Project: Improving the experience and design of existing app components while transitioning into more modern interfaces.
Due to a corporate buyout, business priorities changed and the organization decided to stop improvements on this app to focus on building new products. I was transitioned to work on exploratory research for new project ideas.
My role on the project:
Formalizing the Design Process
One of the first things I did when I started this project was to work with other designers on the team to establish a work map for our projects.
Prior to this formal structure, multiple engineering teams were putting in many small requests expecting unrealistic turnaround that did not allow enough time to conduct necessary research and collect feedback.
With this implemented, tasks were scheduled with scoping and the research workflow in mind and allowed designers to meet deadlines while keeping a high quality of standards.
The product is rather old so the UI is relatively outdated and new features were all tacked on without much thought to the design. However, because the functionality is very advanced, most of the users have learned how to navigate through the maze of information and find the app very useful once they scale the high barrier to entry.
Re-Designing Existing Flows and Interfaces
Prior to many of the large visual changes that were in the pipeline, there were many smaller changes to the product, mostly as a direct result to customer feedback we collect through our product forums and support.
These are not changes to the product's overall structure, but rather the layouts and how certain information is displayed on specific screens or the flow from one screen to another.
New Features and Designs: Brainstorming
With the big product update, my teammate and I lead several design workshops to brainstorm what elements should be changed and how they might look.
From the brainstorming sessions we draw some wireframes which are then turned into interactive prototypes, with each interaction mapped.
Depending on the feature being designed, a prototyping software is selected. Because most of the interfaces in Foglight are quite complex, Axure RP was the software of choice as it has the most robust table data manipulation of all the available prototyping software.
After deciding what flows would be most relatable to our requirements, we plan out the prototype and then hook up the interactions.
To the right is a sample of a prototype flow plan for a high-fidelity prototype. Lo-fi prototypes were also produced when testing interactions where the visuals may be distracting.
In a former project for Dell Software I created a library of common interactive components for my personal use, so prototyping in high-fidelity is very time-efficient.
Testing and Feedback
We then conduct in-person feedback sessions by gathering test users in a room and running them through different cases and watching them use our prototype. The highlights of this research are then added to a board for review and recurring feedback is starred and formulated into changes for the next round of prototypes.
Multiple rounds of feedback cumulated into the sample design below for this specific page of the redesign. Engineering efforts on the redesign began during my time on the project, but unfortunately were halted due to business reasons (Quest Software buying out Dell Software).