UX Case Study: GENEX Member Portal Design Project

Overview

In Q1 2023, I led a UI/UX project to build a member portal for GENEX, a global genetic and reproductive solutions provider for dairy and beef cattle producers. The project aimed to enhance communication between the company and its member-owners, fostering a community where product updates, promotions, and industry-related discussions can occur.

Client Background

GENEX’s unique cooperative governance system, facilitated by the delegate and council system, offers the senior leadership at GENEX deep insight into their vision for the cooperative.

Project Scope

As the number of members grew, the cooperative foresaw the need to create a portal where members could interact with other members, be informed about new products and special promotions, sign up for events, all in one platform.

DESIGN PROCESS​

I. Defining Business Goals

The business goals for this project were to:

Streamline Communication

Create a portal that serves as a central hub for efficient and targeted communication between GENEX and its member-owners.

Centralize
Information

Develop a platform where members can easily access updates, promotions, and actively participate in community discussions.

Foster Community Engagement

Integrate features that encourage collaboration, sharing of experiences, and networking among members.

Modernize Design

Create the UI to reflect a contemporary look of GENEX branding and enhance the overall user experience.

II. Building Digital Roadmap

The management decided to break this project down into 4 phases. This case study will focus on phase 1, which centered on establishing fundamental functions for seamless internal communication and enhanced member experience.

III. User Research

Customers are also members of GENEX’s cooperative. Our commitment to serving you stems from our cooperative roots. The GENEX cooperative story began in the 1930s when producer members of yesterday came together to form an organization that would genetically improve cattle performance and deliver economical cattle reproductive service.

Today, our member-owners and customers remain at the heart of GENEX. Our professional GENEX team strives to develop a deep understanding of your operation, your goals, and your challenges in order to deliver solutions that ensure your herd is ready for tomorrow, today. Producer participation in cooperative governance – through the delegate and council system – also provides GENEX senior leadership with a strong understanding of your vision for your co-op. It’s your voice that impacts your cooperative’s future.

IV. Key Insights from User Research

Farmers have been using traditional communication for a long time (mailing, paper newsletter). They have a website and blog post, however, it’s not convenient because they are too general, not well divided. Different member tiers have different access to information. There is a lack of controlling and organizing information, events. The platform needs to be user-friendly.

V. Building Sitemap

Sorting out which features need to be focused on for phase 1 was a crucial part of the process. The sitemap was built keeping in mind the user research insights and the business goals of the project.

V. Wireframes

Phase 1 of the GENEX Member Portal Design Project focused on establishing fundamental functions for seamless internal communication and enhanced member experience. Some of the key features included in this phase were:

  1. Member Profiles: Each member was given a profile where they could update their information, preferences, and view their activity on the portal.

  2. News and Updates Section: A dedicated section was created where GENEX could post updates, new product information, and special promotions. This ensured that members had a single source of truth for all the latest information.

  3. Community Forum: A forum was created where members could start discussions, ask questions, and share their experiences. This fostered a sense of community and encouraged active participation from the members.

  4. Event Registration: A feature was added where members could view upcoming events and register for them directly from the portal.

  5. Modern, User-Friendly Design: The portal was designed with a modern aesthetic and a user-friendly interface to enhance the overall user experience.

  6. Responsive Design: The portal was made responsive so that it could be easily accessed on various devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

These features were designed keeping in mind the business goals of streamlined communication, centralized information, community engagement, and a modern design. They served as the foundation for the subsequent phases of the project.

Conclusion

The GENEX Member Portal Design Project represented a significant advancement in modernizing communication with member-owners, receiving praise from both management and members. Employing a user-centered approach, the portal established a robust foundation, streamlining communication, centralizing information access, and fostering community engagement. Despite challenges, such as the manual transfer of members and seamless integration with the cooperative website and e-commerce platform, the project achieved a commendable user satisfaction rate of over 85%.

Addressing these challenges was vital to the success of the project. The manual transfer of members required meticulous attention to detail to avoid any loss or misrepresentation of member information. Additionally, integrating the portal with the cooperative website and e-commerce platform posed challenges, necessitating careful planning, coordination, and adjustments. Looking ahead, our goal is to build on this success, leveraging Azure’s capabilities to enhance scalability and performance. Continuous user feedback will guide our innovation in the digital member engagement experience at GENEX, aiming for a 20% increase in user engagement.”