While working for Signal I was asked to lead the redesign of their flagship product, Signal Data Hub, which had become unwieldy to use after several years of adding features as user requirements changed. This project was further complicated by a number of internal stakeholders including sales, marketing and client services who all had legitimate interests in the user interface. Finally, the new design needed to be feasible for development in 2-3 months. The design process proceeded as follows:
- Mapped out the existing information architecture (IA) of the application and a hypothesized improved architecture.
- Interviewed users and stakeholders to understand their perspective on how features are used and organized. Iterated the IA based on feedback.
- Met with developers to understand the difficulty of changing features of the IA. Modified the IA to meet development restrictions, while still addressing usability concerns.
- Developed interactive wireframe mocks of new application. These mocks were devoid of visual design features to prevent distraction from core usability questions.
- Tested interactive mocks with users and stakeholders and incorporated feedback into subsequent iterations.
- Developed visual design standards for the new application in concert with other designers from throughout the organization. By sampling design elements from existing materials and developing other elements mutually, we made strides towards improving brand consistency.
- Transferred interactive mocks and visual design standards to developers. Answered questions as they came up and performed final quality assurance.
Once implemented, the new design for Data Hub was released to several customers in Beta form first and then launched to all customers after only two weeks of minimal tweaking. Using a thorough design process we were able to provide users with much needed improvements without significantly disturbing their usage patterns and save significant development costs by minimizing rework.