In the previous article, I went over important notes of Design Principle 1 – how to create a good user flow for service providers. This post will cover the other 3 principles – what you need to focus on to provide buyers with an ideal micro job marketplace destination, and how to design account and profile settings.
- Part 1 – Start selling micro jobs
- Part 2 – Buying on micro job site, Profile & Account settings
Principle 2 – Buying on micro job site
Search the marketplace
This is a must-have function on your website. To help buyers quickly find out what they need in a few steps, what searching metrics to consider?
- Sorting: Sorting feature allows buyers to view micro jobs in a desired order. For example, they can sort jobs by High ratings to view micro jobs with highest ratings first; sort by New to see from the latest services to the oldest ones.
- Filtering: Another effective searching criterium is by filtering. Micro jobs can be filtered by category, subcategory, or by specific tag.
Once the buyers have picked a micro job, they will proceed to making the order. There are some features for you to take into account.
- Make orders: To design micro job detail page, the Order button should be visible and outstanding from other elements. Proceed checkout that follows is smooth as well.
- View orders & payments: A section listing all orders and payments buyers have made is necessary to let buyers check all details of their orders.
- Accept delivery: When sellers deliver the orders, buyers will check the result. If they are satisfied with the delivery, they will change the order status to “Finished”. This action allows you to know if the order is done and the money can now be transferred to sellers.
Similarly to sellers, buyers need payment gateways to pay for orders and withdraw money. Popular payment gateways include PayPal, 2Checkout, Cash, or the gateways widely used in your local. Besides, bank account can be utilized as a method for buyers to receive money transferred from your site.
The usual format of micro job site is that sellers post their services, and buyers will browse for what they need. Sometimes, however, listed services just do not meet buyer’s demand. In this situation, buyers will be the one posting a service request listing out their requirements. Then sellers will send offer to buyers to show their talent and experience. Then buyers will select the one that they wish to appoint the request to. Following steps are the same as those in normal orders.
Communication with sellers
This is one of the most important functions of a marketplace. Unlike people you interact with in our daily life, online people are those you scarcely know about except their name. In such context, communication plays a vital role in bridging the gap connecting buyers and sellers. Thus, being able to talk to each other even before placing an order is a step closer to helping buyers get to know more about sellers and feel more secure about who they’re gonna work with.
To implement this function, it should be easy for buyers to contact sellers by putting a “Contact me” button in seller’s profiles. And the conversation flow can be initiated any time, not until the order is paid.
Add to favorite list
This is a function providing convenience for buyers. When searching around, buyers come across some interesting services they might need some days in the future, they will add them to favorite list for later use. This is a useful tool for buyers as they can quickly find what they need. Also, it boosts more transactions and enhances a smooth user flow reducing searching effort.
As discussed, it’s hard to know what people are like on the Internet. Customer review is designed as a solution to create trust between service providers and buyers. This function is beneficial for both sides of users and for you as well. Sellers are likely to get more orders if they have many positive feedbacks. Buyers have a place to express their comments about the service they experienced. And an active review system is an advantage to gain credibility among your users, especially the newcomers.
The concern here is how to make it work effectively and avoid fake feedbacks. A possible way of doing is to allow only buyers of a service to review its provider. Specifically, rating and review is the last step buyers are asked to do after sellers have delivered the order and buyers are happy with it and closed the order. Doing this way, it’s harder and costs more for anyone to create fake reviews on your site.
The last two parts are about settings you need to design a seamless user account and profile sections.
Principle 3 – Account settings
This is the most basic first step to turn visitors to members on your site. There are some features to design an adequate signup process.
- Create an account: Don’t design a long signup form, capture only necessary information instead. Basic fields include username, email, password.
- Social connect: Besides traditional form, a preferred method is signing up by social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google.
- Close your account: Give users the option to temporarily deactivate their accounts. Also, to eliminate fake accounts on your site, make it available for other members to report those fake users and the site administrator will decide whether to ban such users or not.
An advanced security system is significant to ensure a safe and reliable platform.
- Securing account: Actions related to user’s account are all reported to his/her email. For example, the password reset link is sent to user’s inbox when he/she makes such request. After signing up, users receive a validation link to activate their accounts on your site.
- Password reset: Should users forget their password to login, they can use this option to set a new password.
Dashboard & Notifications
Dashboard is where users have an overview of all activities they have on site. Notification announces what’s new and related to users.
- Dashboard homepage: Both sellers and buyers need a dashboard to manage their services including their listing services, orders and tasks. Additionally, there is a space for revenue statistics and history, how much they have earned, how much spent, how much withdrawn, etc.
- Notifications: The notification icon will let users know every time they have a new announcement. It can be a new order, an updated order status, a dispute, an increase in income, etc.
- Inbox: The icon for message box lies next to the one for notifications. Users can check all their messages in this section. In a conversation, users can write messages and attach any necessary files.
- Response templates: For some users who frequently contact other users, automated templates are helpful in some occasions. You can design some quick response templates, such as Welcoming message, On vacation message, etc.
Principle 4 – Profile settings
Of course this part is an irreplaceable part on any website. In a micro job platform, see what you will do with it.
Manage Public profile
- Basic profile: Like other websites, this space will display user’s profile picture, information like location, languages, local time zone, a short description about that user, and a list of available services.
- Online status: This feature helps users know if someone is still online or not. Usually it’s useful for conversation. When a buyer wants to chat with a seller, the online status will let buyer know whether the seller is available for discussing.
This can also be called private profiles of users. They can update their profile and make other settings from here.
- Basic account settings: Users can update their profile information like avatar, location, languages, and change account settings such as password, contact email, payment method.
- Billing settings: When users choose Cash as the payment method, you will use this billing address to send an invoice to users.
- Notification settings: Users can choose which types of activities they want to get notifications, and how to receive the notifications, via email, on-site or both.
Finally, we are here going through all 4 design principles for a micro job website. This is the result of intensive research together with experience developing micro job WordPress themes. I hope you could get some good tips out of this sharing and add to your business strategy. Don’t hesitate to share with us your thoughts in the comment below. We’d love to discuss with you.