IHS Markit rolls out new UI, identifies under-used features to sunset with Pendo
Investing in the private markets can be a complex world, but the digital platforms that help investors collect, monitor, and report data don’t have to be.
IHS Markit’s iLEVEL product offers private market investors a cloud-based platform that streamlines data collection, portfolio monitoring, analytics, valuation and reporting. New features are constantly being rolled out and the iLEVEL team relies on Pendo’s in-app messaging to communicate changes to users, ensuring that their clients are informed about the latest and greatest features available to them. They’re also using product usage data from Pendo to home in on unused and outdated parts of the platform and figure out what to sunset.
Driving adoption of new features
Pendo’s in-app messaging capabilities provide a powerful channel for collecting user feedback, guiding users past roadblocks, and promoting new features and other platform improvements, says Maggie Atkinson, IHS Markit’s Head of Product Education and Client Success for Private Markets.
The team continues to use traditional methods to communicate new functionality, such as in-person sessions between clients and Account Managers or launching email campaigns to promote features, but including Pendo guides offered a more consistent approach, Atkinson says. “It allows us as a product team to shape the narrative around the features that we’re releasing,” she says.
Pendo guides played a critical role in ensuring the successful roll-out of a new web user interface earlier this year, Atkinson says. During the project’s beta phase, users were able to switch back and forth between the new and the old experience. When users did so, a guide with a free-text box asked them to explain why they preferred one over the other.
“We gleaned a wealth of information and such a huge amount of value from Pendo during the beta. We were able to hear our clients’ feedback in real time using the in-app messaging,” Atkinson says.
At one point, 20 percent of the responses to those guides identified a feature that was missing from the new experience that users said they couldn’t do without. That feature was then prioritized ahead of others in the development process.
When the new interface went live, the team built a comprehensive walkthrough of the new interface using Pendo guides. The sequence of messages helped users locate the features they relied upon most, and introduced them to brand-new ones that could enhance their experience.
Using analytics to responsibly sunset under-utilized features
Figuring out which of your product’s features have worn out their welcome and need to be retired to make way for next-level functionality is easier said than done.It’s a problem the product team at IHS Markit is working to solve.
“Through a decade of development, there are certain areas of the product that are more mature,” says Associate Director of Product Pallavi Pal. “These areas are more likely to incur technical debt.and it can be tricky to prioritize the maintenance required to support these areas of the platform compared to building net new features.”
Pal says Pendo’s analytics and guidance capabilities are helping IHS Markit quickly prioritize work that is needed and deprioritize work that adds little value associated with these features. Pal’s team is using Pendo to gauge the volume of usage for each feature on a page and flag the least used features as potential candidates for retirement.
Pal’s team also uses Pendo to collect data on browser usage among iLEVEL users, then create dashboards based on that data that allow them to make tactical decisions on the fly.
For example, if a bug is affecting only a small subset of users of a particular browser and usage is low, fixing it can take a back seat to a higher priority bug that’s affecting users of a widely-used browser like Chrome. Pendo also helps the team decide whether to decommission testing efforts on browser versions that see little to no use, further reducing technical debt.
“This helps drive focus and attention to features that matter more to our clients,” Pal says. Before implementing Pendo, this information could only be gleaned from one-off conversations with account managers, and it wasn’t nearly as reliable or detailed, Pal says.
Once the team decides to sunset a feature, both Pendo’s analytics and in-app messaging capabilities come into play. First, usage data lets the team identify which users are still using the feature in question, and what actions they’ve been taking that have led them to engage with it. Then, the team reaches out to those clients directly to understand their use case and explicit need, and provide workarounds to enable continuity in preparation for the retirement of the feature.
This allows the team to manage those users’ expectations as the feature is decommissioned and guide them to other features that might provide a solution for the task they’re trying to complete. The feedback generated from that process helps the team develop a timeline and plan of action for safely sunsetting the feature.
Without Pendo, Pal says, that level of usage analytics would have been impossible.