Role: UX Designer
Tools: Sketch, UX Pin
Methods: Sketching, participatory design, & high fidelity prototypes.
Legacy Programs & Persona Creation
During my first cycle, I spent the bulk of my time learning about the legacy programs, identifying personas, and creating workflow maps that would represent all possible paths that different users could take in said legacy programs. First, I worked with a subject matter expert who was able to identify all of our users and give me some background on them. Next, he walked me through Bosch's existing products so I could become familiar with their functionality, as well as point out how one program could be used in different ways by different personas.
Analyzing New Software Platforms
After developing the personas and conducting the heuristic analyses on the legacy programs, I began analyzing the usability of the software platform that was developed in order to combine all of the legacy software. The analysis of this new software platform revealed a number of issues across all three versions of the product. For example, many of the same errors that were committed in the legacy programs, such as lack of verification and different types of tables, were carried over.
New usability issues were introduced as well, such as having different methods of alerting the user to errors. For example, in the customer facing version of the product, a modal was utilized in one section of the product to display errors, but then toasts were utilized in another section to alert users to their errors. Even worse, after alerting the users via toasts or modal, the offending fields weren't even highlighted after closing the toasts or modals.
Creating Screens For The New Platform
Once I conducted the heuristic analysis on the new software platform and its three main components (customer, agent, and admin), I began modifying the look & feel of the platform. I mainly focused on improving the administrative experience as my supervisor was responsible for overseeing a group of administrators. I started by making sketches, and after I was satisfied with them, I began recreating the sketches on the computer. While I was creating the sketches, I also began to create a style guide. This was done for 2 reasons. The first reason was that I wanted to have a set of reusable components, and the second reason was that I wanted to have a place to detail the CSS properties for each item.
This contract was very educational as to how important it is to get user feedback at multiple stages throughout the creation process. While I am proud of the work that I did, I felt that I was slightly hamstrung by the inability to talk with end users of the product who were located in physical locations other than my office. This was highlighted when one of the groups of users invited me to come out to interview them, but the company was either not able or not willing to have me go out to their location. It was also frustrating to focus only on the administrative aspect of the project instead of all 3 portions (administrative, agent, and customer) of the project. I estimate that if I was able to do proper research & design for all 3 portions, it would have taken me over a year to successfully complete. That being said, I don’t regret my time at Bosch, and would do it again if there were substantial improvements to the UX process.