Tasks: Ideation, Research and Design. Design artifacts include user flows, IA diagrams, research summaries, sketches and mockups
Absolute provides persistent endpoint security and data risk management SaaS solutions for computers, tablets, and smartphones. I was a senior member on the User Experience team responsible for a set of features and capabilities ranging from end point data discovery to threat remediation, and art direction for the product amongst other responsibilities.
The product management team, technology and design directors determined enhancements and new capabilities to focus for a given release based upon business strategy. The process included selecting the agile development team best suited to build a capability, and a User Experience designer to support the team. Since we had a small User Experience team, we had to prioritize capabilities amongst us and assign the top priorities across different parts of the product to each designer. A designer could have 10 to 15 capabilities for a given area within the product so we had to find efficient ways to conduct discovery and research, leading to just enough design to help the development team to begin planning.
For new complex enhancements and capabilities that required additional time for discovery and research, and design, we would begin by discussing the high-level approach with the development leads and product managers so that we could plan for design and development without affecting the sprints and release schedule. To establish consistency and efficiency across all teams, I helped to create the first version of the design system that included principles, product style, components and detailed pattern library.
I would begin work for each capability in my portfolio by working with the product manager, technical product manager and other roles to understand how the capability would solve a customer problem. This would help inform the discovery and research, and design artifacts. Artifacts would include research insights, mapping or updating existing user workflows to wireframes and mockups. If we identified that the design system had sufficient details for a given pattern or a set of UI objects needed to build a capability, we would provide just enough deliverables and fidelity so the development team would have a clear direction.
Sometimes we had to alter designs during development if we came across system or time constraints but we made sure that we didn't harm the customer experience.
The design team helped to transform the previous, legacy, Absolute console into a modern enterprise experience (shown above). Its function and form continue to evolve to address the demands of the business and the expectations of modern security professionals.
Tasks: Research and Design. Design artifacts included user flows, IA diagrams, competitive research summary, sketches and mockups
Kiff was the result of a few passionate people trying to solve the problem with conventional dating apps. It was an early stage startup. They proved their hypothesis by testing an early prototype with users.
When I was brought in, they had developed the initial experience but hadn't conducted generative or evaluative research to understand market fit and develop a sustainable product strategy but we didn't have sufficient time or budget to conduct extensive research. So we focused on competitive analysis to understand which companies were trying to solve a similar problem, their value proposition and capabilities. We discovered a few companies that had successfully launched and monetized their products. This led us to re-evaluate the usability and user experience of the app before moving further.
The team had planned to migrate to a native mobile app but, unfortunately, the founders were unable to secure funding to continue. It served as a learning opportunity for all of us, and working towards a shared goal to solve a common problem.
Tasks: Ideation, Research and Design. Design artifacts included user flows, IA diagrams, competitive research summary, sketches and mockups
Customer research through field discussions and observations showed that equipment buyers and sellers at Ritchie Bros. Auctions needed an easy and accurate way to determine equipment pricing based on equipment condition and other influential properties. Since each equipment was unique, customers did their best to estimate prices based on their experience. The web program team was tasked to build a tool that would provide real-time predictive data for customers to understand market conditions and asset value. This was planned as an experiment to understand the market fit.
I conducted a competitive analysis of companies that provided similar tools. It was clear that none of the companies had a real-time predictive solution for their customers. They required some manual effort to edit, add and maintain their data set. We established requirements for a minimum valuable product and began working with our data science, marketing and development teams to design, test and build. We utilized the Google Venture 5-day sprint which involved representatives from each of the above teams. I converted the outcome into prototypes for testing. We communicated our process and outcomes early and often with key members of the leadership team to ensure we addressed the business opportunity while balancing customer needs.
We developed a hybrid app for iOS and Android platforms. A tool that provides a growing repository of rich industry data in the palm of equipment owners, renters and dealers. Ritchie Bros. continues to be a leading authority of equipment information in the equipment marketplace.
Tasks: Ideation and Design. Design artifacts included sketches and mockups
Flynn O'Connor, one of the organizers for WordCamp Vancouver, asked me to design the WordCamp Vancouver theme for the 2014 conference. This was my second year helping and it was time that I happy to volunteer to help the WordPress community.
