Flow project: MWEB’s uncapped broadband site

MWEB’s uncapped broadband will revolutionise the web in South Africa. But there’s another revolution here – they designed for their customers and took the complexity out of buying broadband.

MWEB has launched affordable uncapped broadband in South Africa. Flow Interactive has been working with them on the interaction design for the launch website and the sign-up process. It’s been a complex but exciting project.

Working with Flow, MWEB took a user-centred design approach to this project. We started by doing a round of usability testing on their existing website earlier this year. This gave us many insights into how people buy ADSL. The most notable of these was that  people were almost utterly clueless about the terms that ISPs use on their sites. ADSL? HSDPA? Unshaped? Even the IT consultants we interviewed weren’t completely sure what it all meant.

MWEB's new ADSL pages

MWEB's new ADSL pages

There was a second layer of complexity: there were so many variables to the choice. ADSL vs 3G. Three different line speeds. Multiple data caps that depended on the line speed you chose. Pricing that was affected by the choice of router.

Our mission then, was to make the process of choosing a broadband package a little simpler. Most ISP’s overwhelm people with huge tables of data, and MWEB was no exception:

Old style: large tables containing multiple variables

Old style: large tables containing multiple variables

Making a choice about what you need from such a big table is difficult, particularly if you’re not sure what the difference is between 2GB and 4Mbps. Our interaction solution was to create an interface that showed people how the price changes, depending on your choice of line speed or package:

An interface that helps people to understand how line speed and package influence price

An interface that helps people to understand how line speed and package influence price

We also designed the interface to include contextual help information – meaning that the information is provided within the context of what you’re doing. So when you’re choosing your line speed, the info about what line speed means is easily at hand.

MWEB's contextual help information

MWEB's contextual help information

Based on what we observed in usability testing, we think this interface will take the complexity out of choosing a broadband package. Not only has MWEB come up with a truly game-changing product, they made a very sensible choice in taking a UCD approach to their web development. Time (and stats) will tell just how much of an impact this design has made.

You can look forward to more innovation coming from MWEB. There are improvements to the total customer experience that are still to come, but we think this is a great start.

2 thoughts on “Flow project: MWEB’s uncapped broadband site

  • March 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm
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    I had a look at the site this morning (along with the rest of SA) and found it very easy to follow. Clean, logical and simple. Go Flow!

  • July 6, 2012 at 11:24 am
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    flow were doing some training at our company this week. In one of the role playing sessions during the training, I was being asked to help improve the Telkom site, and I particularly criticized how hard it was to buy and understand ADSL, and said they should take a good look at MWEB, which have done a great job to simplify this job. It was quite amusing to discover from this blog that flow were involved!

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