We recently delivered a suite of new features to dramatically improve Intercom's support capabilities, including advanced ticketing workflows and richer reporting. In addition to Latest Mailing Database these features, we have also taken the opportunity to improve the main product navigation of the Intercom app to make it more usable, intuitive and polished. Primary navigation is a critical area of the Intercom application, and it helps ensure that Intercom is simple to use. This is how customers access the workflows they need every day to get their jobs done. It also shapes their mental model and general understanding of the intercom by communicating what the product is and does through how it is named and organized.
Complexity creeper the years, however, a degree of complexity has crept into product navigation. We built a ton of features that made Intercom more powerful, but our navigation struggled to adapt. "It became clear that we had reached a tipping point of confusion, and some simplification was needed” A few years ago, the Latest Mailing Database navigation only contained a few elements and it was also quite different. Over time, we shipped more stuff, renamed stuff, and rearranged stuff, and the navigation got a little confusing. Recently, we've been hearing more and more comments about increased levels of friction resulting from product navigation. It became clear that we had reached a tipping point of confusion, and some simplification was needed. Understand the problem Guided by our principles, we started as we always do, by gaining a deep understanding of the problem.
Initially, we thought we needed to redesign our product's information architecture from the ground up and explore a fundamentally different navigation model. However, when we spoke to customers, we found that there were actually two separate issues that caused most of the confusion. These issues were that the icons were unclear and the order of items in the Latest Mailing Database navigation was not intuitive. "Customers who are confused at the start of their journey will not understand Intercom or see the value, and therefore will not be successful customers in the long run” This learning allowed us to concentrate. We zoomed in on these two acute areas and our focus became to resolve the bulk of the confusion, while limiting the scope of changes so as not to disrupt customer workflows too much.