I was responsible for leading the UX design process on this project
Archaic fulfilment process filled with phone calls and spreadsheets
Held interviews with the client, their suppliers and customers to understand everybody’s needs and pain points
- Identified an opportunity to design a product that would streamline the process
↙ Reduce time wasted in fulfilment process
↗ Increase transparency of time frames and blockages
👋 Stakeholder interviews
♻️ Usability Testing
🔍 UX Research
🎨 Visual Design
We began the research process by interviewing several Middy’s team members, suppliers and customers. The problem was clear: too much time was being wasted throughout the fulfilment process chasing up emails and phone calls, and there was too little transparency around who was accountable for blockages.
We needed to design a system that both increased efficiency and transparency so that all responsibility was accounted for and all information was located in one place.
Using our findings from the research process, we began to sketch ideas for the solution. Having to design for three separate users (Middy’s team members, customers & suppliers) posed several challenges. For instance, it was important that certain sensitive information and functionality be kept from some users. Once we were happy with the overall flow, we began prototyping the designs.
We prototyped our flows using Invision and mid-fidelity designs that we created in Sketch and carried out several rounds of scenario-based moderated usability testing. At the end of each testing session we’d synthesise insights, affinity map them to establish common themes and problems, then iterate to tweak the designs accordingly before testing again.
By streamlining the processes of creating and managing projects, we successfully designed a validated prototype that both reduced manual effort in the fulfilment process and provided a source of truth for all blockages and project updates.
The solution meant that email and phone call volume would be drastically reduced, thereby freeing up the project estimators to do more important things. By highlighting project statuses, the solution also provided greater visibility of pending tasks, as well as indicating who was responsible for closing them, thereby increasing clarity on hold-ups.
What I learned
Despite the effort and time that went into this project, it was never built – this was the first time I’d experienced something being canned so late in the process, and admittedly it stung a little bit at first. During this project, I learned the importance of failing fast, pivoting when necessary, and I gained a greater understanding of how to successfully collaborate with different types of stakeholders. In this case, the success of the project isn’t defined by its impact on the end user, but instead by the things it taught me along the way.