Accordo


The client

Accordo is a global leader in technology lifecycle management and cloud optimisation, working alongside global software publishers including Microsoft, Dell and Adobe. Their goal is to help businesses harness the cloud by providing actionable insights to increase productivity and deliver profitable outcomes.

Overview

The product was an engineer-driven asset management tool. It had been under construction for nearly a year with no design input. The goal was to establish and maintain the UX strategy and principles across the company’s digital products while working alongside global software publishers, including Microsoft, Dell and Adobe.

My role

As Lead UX Designer I was working across the company’s digital SaaS products. This included designing the new asset management tool and optimising the existing internal customer relationship management system (CRM). During this time I used UX theory and methods including but not limited to:

  • Competitors analysis
  • Ideation workshops
  • Usability testing
  • Stakeholder management
  • 1 on 1 interviews
  • Wireframing
  • UI Design

As my role evolved and the team grew I became Lead Designer in a team of three. I helped define how to capture the extensive information from the users and display the results in a way that would be easily understood while allowing them to feel in control and not overwhelmed.

The Challenges

The product was an engineer-driven platform that had been under construction for nearly a year with no design input. It was a clever back end system and new features were being thought up regularly to expand its capabilities.

It was a requirement to design a user interface (UI) that was future proof. It was extremely important to have a strategy that captured the project goals and had the ability to be adaptable as the scope grew.

The product team were already working in an agile environment with two week sprints. The design team needed to fit smoothly into the current way of working and to manage the delivery of assets (high fidelity designs, wireframes and documentation) in the most efficient way possible.

New to the industry and company, I personally needed to gain knowledge of the target market, business goals, competitors and the current team. This was so that I could communicate, empathise, lead and share ways of working to the wider business.

The process

As I knew little about the users and the business goals, and I didn’t want to make too many assumptions, I started by organising workshops and interviews with stakeholders, including Senior Project Managers, Product Owners and Lead Developers.I used a project canvas, empathy mapping and customer journey mapping. As a global company, not all the stakeholders were easily accessible. So to gather a full understanding I sent out questionnaires to the higher stakeholders. I used this to discover what success looked like across the group and what the company’s expectations were for the new product and it’s design.

Persona examples

To gather a better understanding of the users I organised and facilitated 1 to 1 user interviews with our target market, starting with our own in house IT department. I then got the IT team to document their working days over a two week period (diary study) and where possible observed their main tasks. These activities combined to produce clear journey maps, understand the current ways of working in the industry and discover pain points across the workflow.

Personas, low fidelity wirframes and flows

After the initial research, data-guided personas and low-fidelity wireframes were created to help the wider team build empathy. This also allowed the design team to test possible new journey flows quickly and efficiently.

Early layout iterations were made to follow good practice. We then moved into creating a clickable prototype that was used for usability testing and to visually demonstrate further changes to stakeholders.

Story boards and journey flows

Regular communication with the product team and stakeholders continued as the design process progressed. Further workshops were held for ideation and usability testing continued to help guide changes and support our decision making.

Wirframes

As more elements and features were added the process of empathy, define, ideate, prototype and test were repeated. Deliverables were shared with developers (high-fidelity designs, style guides, assets and documentation) and I was responsible for supporting the development process. This meant being available for developers, project managers and product owners where needed in order for our team to successfully ship on time.

The outcomes

The product was officially launched with a UI in October 2016 to 500 users. By December 2016 the product had successfully been rolled out to a further 2000 users and is still expanding today.

Hi fi menu layout

The team continued collecting analytics to guide further changes and to optimise the journey. I also helped organise A/B testing, looking at the communications delivered with the product. By simplifying these communications, product engagement increased by 30% and helped justify the time invested in user testing.

Hi fi designs of dashboard

As 2017 began, a new look and feel to the UI was introduced across the platform to follow the first publisher’s brand guidelines. My focus then moved into feature prioritisation. I worked closely with the Senior Project Manager to organise feature releases based on users’ needs, and to present reasoning to help set business expectations.

Hi fi designs of dashboard

Recommendation

“Dickon has been great to work with, he is truly a professional in every aspect of work detail. From project planning to UI design, through to a top-level UX management style whilst producing some amazing UX results. I wish him the very best in his current role. Great work!!”

James Star, Front-End Developer



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