workshops with cross-functional teams, using techniques like empathy maps, rapid sketching, and divergent thinking to generate ideas for content, UI, and user flows. Additionally, I gave talks on various design topics, including UX Strategy and the impact of speed-optimized websites.

Within the web design team, I played a crucial role in refining the marketing website’s user experience, interface, and visual design. I also championed the development of our first design system for greater consistency and efficiency. Many of these improvements stemmed from UX and design research I conducted, which encompassed usability studies and competitor analysis.

Empathy Maps and Blue Sky Concept Sketches

empathy maps and blue sky concepts

Product Sign-Up Flows

user flow charts

A Few Examples of My Visual Design Work

visual design

The Impact

Design Success (and Failures)

Research and design are not just a means to make products and websites look professional. When embraced holistically it is a way of thinking and a creative approach to better understand and meet consumer needs. Design is more impactful when it intentionally makes decisions with information and data, validates those decisions through experimentation and continuous iteration, and embraces failure while learning from it to make even better decisions.

By conducting research and testing design solutions I was instrumental in improving the buyer’s journey across the marketing site — from awareness, consideration, to purchase. Research informed design workshops that generated design concepts and hypotheses that were iterated on and repeatedly tested. I contributed to improving our site’s navigation, wayfinding, interaction design, and user flows, created more consistent and strategic messaging and meaningful content, and increased conversion rates across key performance indicators such as sign-ups and lead generation.

It’s worth noting that there are both wins and losses when testing. Not every experiment improved the desired metric, but it proved or disproved a hypothesis and we embraced that learning and used it to inform our next iteration. Being a culture that is open to experimentation means anything is possible. Failures are as valuable as successes. Over time, our measured success had a significant impact.