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Retention Science: Crafting a simplified corporate knowledge base

Retention Science: UX and Visual Design


As the user experience designer responsible for the Knowledge Base redesign, I planned and executed market research, user research, user testing, prototypes, visual design, and collaborated directly with the product manager and other stakeholders.


July 2018 - Jan 2019


Customer Need: Customers who are new to Cortex (Retention Science's product) need lots of information to learn how to use the various features of the product. With the current ZenDesk knowledge base, it has been brought to the client success team's attention that customers are having trouble finding information that is useful to them.

Business Need: Retention Science has clients that reflect organizations of all sizes, but they all depend on the knowledge base in addition to the client success team to learn the use of Cortex. The poor user experience reflects poorly on the brand and adds unnecessary workload to the client success team. Retention Science needs a knowledge base that is efficient at helping customers and reduces the number of less relevant support tickets.

How do we reduce customer confusion and redundant customer support tickets?

Competitive Research

To better understand what users are expecting, I captured the user flows and features of several competing products' knowledge bases.

Competitive research Comparison flows

Additionally, I gathered best practices on reducing redundant tickets.

User Stories

Who are the users, and what are their needs?

  1. As a client of Retention Science, I want to find information on deliverability since my deliverability has dropped for my most recent email. I also want to learn about the newest features.
  2. As someone evaluating Retention Science, I am interested in understanding how Retention Science is used and how difficult it would be to include it in my organization's current workflow.


What do we focus on in the redesign?

  1. Magazine-like experience: The knowledge base should be a delight to read. Use methods from editorial design. Typography and layout should be fantastic.
  2. Search and getting to information is a priority: The majority of users enjoy using search and looking for a specific article, thus we should prioritize search and helping users surface the information they need.
  3. Help new users find their bearings quickly: The main page can be used to help proactively ramp up new users, rather than relying on them to search for each thing that they are unfamiliar with.



Prototyping and Testing

In addition to observation, we used a post-test questionnaire to gauge how each prototype performed.

Invision User testing summary

User Testing Learnings

  1. Most users go directly to the search box rather than scroll down on the main page
  2. When users don’t see a relevant article among the search results, but they already searched for the query they believe is most relevant, it becomes a “stuck” moment and people voice that they are frustrated
  3. Participants often want to learn more about a topic when they are reading an article, for example on deliverability.

The new knowledge base is a huge improvement and helps both internally and with our users.


  1. Devised research, strategy, and user experience for new knowledge base
  2. Led 2 prototype testing sessions with 5 users to test functionality and usability of different ideas
  3. Reduced redundant support tickets by 22%
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