Multiple setup flows & compounding friction
Buffer is a suite of products that help small businesses manage their social media accounts. Originally just a publishing experience, it grew into three distinct applications: publishing, analytics, and engagement. Each product was spun up with its own team and code base — and its own subscription plan and setup flow.
This worked well until it didn't — until we recognized that we were shipping our team structure to customers and causing confusion. We wanted customers to use all of our products, but we weren't making it easy to do so. We needed to simplify by unifying the applications into one product experience: one plan and setup flow utilizing shared business assets. In order to use Buffer, customers must connect a social account (aka: a "channel"), so we decided to start there. This project was Step 1 to fully realizing our longer term product strategy — one Buffer.
- Customers must set up and maintain channel connections in the Publishing tool and Analytics if they want to use both. This creates tedious overhead that prevents users from discovering value and getting their work done.
- The existing channel connection flows looked and behaved totally different from each other, and one used legacy UI that looked completely different than any of our products, which eroded trust.
- Customers reported confusion and buggy experiences with channel connections, which accounted for up to 33% of ticket volume for Customer Advocates.