Discovery

Onalytica’s goals were threefold:

  1. To identify Discover’s most pressing usability problems — what we called “the low-hanging fruit”;
  2. to validate their current discovery and development process;
  3. to help better define roles and responsibilities within the product and design team.

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.

Conducting remote interviews with Onalytica’s external users.

The low hanging fruit

Using the general themes which emerged from the user interviews (via an affinity mapping exercise) as pointers, I conducted a full app review — this highlighted different classes of issue that were causing problems in users’ understanding of Discover.

I prioritised the emerging themes so I could present these back as next-step recommendations to the whole team.

I conduced a full useability review of Discover.

Aligning teams from the top

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 down.

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.

Some of the slides from the presentation I gave to Onalytica’s leadership team

Co-designing

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.

Kick-starting a design revolution

To address the issue of inconsistency of the interface in Discover, I built a simple pattern library based on a confined set of colours and controls from Bootstrap. Although there’s lots more work to do, this simple set of consistent controls provides a jumping-off point for great work to happen.

From the time I’d spent with developers, I’d discovered they were dissatisfied with the quality of the design specification they were receiving. I helped Onalytica introduce Zeplin into their workflow to provide a detailed spec to the engineering team.

Some of the elements from the pattern library I built for Discover based on Bootstrap. I introduced Zeplin into their design and development process to demystify design specifications for developers.

Outcomes

I loved working with the team at Onlytica. They were open to suggestions and eager to learn. Most of what I helped them with, they already knew or had implemented in small pockets here-and-there. I was able to help them take this localised knowledge and align everyone around a common goal of being user-centred in their approach to product management, design and development.

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