Large-Scale Product Design Direction
I recently wrapped up my work on several key modules within a suite of business intelligence and workforce management applications. Over the past year I lead design on several key designs as well as helping lead the process of redesigning 90% of the tool.
The key areas of focus for me on this project:
- Improve the user experience
- Simplify user flows and user interactions
- Lead user interface and visual design
- Create consistency in visual design and interaction
When I came on to this project, it had been in production for close to a year. The first challenge was learning my way around a massive enterprise application. Before I could provide any effective contributions to UI design, I needed to have a proper understanding of the tool. It was definitely learning on the run, and diving feet first into the project.
Improving the User Experience
The app was primarily to be used by workforce staff, on site, on the job. Interactions needed to be concise and useful. We wanted this app to be useful but not hinder users. For each module or section we worked on, we first identified those key actions that users needed. Where could we reduce clicks, where could we remove pages, where could we add value?
Simplify user flows and user interactions
We collected feedback to gauge the engagement of users with the new features that were added as often as possible. As we collected feedback from both users and SMEs on how the most recent version of the app was being received by the staff, we strategically planned the next round of changes to the product that we believed would further improve interactions. We removed any features that were unnecessary, hindered the users path through the app or to a desired action, and we simplified areas that caused pain points for the users.
Lead user interface and visual design
We often studied applications with similar elements or use cases to get inspiration for user interface changes. This helped guide our designs against industry norms. Just as we looked to simplify the UX, we also looked to simplify the design with each user interface change. Less clutter to allow for quicker consumption of information was key.
Create consistency in visual design and interaction
In the year leading up to my involvement in the project, the overall design often took several turns in direction. Our team of Senior level designers resolved to create better consistency in the look and feel of the app by emphasizing communication and collaboration. We conducted regular checkins and design reviews to ensure we were always on the same page. We developed a style guide and a design library that made the process of redesigning or designing new modules effectively and without recreating elements that already existed.