Case Study : Transformative UX

An enterprise re-design project is critical to a company's future, reputation, and competitiveness, but the challenges are significant. To name just a few: Existing clients and end-users often resist change. Legacy systems and their limitations must be factored-in, and years of undocumented enhancements cause expensive delays and design changes due to unforeseen dependencies. Below are a couple of samples of successful re-design projects I lead. I look forward to discuss with you my contributions to these success stories.

Re-design: Audience Measurement and Media Planning System

Product Overview

  • Dozens of report types, hundreds of data-sources, thousands global clients, tens-of-thousands active users world-wide
  • Subscription based model - Customer frequency-of-use and satisfaction drive renewals and new sales

Re-design Objectives

  • Increase subscription-utilization by greatly simplifying report generation and other processesI
  • Improved media buy decision-making with effective, engaging and easily customizable dashboard   
  • Surface patterns, trends and insights through extensive use of data visualization
  • Strengthen the brand with sophisticated look & feel that replaces the dated, unattractive design of current-state

Re-design: Library Management System

Product Overview

  • Enterprise grade, client-server environment
  • Expert system with 11 modules, each focused on a specialized library department or role (circulation, cataloging, serials, etc.)
  • Highly customizable to fit the needs of institutional customers worldwide

Customers and Users

  • Academic, Government, Research and Corporate Libraries

  • Local specific requirements and workflows

  • Institution type/size-dependent requirements and workflows

Problem Space

  • Mushrooming maintenance, development and training costs due to customizations for specific customers.
  • Innovation stymied by a development tool (Borland)

  • Bloated user interface due to numerous customizations, inconsistency, duplication and confusing redundancy.  

Approach

  • Heuristic and structural analysis of current state
  • Site visits and partnerships with customers to understand needs and constraints
  • Formed a dedicated advisory group made of customer representatives. Regular face to face and online meetings to facilitate core understandings and collaboration approach
  • Concept development for generalized framework based on design principles
  • Constant discussions with internal stakeholders: Leadership, sales, development, implementation, training and customer support to understand the business, the pinpoints and the competition.
  • Influenced the rewrite of the entire product using Microsoft instead of Borland
  • Rapid iterative design and validation of concept, high level and detailed design

Outcomes

  • 8 months into the redesign process, Harvard University signed a contract

  • Adoption by many of the most prestigious organizations in the world followed

  • The integrated framework afforded a cut from 11 modules to 4, dramatically reducing new development, maintenance, and cost of ownership - Boost profitability.

  • The entire process took about 3.5 years, and I was fortunate to see it through from inception to release

Ezra Schwartz