Onalytica connects businesses with influencers through a powerful search engine called Discover. Although popular with their customers, Onalytica recognised that there was room for improvement in the user’s experience of their tool.
I worked with their design and product teams to improve their process and kick-start a new standardised approach to interface design.
Onalytica’s goals were threefold:
To identify Discover’s most pressing usability problems — what we called “the low-hanging fruit”;
to validate their current discovery and development process;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.