At a glance
Using a Lean UX approach within a team of product designers, we validated assumptions, created complex user profiles, and refined how clients are handled between various departments while designing a new software reporting platform.
Ve Interactive recognised the need to redefine how their clients pull campaign data and receive reporting information from their Account Managers. Our team of Product Designers were tasked with building a new reporting platform from the ground up.
With a two month UX timeline, we ran the entire project following a Lean UX approach-- building, validating, refining, validating, and so on.
Services I provided
Internal / External Reporting Platform
Our project began with a kick-off meeting including our remote Project Manager, and London-based Product Lead, Creative Director and other key stakeholders. Wasting no time, our Product Design department facilitated a workshop centered around internal research. Much like Google’s SPRINT mentality, we held ‘expert interviews’ and leveraged the expertise of our Developers, Designers, Account Managers and representatives from other departments.
Our upfront workshop was crucial for three reasons:
It provided a platform to lay-out all initial assumptions in terms of possible solutions, current pain-points, potential project directions, etc.
Through the eyes of our Account Managers, we had a first hand look into our client’s pain-points (who were currently using our existing reporting platform), as well as the pain-points from Account Managers who were creating and presenting these client reports monthly.
Speaking with our Developers helped provide our initial time estimate, and this then framed our first thoughts around an MVP
Assumptions (Low Fidelity)
Proto-personas were designed to capture and document critical Account Manager, Design and Product Manger assumptions. These proto-personas became the foundation of our research and were the result of our wider team’s thinking, feeling, and expertise.
Working alongside our stronger client relationships, client testing / interview sessions were coordinated. These four, one-hour interview sessions set UX deadlines for our first round of assumption-based personas and our initial prototype.
Our Product Design team were then tasked with further defining the wireframes created during our kick-off workshop as low-fidelity paper sketches. Each potential solution and project direction that was agreed upon during our workshop was wireframed and came together to create our paper-prototype.
Comparing our solutions to the agreed upon use-cases, user goals, and proto-personas, adjustments were made (and screens created) to help plug any missing flows.
To help drive consistency across our platform (and help formulate our first high-fidelity prototype), part of our Product Design team created our initial pattern library (based on our development framework). This was shared with the wider design team to help skin and produce our InVision prototype.
The discussion guide created for our first round of testing was created around personas-- questions were created to test our biggest hypotheses about each client type. To help reduce bias, our questions were behavioural driven and required clients to pull real-life examples.
Four, one-hour testing sessions with clients in both London and Manchester and were divided into two sections:
User interviews (to validate or discredit UX persona assumptions)
Usability testing our InVision prototype
Sessions were video and audio recorded, transcribed, then shared with key stakeholders, product managers, and the wider UX team
Direct user quotes were then pulled from transcribed interviews in the form of ‘jobs, pains, and gains.’ These were individually and documented, printed, and organised to provide the pieces of our Affinity Map. Our goals with this session were simple: get a better understanding of who’s using our Reporting Platform, and identity broad themes that really differentiates our personas. We were looking for key-traits.
Validating and Discrediting Assumptions
Our testing and persona sessions concluded with a debrief involving Account Managers, our Product Manager, Developers, Sales Representatives and other key stakeholders. Our Product Design division presented key-findings and learnings in a workshop aimed at aligning our wider team.
Although our initial approach was to include a wide spectrum of solutions, our testing had dictated the direction of our MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Our development time adjusted to a realistic expectation, and each MVP component was attributed Sprint points to provide a rough estimate of development effort. With business sign-off, we tightened our MVP scope and continued researching what functionality users wanted from our new ‘Reporting Platform.’
Our clients relied on the service (and ‘perceived service’) they received from our Account Managers. An important factor we pulled out from our Affinity Map was the importance the ‘human touch’ played in terms of client relationship. With this in mind, our Product Design team didn’t want to remove the human element, but make it more efficient within our business.
Sitting down with a mix of Account Managers, Implementation Specialists, Product Designers, Sales Representatives (and others), we mapped how a new client moves through Ve Interactive’s departments. We were identifying pain-points for both the client and Account Managers, and wanted to find the optimal point to begin talks regarding the reporting solutions we were designing.
Within buy-in from our Account Managers, our solution had a very small success rate. Our Account Managers need to be spokespeople for our new platform, and help drive their clients to our new platform. For a holistic understanding of where our Account Management team is heading we interviewed Ve’s Head of Customer Relations.
Continuing with our Lean mentality there are a few updates our Product Design team need to make:
Redefine our usability test script to reflect our tighter scope MVP and address certain client-assumptions when it comes to their reporting behaviour
Our design system needs updating to further reflect internal branding and certain design components needed
Upgraded components to address specific client goals and usability issues-- visa versa for our Account Management and Sales team
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