As an Interaction Designer at Campbrain for over three years, I have designed in many parts of the software. Campbrain’s flagship product is camp management software used by camp administrators, registrars and other team members (e.g., financial, medical) to make camp, school, and auxiliary programs run. For this case study, I will showcase the process for improving the Auto-Emailer feature—which is the camps’ communication tool with their clients and staff.
One of the first tasks I owned was solving a fairly frequent mistake that clients would make, sending mass emails to everyone in their database when they only intended to contact certain subgroups (e.g., parents of Program A only).
The initial user flow was:
- The user selects who they want to send the email to, composes email
- Clicks on “Send”
- Taken to the Outbox to then realize the email has been sent to everyone in their database. Panic ensues.
- I interviewed managers from our Operations team to get more insight into this issue since they’re the recipient of panicked clients on the phone
- Mockups of the solution
- Usability testing
Part of the reason why many clients mistakenly send emails to their whole database is due to the way our filters are set up so that they are robust in what they can query, but can be hard to understand for new or light users. Because by default no filters are set, it essentially means “everyone in database” is selected which can feel counterintuitive. Redesigning the filters was out of scope for this based on how critical the setup is for the software.
The solution I came up with is to add a review/confirmation modal between attempting to send and actually sending the emails off. Most if not all mass-email services include a confirmation screen.
Sending mass emails is one instance when the focus shouldn’t necessarily be to complete as quick as possible. Adding more screen to force friction on the user to pause and check if the action that is about to be taken is what they had intended to do. If not, then they can simply go back and fix it. This helps build trust for the software and confidence that what you think you’re doing is what you’re actually doing.
The final confirmation screen:
- Provides user an easy way to review all the settings that were set
- If default filters weren’t changed, then there’s a warning message. While it’s possible that’s the intention, it’s unlikely in practice.
- A detailed list of who exactly is receiving the email. For example, in the image above, we see that this email should go to “both parents” for those in the selected seasons. The additional information is in the recipient list that explicitly identities the family and names that are getting it, and households where no emails are available.
When asked about the impact of this feature, the Director of Operations said:
Very anecdotal, but I think it’s made a big difference. It used to be a fairly regular occurrence that we would get a call from a client who made a mistake and was hoping we could cancel the e-mail. That doesn’t seem to happen nearly as often anymore!