Manage Default Product Settings for New and Existing Users

Ashutosh Dabral

Chief Product & Technology Officer at Tata CLiQ



For one of the companies where I was the Product Analyst, we did have an online help center. However, when the website failed, users would often resort to calling the call centers. Interestingly, we noticed that users were downloading one particular driver from the website to their laptops in a specific week. After that, we had a huge spike in call volumes to our call centers with some issues. When something is online, we try to approach the problem by looking at the data sets regarding what went wrong. When I looked at the funnel, it was hard for me to figure out what was not working out. Narrowing down to the particular driver that the users were downloading, I discovered that the default settings were 64-bit machines. In contrast, many users with 32-bit devices directly downloaded the driver without changing the default value.

Actions taken

For the first few iterations, I could not think of why the problem was arising. So, I tried the user journey on my own. I sat down with my device and was playing around with the website. That is when I noticed that most users did not change the default value in the drop down, which was set to 64-bit.

The following action was figuring out automatically as to which kind of device the user might be using, and based on that, giving them the right solution without asking them to select it. In a nutshell, it was all about changing the interface so that our devices would do the work on their own.

Instead of asking the user to do the work, we choose the settings for them, depending on the device that they were using. At the same time, our early assumption was that the device configuration is something that every user would know. Since that did not work, we started using the unique service tag number that comes with every device and helped us be aware of a 32-bit machine or a 64-bit machine.

Lessons learned

  • Users are never keen on taking an additional step. Users are all about efficiency and would not fix any bugs or related issues that they may have been facing with their device.
  • The golden rule for inclusive design is never to assume that users know or understand what they are doing. Pinning a checklist to the wall is a great way to perfect the design model all the way through.
  • Dogfood your own product. Don't just launch a product; try it out yourself, and that's when you can anticipate what problems users might be facing in the future.

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Ashutosh Dabral

Chief Product & Technology Officer at Tata CLiQ

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