Reducing Support Time with a Self Service

The Challenge

Due to new GDPR requirements coming to effect in May 2018, having legally compliant consent configuration became a top need for many applications of the Volkswagen group. This caused a lot of work for our small team with 4 developers who did both product development and support for this topic.

One day our product manager approached me with the idea of building a self service to reduce the amount of support work and give more power to the enduser. I loved the idea and over time we convinced our product owner to make the self service top priority.

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Every app needs to ask users for consent when accessing and storing their data.

My role

I designed the self service along all phases of the user-centered design process, from research, to prototyping and user testing to crafting micro interactions and a logo. As my team didn’t have a designer for a while, my job was also to involve them in my process and help them see the product from the user’s perspective.

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The Approach

Consent meets techies

To design a consent self service with developers as endusers, I first needed to understand a few things:

  • Context: In which situations do users need consent from their users?
  • Tasks: What do users need to set up consent requests for their applications?
  • Tools: What do users currently use to set up consent request?
  • Expertise: How experienced are users with setting up consent requests?
  • Constraints: What level of security is needed so that the configuration has the right legal effects?

Using the team’s knowledge

Given my team were users themselves and also were in close contact to endusers due to support work, I used their knowledge as much as I could to answer the questions above. We collaborated closely on the whiteboard to map flows, define information hierarchy and identify tasks the user needs to accomplish.

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The Solution

After several design iterations and user tests, the Consent Self Service went live in October 2018 and is now used by all apps which use Volkswagen ID as their login provider.
In the beginning, it only had one feature: Grouping applications that share the same consent. But this feature alone and the fact that users had visibility over their consent configurations provided a lot of value and reduced the number of support tickets by about 30%.

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This in turn gave my team’s developers up to 8 hours more time per week to work on the product. The team constantly developed the tool further, e.g. recently by adding a configurator for legal documents such as terms and conditions and data privacy statements. Another designer took over in January 2019 when I was moving to another project.

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