A story about improvement and re-evaluation
Team: 3 (one user researcher, two interaction designer)
Role: Interaction designer (participated in user research sessions, led and collaborated on wireframes, presented to stakeholders)
Techniques: user research, wireframing, usability testing
Tools: Balsamiq, PowerPoint
Lessons Learned: Improvement is key to growth.
This is a story about improvement and re-evaluation. A UX driven redesign exercise where the goal was to design our existing product from the ground up while having UX at the core of every decision made, rather than driven by technical limitations.
The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.– John Locke
To acknowledge where you are, and where you want to be, is essential to growth and improvement. In the birth of this project, which will be referred to as “Muscle X” an appliance that backs up data.
This is what we know of the persona, the backup admin.
- Relies on the CLISH to troubleshoot their appliance rather than use the UI
- Needs to be notified of alerts and recommendations upfront
- Monitors the health of the appliance
- Customization is essential because not every user should have access to all controls
- To understand the gap between the UI and the CLISH because having the customer jump between the two experiences is not simple
- To simplify appliance management because complexity is not appealing to customers and our users
- Give them a UI with all of the information they need, as well as guidance on what decisions they should make
My teammate Steph, an interaction designer, and Linlin, a user researcher, and I conducted the interviews, which helped us identify what needed to be improved in Muscle X.
Questions top of mind were:
- What features or functions are important to users?
- What information would be helpful on the dashboard?
- What are the biggest problems in the current product?
We had 60 minute 1:1 remote interviews with three key informants: two Sales Engineers and one Support champion.They both have hands-on experience with the product.
We had them perform a sorting exercise using predefined objects, as well as, customized objects that they can group together to create their take on the ideal information architecture.
After conducting our background research, we did journey maps, task analysis, object model, site maps which helped and guided us to create wireframes.
We created two journey maps based on the user’s experience with initial configuration and day to day management.
Based on the product life cycle we identified the tasks and specifically the tasks that would happen multiple times.
After each exercise, we utilized the resources to create concepts. We used Balsamiq to create low fidelity wireframes of three key screens: dashboard, details page, and details popup.
- At a glance the admin knows whats happening in the system
- Provides recommendations and alerts
Details page concept
- Section level edits
- Divides the content into sections
- Provides actions upfront
Details page concept – resize action popup
- Simplified workflows
- Provides recommendations
- Visual indicators
My teammates and I created a PPT deck of our proposed designs to present to the PM of Muscle X as well as the head of Product Management.
Our presentation consisted of 3 parts:
- Why are we doing the redesign?
- What does the redesign look like?
- What’s next?
The presentation went very well and the message was well received. Unfortunately due to the lack of resources this entire project was unable to be prioritized. On the bright side, the stakeholders understood that this is the direction that the product should take in the future and supported to implement the designs.
This project reiterated the value of improvement. It is essential to re-evaluate past work to see how it can be improved. Learning from past decisions and the results of those decisions, will help make the improved version even better in the future. This can be applied to all aspects of life.