Designing better products at Onalytica

I helped Onalytica’s design and product teams improve processes and kick-start a standardised approach to interface design.

Dates

November 2018 - February 2019

My role

Process & usability review
Hands-on design & code
Pattern library creation

Discovery

Onalytica’s goals were threefold:

  1. To identify Discover’s most pressing usability problems — what we called “the low-hanging fruit”;
  2. to help better define process and responsibilities within the product and design team;
  3. to empower the development team to quickly and robustly build and iterate Discover’s interface.

I spent time interviewing their users — both external clients and internal “power” users. I also conducted one-to-one sessions with designers, product managers and developers.

Refining Onalytica's design process

Aligning teams, bottom-up

Using affinity mapping, strong themes emerged from user interviews. I used these motifs to put together a full application review — this detailed the issues which were having the most significant impact on users.

Using this visual laundry list, Onalytica’s teams were able to have better conversations about specific UX problems. Moreover, presenting findings in this way further raised awareness of users and their needs.

Aligning teams, top down

It was clear that many of the skills and processes they needed to improve the overall usability of their products were already in place. However, there wasn’t a single unified vision of how teams should work together from the top.

I gave a presentation to Onalytica’s management team in which I outlined a framework process and a set of clearly defined roles they needed to make this process work.

Test and embed

To help embed this new process, I worked alongside Karl Roche, Onalytica’s senior UX designer to design, test and refine an updated listing page for Discover. As one of the most common page types in their application, I felt this would provide the most immediate benefit for users and provide a useful benchmark as to how to design and develop going forward.

We created sketches, screen designs and a click-through prototype which enabled us to test with Onalytica’s internal “power” users — making adjustments based on their feedback — further cementing an understanding of how a user-centred design process should work across the business.

Jon has improved our processes, leading to better integration of design into the business. Through his time with us, Jon raised the visibility of design across the company, making it easier to engage with stakeholders.

Karl Roche
Senior UX Designer at Onalytica

From design to code

In the second phase of work I co-designed and built a front-end pattern library.

Working alongside Onalytica’s design and development teams, I created a custom build of Bootstrap. I built a pattern library interface to enable developers to pick and use components easily.

All the components compose together, so the pattern library can also be used to create a test new interface combinations quickly.

The front-end pattern library empowers developers to create consistent UI — and enables rapid prototyping for testing with real users.

The front-end pattern library empowers developers to create consistent UI — and enables rapid prototyping for testing with real users.

Outcomes

A clearer design process

Design, technology and product — and critically senior leaders — have a much clearer idea of how to run a user-centred design process.

Improved alignment

By involving people from across the business in the design process, Onalytica's product team has increased understanding and buy-in from everyone.

A robust front-end pattern library

Onalytica's new pattern library serves as both the single source of truth for developers and as a test-bed for new interface ideas.

Jon is a great communicator and steered us through the UX options and decisions to plan work effectively. We’re delighted with the results - both technically and creatively.

Andrew Macleod
CTO, Onalytica