GigUp was a startup launched out of Liberty Mutual’s Solaria Labs. GigUp’s mission was to attract on-demand workers and place them with on-demand companies. The idea was to reduce the time to earning money for workers as well reduce the new worker acquisition costs for the companies (Rover, Handy, Instacart, etc.). 
My job was to infuse the voice of the customer and redesign the “gig” selection and checkout experiences, increasing the worker signup rate.
Quick set of definitions:
Gig: <noun> slang for a part time, on-demand type job. Examples of places that offer “gigs”: Task Rabbit, Rover, Insta-cart, Door Dash, Uber, Lyft. 
On-demand worker: <noun> a person who works gigs to earn income, as an additional source of  to their full time job or as their entire source of income. Other terms used are gig worker.
On-demand company: <noun> a company that creates a platform where the service offered is performed by mostly, if not all, on-demand workers. Example of companies are Lyft, Task Rabbit, Uber, Insta-cart, Door Dash, etc. 
Gig Economy: <noun> a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.

Our Solution

After learning from our generative customer interviews, we understood what the on-demand worker experience was like and how finding jobs was much more organic than originally anticipated. We shifted our copy and design to be the “friend” that recommends a new “gig”. 

The Approach


My approach is always rooted in the customer experience. I wanted to bring this expertise to the GigUp team and learn how it would work for the gig economy. I felt it was important to take a team approach to design and in near real time create a group mindset around our customers. 

The approach turned out to be very successful as it really brought the team together and did not isolate design to just me. Having a developer correct me because they interpreted a customer data point differently, was a win for me and the app. 

GigUp | Voice of the Customer

Having never worked an on-demand job before, I felt it best to go through the sign-up processes. I signed up for Rover, Insta-cart and Handy. This gave me a baseline of how a sign-up process would go post discovery. 

From here, we established a loop on how we would integrate the voice of the customer into our processes.

I then worked with my Product Owner to crunch some user data from Heap and create a current state map to generate the big questions about our experience we would want to answer. A design studio (ideation session) with the team helped to formulate more hypotheses and narrow our focus.

Understanding the current state and what big questions we wanted to ask, set me up to create a generative interview method. I created a blank 6 panel story board to invited each interviewee to draw their experience of realizing the need for a gig, up until the month after they started working. 
A fun perk to working in the gig economy:
We recruited a few gig workers through standard channels but quickly pivoted to ordering Task Rabbits, Ubers and other on-demand services where we would be able to discuss the worker’s experiences, on-demand. This allowed us to move very fast!
My process is summarized here: 

GigUp | Journey Map

Because of the speed in which we were moving – I created this post-it journey map for the team to see and use as the interviews unfolded. The thing I love about this real time journey board is how it shows the process and then takes quotes from the users to back up the observation. This is key to distributing the voice of the customer. I found that when I present a theme along with direct evidence and examples, the stakeholders tend to be more open minded to the issues and put their own biases aside. 

We eventually created a more corporate version, but that’s not as fun to show you on this case study 🙂

GigUp | Story Mapping

One of my favorite parts of the entire GigUp experience was the story mapping and design studios. As a team (PO, UX, Devs) we would walk through a job to be done and break each section down to the activities and tasks that a user would be doing. This process offered a lot of philosophical debates and discussion but in the end, we were all working off the focal point of the customer, leading to really healthy, design inspiring, conversations.

The design studios were awesome because it was like having a full team of creatives, rather than the team just telling the designer (me) to go make it look pretty. Everyone was bought in because we all had an equal voice. I shared leading the team through some of these studios and also learned a lot from the developers when they shared in leading the sessions. 

GigUp | 1st Design and User Testing

Armed with the qualitative customer data we wanted, I took our design studio ideas and began to create a new gig selection experience. I started here because from our data, we were seeing only about 1 gig per user be chosen despite the user qualifying for multiple gigs. My thought was that if we can make the gigs more understandable and enticing, we’d increase sign ups.
I chose cards to make the selection process feel more scannable and interactive. Below is a visual of the evolution of cards up to the first design:
We wanted to make sure that we tested this with potential users before going live and we’re happy we did. I used Validately to get a user test turned around in 2 days.
Our biggest findings were around the copy we were using (add role) and the legal language around sending your information to the companies you wanted to work for was alarming. In general most users were happy to add multiple roles but they seemed to be unclear about if they chose a role as the state change was not significant enough. 

GigUp | Iteration

Using the user feedback, we made some changes to the design that helped users better understand what they were doing on our gig selection and checkout experience. 
The first change was to make the state changes significant enough for a user to realize that they chose a gig and added it their cart. We did this by flipping the card upon selection (but not hiding the pertinent details of the gig) and encouraging to continue adding gigs. 
We also changed the copy to be more consistent with the site and our brand tone (something that was evolving along with our design). 
We then changed the “checkout page” by adding another step but to be more of a confirmation. This allows the user to ensure their information is correct and that they are OK with us sending that to the On-demand companies that they chose. We debated the extra step but based on the user feedback, this would be a necessary step to create a more familiar checkout experience, creating a more trustworthy experience. 
Final design iteration: 

GigUp | Reflection

For the design, we realized after the release and talking to more users, that we were creating a barrier to entry for the user. The checkout experience was our idea on how the flow should go because that’s how we would ensure we got credit for generating the leads. After this, we modified the experience to allow users to access the on-demand company of choice, directly from the card. We would of course email the user as a confirmation that they did want to sign up, however, we created a UTM link to ensure the lead was verifiable with the on-demand company. This ultimately increased signups and took ourselves out of the middle in a way. 
Working in this format with a small team centered around the voice of the customer was so liberating. We were empowered by the lab to keep moving and creating based on our information and app goals. It was such a cool experience because we moved so quickly yet we were able to infuse the customer’s point of view into everything we did.  I learned how to do things with an “MVP mindset” vs. “perfect” and as it was a bit of a struggle at first, the end result was that we tested our assumptions very quickly and made changes based on data, not our opinion.
Along the way I was reading Power of Moments and I found its key learnings to be really helpful for inspiration throughout the redesign. I’ll keep this one in my re-read list.