In 2016, Cast Software started to sell the Blacktrax system worldwide. A real-time tracking system that created a new kind of magic in live entertainment. This system used real-time tracking to make spotlights follow performers and make projection mapping move.
I was asked only improve the look of the website. But it lacked many things that could jeopardize the launch of the product. I transformed the website into a powerful education tool for people to understand what they could do with Blacktrax. After the redesign, sales increased by $1.4 million dollars.
I was tasked to do a redesign thinking only of improving the visuals. However, as a UX guy, I know that applying design as a coat of paint doesn’t result in great gains. Cast didn’t have intelligence reports on how the conversions were performing so I started doing an exploratory quantitative research and heuristics analysis.
The most accessed page was the one that explained the system, but people still contacted the CEO and support to ask about the same questions. I dug through every piece of data and came up with some hypothesis:
Google analytics data showed the majority of visitors accessing the old website were non-English speakers. A great insight as to why some people couldn’t understand the content.
Blacktrax was initially designed to make robotic lights follow performers, and the old website talked very little about projection mapping. I found increasing interest in projection mapping, so our website focusing backwards!
I interviewed every single employee in the Blacktrax team. It was not just important to get every person’s perspective on the product but also to ensure everyone had a voice.
By using triggered Hotjar surveys and Skype calls with current customers and leads. While at it, I learned many images were purely decorative, with no meaning or function on the old website.
The website was wordy, images were too small, not enough opportunity for products to be featured and to showcase their functionality. Things were shown in a boring way.
Users could not understand what Blacktrax could solve for them - “Alright, you have a complicated tracking system, but what can I do with it?”.
Interviews also revealed users needed to see real-life examples of Blacktrax in action. On another call, I was able to confirm that projection mapping was on the rise, requiring a dedicated page showcasing how Bracktrax was the perfect solution for that.
Male, mid 40’s, Business-oriented. Signs the check. Needs information on costs, sales process, and deliverables
Male, mid 30’s, Artistic. Focused on Execution. Wants to know technically how things work
Male, mid 30’s, Artistic. Defines creative vision. Wants try new techniques and research new technologies to wow the public
Male, mid 30’s, Artistic. Creates 3D content with VFX and 3D tools
By approaching marketing and product teams I asked questions such as:
• What are the major problems with the current website?
• What would you change on the website if you were in charge?
• How does the current website impact your work?
The interview with the CEO was one of the most insightful ones because he was not only one of the people who had a better understanding of the system but also because he was directly handling sales. He said:
"Blacktrax should be perceived as selling a solution to a
creative problem that needed tracking"
Cast role was to hand the client's hand until it's fully working. Those amazing nuggets of information were not communicated on the old website but they needed to be there.
Each important point from the research was labeled as an individual problem in a spreadsheet so the team could think of a solution and re-test it to see if the problem was resolved.
The "how it works" page worked almost like a static storyboard, explaining how the signal traveled through the system sequentially.
I solved some of the initial content readability issues brought up by the analytics data Creating a stronger hierarchy by defining larger typography, larger images and a higher image/ content ratio.
During the research phase, people asked for real examples that proved Blacktrax was not just vaporware. I created a new showcase section that displayed several real-life projects.
The previous website talked about 3D and 6D tracking, and that was one of the root causes user confusion. I solved this problem by demonstrating X, Y, Z, Yaw, Pitch, and Roll.
Blacktrax doesn’t work by itself, it needs to connect to third-party systems such as robotic lights to trigger actions such as the act of making the spotlight follow the person anywhere. I listed all functional supported systems and created this design component to be used on different pages.
The initial goal I was tasked -- to make Blacktrax sexier -- was achieved. The last round of user interviews revealed that the website's aesthetics achieved a higher average score compared to other industry websites.
I also recruited people via userinterviews.com without any prior exposure to Blacktrax and found 100% of respondents were able to explain what Blacktrax, solving one of the website's problems found during the initial research.