Case Study - UCD

Project Description

Good coding is considered sacred to developing a successful app. But a good user experience is often overlooked. As a result, even if an application is responsive and bug-free, it fails to gain traction among users and may even die a slow death. My client - a leading tax and advisory firm - was facing a similar problem. Their internal application, which was developed with the intention to help users get their job done more quickly and improve productivity, was suffering from a poor usage rate. Here’s an account of how the application was revamped for an intuitive, user-focused and enjoyable UX.

Specific issues with the application

  • Confusing navigation
  • Inconsistency
  • Lack of visual appeal
  • Second-guessing how some tabs work, creating confusion and discouraging its use

My approach

  • I started with user research to get a full picture of the issues with the app. For this, I worked with three different sets of primary users
  • I also sought feedback from stakeholders to supplement my findings
  • Additionally, I spoke to some more real users whom I randomly picked from the list provided by the client. The idea was to get as many perspectives and inputs as possible
  • I then distributed online surveys to the selected users, and drafted a final set of opinions
  • The next step was to create a paper design concept, and that was promptly shared to get feedback
  • After iterations, I conducted usability testing on a high fidelity prototype
  • The approved prototype then became the final visual design for a much more user-friendly app!

Processes

  • Research - Contextual Inquiry, Interviews, Surveys, Focus Groups, Workshops, Task Analysis, Content Analysis, Affinity Diagramming, Mental Modeling, User Profiles/Personas, User Scenarios
  • Concept - Storyboards, Sketching, Card Sorting, Wireframes, Page Layout, Navigation Modeling
  • Design - Icon Design, Screen Mockups, Interaction Diagrams, High/Low Fidelity Prototyping, Paper Prototyping, Functional Prototyping

Benefits of the new app

  • The revamped app was well-received by users. It was no longer a puzzle to them, and they were able to navigate their way around it quickly and easily to perform the desired task
  • As the application now seamlessly assisted them in their daily work, users soon developed a sense of ownership for the app
  • I focused on solving specific problems and did not touch what was already fine in the original app design. Efficient time utilization allowed the app to be integrated into the enterprise environment quickly
  • The collaborative design process generated more creative solutions to problems faced by the users

Productivity Enhancement - The navigation and data entry rework challenges in the previous version of this application were sorted. Users were now able to complete the same tasks in a shorter period of time owing to the intuitive nature of the UI, directly impacting productivity in a positive way

Reduced Production Costs - The overall development time and cost was kept low by avoiding the common pitfall of over-designing the system. The scalable nature of the design also reduced the number of changes required late into the design stage

Improved Product Quality - UCD resulted in a product that performed better and secured a high rate of usage


Project Info

  • Client
    Professional services Company

  • Date Mar 2015
  • In
    Case Studies
  • Place
    United States

  • URL

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