27th December 2017 - No Comments!

Leading the UX design of the Testimony dashboard

In August 2017 I was asked by the CTO of Basis Technologies to lead a UX design project to create a web dashboard for Basis Technologies' newest product, Testimony. This is a story about how it went from an idea to a coded website in two weeks.

Basis Technologies announced the launch of Testimony in July 2017. Testimony is a revolutionary new way of regression testing SAP systems and although this product is without question a game-changer in the market, it is still very complex to use.

Initial customer research had revealed that the SAP interface was far too technical, and therefore was very difficult for particular users to understand the output of results.

I was approached by the CTO to come up with a web dashboard design that would allow less technical personas to achieve their goals without the need for digging around in the dated and convoluted SAP interface.

To add to the challenge, I only had two weeks in which to deliver my first iteration so that it could be demoed alongside the official launch of Testimony at the TechEd conference in Las Vegas.

 

The first iteration of the Testimony results page.

 

The first iteration of drilled down results for the Testimony dashboard.

I was responsible for producing a web based dashboard that would provide an enhanced user experience of the Testimony SAP product. This was so that we could demonstrate the value of the results Testimony would offer. I was responsible for managing the front-end developer and ensuring that was he coded was accurate with what I had designed. This meant a lot of back and forth, but it helped that we had iterated and tested before we started coding.

I collaborated with the CTO, Product Manager and a front-end developer in order to design and build the initial dashboard. We worked using a lean UX approach, purposely keeping the team small to allow quick interaction with each other as well as feedback. This was so that we could stick to the strict two week deadline.

I contributed my knowledge and skills in UX design to the team. I began by analysing the user feedback we had from users about the SAP results dashboard, and the problems they had with interpreting the results. I then began working on wireframes based on this feedback to ensure that what we were building was solving these issues. I created high-fidelity mockups using Sketch and was in constant communication with the front-end developer to ensure that what I was designing was technically possible.

Because we were a small team we were always talking to each other which meant there was a lot of transparency around the decisions we were making. This meant that if something had to be changed, it could be done so quickly. We would have daily meetings to ensure we were on track and discuss any design issues we had discovered.

I lead the way in terms of the UX design process, ensuring that the team were always keeping the needs of the user front of mind. Although the main decisions came from the CTO and the Product Manager, the responsibility to build and deliver this project fell to me. When the project was completed, the CEO of Basis Technologies congratulated me for my contribution - it of course was a great team effort.

It was my skills and knowledge of UX design that influenced the project. I had been expressing the virtues of UX to the CTO for some time, and this was the project that really allowed me to express that tangibly.

Although this project was a short term success, it did not cement UX as an important process within the organisation. Unfortunately, there are cultural ideas within the company that come from the very top that wouldn't allow a UX design process to flourish. This is something that can only change very slowly over time. This project, however, was a positive first step.

The project was a success and allowed the team at Basis Technologies to demo this dashboard at the TechEd conference in Las Vegas in September 2017. I made significant contribution to this project and would have liked to see more like it at the company, but unfortunately there is not the appetite from senior management to take it forward in the near future.

 

Published by: Stephan Metcalfe in Blog Article, UX Design

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