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Optimizing Browser Extension UX
in Bosa life, Inc.

My Role
Product Designer — Interaction Design, Visual Design, User Flows, Prototyping, User Research, Useability Testing, and a part of front-end dev

Team
Vivian Luu, SWE
Anastasia Tarpeh, SWE
EJ Oruche, PM

Timeline & Status
4 weeks, Launched in December 2023
Overview
As a productivity SaaS, Bosa's mission is to help users manage their goals and daily tasks more effectively. However, the recent user research revealed that the existing browser extension was falling short in several key areas:

The current workflow requires users to manually copy content and navigate to the sidebar to add a new goal, disrupting their browsing experience and hindering seamless goal capture.

63% of users struggled to add tasks by extension while browsing the web.
81% wished to manage goals without leaving their current webpage.
It was clear that the extension needed a major overhaul to truly empower our users. This case study walks through my process of redesigning the Bosa browser extension, focusing on three key features that transformed the user experience.
Unveiling the Challenges:
Insights from User Behavior Research
Three major pain points noticed with current extension design
Cumbersome goal adding process, disrupting users' browsing flow
Lack of goal visibility and timely reminders, leading to missed progress opportunities
Cluttered dashboard interface, burying key features among less frequent options
Users must copy the context and paste it into the sidebar for future interactions
The Solution
Integrating features for seamless management.
Three ultimate solutions to slove the exsting challenges detected

Floating button allowing quickly add new tasks/comments ensure seamless task capture

Proactive Goal Recommendations based on browsing context provide adaptable experience

Customizable sidebar dashboard that prioritizes key information supporting focused interface.

A streamlined flow helping users adding goals in simple clicks

Led the design from research to launch, resolving long-standing challenges within 4 weeks.

But how did I get to the solution.....
KICK-OFF
Interviewed 8 frequent users, then collected user reviews/feedbacks
Later, utilized the insights to map out a user journey, analyzing their usage patterns and challenges.

6/8

Participants believe sudden goal-inspirations are often forgotten due to lack of convenient ways to record them.

4/8

Participants believe that extensions should proactively remind them of important goals when browsing.

defining the problem STATEMENT
How might we help users easily capture inspirations and review added goals without disrupting their current flow?

The proposed new browser extension features seamlessly integrates smart capture, proactive surfacing, and focused customization to help users record goal-related inspirations, stay focused on objectives, and resurface relevant past goals through reminders and dashboard.

We can break it into 3 challenges with their corresponding solutions ...

DESIGN DECISION 1
How might we capture inspirations?

It is essential to craft a user flow aligned with familiar usage patterns.

In the initial iteration, I introduced an 'add as new goal' Option in the Right-click context menu, and an "Add a new goal" floating button, for improved discoverability. Once users highlight certain context, they can carry it to sidebar.

However, this iteration did not resonate with the users' mental model...

User feedback revealed a preference for capturing refined goals directly instead of interacting w/ sidebar

Thus, in iteration #2, I introduced a context-aware floating button helping users record and edit selected text as a task, note, or subtask with simple clicks. Without interacting with sidebar, this minimizes interruption and enables users to quickly record tasks in the moment of inspiration.

Design Rationale

Through Competitive Analysis, I inspired by some of our partial competitors, like Todoist, which offers lightweight interactions like floating button for quickly adding tasks, allowing users to input tasks without leaving their current work.

Also, during Usability Testing, I noticed users use highlighting or annotations to mark key information when reading emails or documents. This indicates that users have a need to mark content and add it directly as notes (goals).

DESIGN DECISION 2
How might we remind users their previously added goals?

I introduced a proactive recommendation feature that intelligently analyzes browsing context and surfaces relevant past goals through unobtrusive notifications, fostering seamless goal management within the browsing workflow.

For instance, if a user is researching flights and they have a "Fly back home for mom's BDay" goal in Bosa, the extension will remind them with an unobtrusive notification, lead to related goals page, encourgaing them to visit the goal by extension dashboard or webapp.

Design Conflict
the Designer  VS. the PM

Pop-up Notification or Automatically Open Sidebar?

The PM suggested directly opening the sidebar automatically after matching relevant goals, allowing users to see the goal list at a glance for a better DAU. On the other hand, I felt that the sudden appearance of the sidebar might interrupt the user's browsing experience and preferred using a pop-up notification, a gentle reminder approach to give users a choice.

I successfully convinced the PM and the team to adopt my proposed solution of pushing popup reminders instead of automatical sidebars. How? 

Through data-driven A/B Testing

As the test progressed, we observed some interesting patterns. In Group B (popup reminders), we noticed a higher goal engagement rate, with 35% of users interacting with their goals when prompted, compared to 25% in Group A (automatical sidebar), most users ignored the auto-poped sidebar, one user even removed the extension from their broswer as soon as we popped up the  sidebar for the first time .  

Notification Final Design

Learnings and Reflections
Looking back, this project reinforced some core design principles:

1. Always start with the user. Deep user understanding should guide every design decision.

2. Data is the key. Data-driven experimentation optimizes user experience and business objectives

3. Design is a conversation. The best outcomes emerge from collaborative dialogue with more stakeholders.

4. Iteration is essential. No design is perfect on the first try. Being open to feedback and willing to iterate is crucial.

Redesigning the Bosa browser extension was a challenging but immensely rewarding project. It pushed me to think deeply about user needs, to advocate for user-centric solutions, and to design for the whole rather than the parts.ering seamless goal management within the browsing workflow.

But more than that, it reaffirmed my passion for designing tools that genuinely empower people. Seeing users adopt the extension into their daily lives, and hearing their stories of increased productivity and goal achievement, was incredibly rewarding.

As I move forward in my UX career, I'll carry these lessons with me. I'm excited to continue tackling complex design challenges, always keeping the user at the heart of the process.

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