Better Place Forests

MY ROLE

Product Designer

It's not every day that you get to design a product focused around death. I worked with BPF's lead engineer to design and build internal applications that expedite the sales process, and customer-facing tools that help a unique customer base (60+ yrs old) sign online contracts and use online payments.

Kyle is comfortable with the entire product development lifecycle, sketching up wireframes all the way to digging into the codebase and implementing front end code directly. Functionality that Kyle helped launch has had a direct impact on our financials, and has enabled our company to scale out our product offerings and parallelize our sales processes.
- Alex Neigher, Engineering Lead

Design/UX

The primary goal for Better Place was to develop a system that allowed the business to scale while minimizing the need to scale a large sales force. We focused on researching and building online tools that would allow a small team to sell to the unique customer base with as little hands-on as possible.

We started the project by understanding the complete current sales flow and touch points for both customers and the sales team. We evaluated each step for inefficiencies to see where we could automate portions of the process and eliminate wasted time and human error. This went through several revisions as I communicated with the sales team to arrive at processes that worked for them, and for BPF customers.

We ended up creating a straightforward process for confirming your memorial tree, reviewing and signing an online contract, and processing payments. Since launch, this system has processed hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and allowed Better Place to scale efficiently.

WE WERE (KINDA) WRONG

You know what they say about assumptions...

In our initial work, we had made the conclusion (even after talking with potential customers) that because of the weighty nature of the product (death), our process needed to carry that same weight, and most customers would want to physically visit a forest and pick out their specific, personal, tree. That ended up being true for some, but we later found a different segment of customers.

For many people reaching the end of their life, dealing with the minutiae of death-related plans is a pain, but not an emotional experience. It's a transactional one, more akin to ticking of a checkbox on the list of "tedious but necessary things I need to do before I die".

This finding caused us to reassess some of our initial design and workflow choices, and also revisit the idea of a more 'e-commerce' style experience around choosing a tree.