Thursday, March 6, 2008

Real Examples: The Rate Plan Wrong-Sizer

That's a hypothetical example of information design; let's talk about some examples where I don't think that design was done so well, and how I think it could have been made better.

The Rate Plan Wrong-Sizer

I was working for a telecommunications company when my group was introduced to the Rate Plan Optimizer Project. IT had just spent one million dollars in development budget and they needed a group to take over the product.
The goal of the Rate Plan Optimizer was to help customer service reps suggest rate plan improvements to customers. The product did this by

  1. Assume every customer had exactly the same usage patterns with the only difference being their minutes of use and then
  2. Look at a series of rate plans and suggest to the customer the plan that would be most profitable to the company.

The product had a number of parameters that could be managed, and IT wanted our group to do the managing.

I can't tell you that much about the parameters because my group got as far away from the project as quickly as we could. The project was broken enough that no amount of parameter tweaking could fix it and we didn't want to take the blame for generating bad customer experiences.

What's wrong with the Rate Plan Optimization Project and how should it have been designed? More tomorrow.

No comments: