Inbox enhancements for vendors to efficiently communicate to their customers

Background

While we were doing a vendor interview for a product feature being worked on we got to hear some vendors mention how frustrating it was for them to find a customer from the inbox. He went on to show how the inbox looks for him, and that it’s hard for him to see who is who in the chat list. This sounded like a valid problem, and made sense why it was frustrating for them.

The problem

Vendors have multiple entry to connect with their customers on the platform. They can open a job from “Requests” and open a customer’s chat. We also have a dedicated entry point from the “Inbox” to see all their customers. The latter had problems that needed improvements.

Customer profiles
Most users shy away from uploading their photos to the profile. For vendors this is different because its mandatory for them to have a profile to run a business on Kaodim. Due to the photo missing a default placeholder icon is what the vendors see on their side. This turned out be difficult as every other customer will have the same default placeholder photo.

No status
No, I don’t mean the stories or statuses trending on social media. I meant the job status for each customers. Vendors want to see their job status with their customers, and without seeing that clearly they get confused to open a chat.

How to prioritise
Due to the absence of any kind of job status or filters the vendors have to turn to their job cards to open conversation rather than opening chats from the inbox. This is because job cards show all necessary information they need to know about a job and customer.

Roles I assumed

I decided to give an improvement to the inbox and wrote a product requirement for this improvement. I also prepared a mock design with the product manager, and we were able to pick this up along with another feature being released. You can read the PRD I prepared from here.

Designs

  • Add a filter in Inbox
  • For empty user images, a background colour and initials will be shown
  • Added an “Archived” section to move old jobs

Results

Filters in the inbox was quickly adopted by vendors, and we noticed how many vendors apply “Payment pending” status to check on any customers who might have missed out payments.

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