WordCamp site is built upon a shared WordPress framework limiting the options for complete customization. The deadline was quickly approaching leaving little time to work through a typical design process.
Flynn and I discussed what the conference site must have. It took a couple days to create sketches then mockups and a basic style guide to hand over to the developer.
WordCamp Organizers loved the site. Development was completed quickly. WordCamp 2014 was a success and continues to support a strong community of WordPress developers.
Tasks: Ideation, Research, Design. Design artifacts included user flows, IA diagrams, research summaries, sketches and mockups
The objective was to provide our customers with a richer mobile experience. This meant moving away from our mobile site developed for predated usage patterns.
We used a mobile vendor with a proxy service that transformed parts of our desktop site to create a subset for a mobile experience. Proxy rules were pre-configured with little flexibility. Moving to responsive design would give us control over our content and layout. A single web experience would address the proliferation of mobile devices. It would give us the opportunity to reach more consumers in existing and emerging marketplaces.
The best approach would have been to start from the ground up but we had recently redesigned our site which involved substantial time, money and resources. It would have been challenging to convince the leadership team that we had to start again. We had to find an alternative because our contract with our mobile vendor was soon expiring.
We decided to retrofit our desktop site to create an optimized experience across multiple devices. A small team of people was put together to examine the responsive transformation. The project focused on four major areas over the eight month timeline: site platform changes, discovering breakpoints, adapting content, prototyping and visual design, and testing.
Retrofitting provided a cost-effective approach to modify our desktop design for different devices. This helped us improve our marketing and product development across all customer touch points including improved SEO, simplified analytics and reporting, and establishing a single code base.
Retrofitting a desktop site is not the ideal solution but not only did it deliver an optimized experience for our customers but we also gained a competitive advantage in our online marketplace without breaking the bank. Most of all, it put us on the path to future-proofing our experience.
Tasks: Ideation, Research and Design. Design artifacts included sketches, wireframes and mockups
The objective was to modernize the brand experience and differentiate the business from other competitors in the used car marketplace. We accomplished this by infusing consistency and Calvin’s essence as a superior business owner within the brand identity and designing a digital experience that supersedes the competition. Additional design deliverables included a style guide, a new logo and business cards.
I had Calvin work through a creative brief so that we understood the goals, success and outcome of the redesign. It took a couple sessions to discuss what we were building. After a couple iterations, we settled on a direction leading to deliverables that included a redesign of his website.
Budget and time constraints prevented the build of a responsive experience but the design process and approach accounted for a scalable solution. When Calvin has the budget he can create a mobile experience without much effort.
Calvin continues to receive positive feedback from his customers. The improved experience has boosted site traffic and conversions.
Tasks: Ideation and Design. Design artifacts included sketches, wireframes and mockups
It began as an idea to gain a deeper understanding of designing and developing a premium WordPress theme. After refining the idea, we sketched some ideas. Sketches were converted to Omnigraffle wireframes. While Flynn worked on constructing the framework using the wireframes, I worked on the visual design to demonstrate the complete experience.
Tasks: Ideation, Brand Strategy, Research and Design. Design artifacts included mockups
My primary responsibility as the senior designer for the company was to improve the usability of all products. The objective of this concept was to demonstrate the unification of individual solutions for buyers and sellers of equipment under a single web experience. Customers could transact with a single source, the business could align multiple sites and continue to position itself as the leading entity in the global equipment marketplace.
The expansion of the Ritchie Bros. website portfolio began to fragment the experience for customers. They had to use different sites to complete a single transaction. It was time consuming and resource intensive to create and maintain each one. Analytics and reporting took time to aggregate and provide insights, and only some were optimized for mobile.
The art director, the lead developer and I spent several weeks working through the issues from brand strategy, technology constraints to customer expectations. The concept was presented to the leadership team for consideration.
Tasks: Ideation, Research, Design and Development (HTML/CSS Templates). Design artifacts included IA diagrams, research summaries, sketches and mockups
The HR department lacked the online presence to communicate with potential candidates. The existing experience was part of the e-commerce site which often confused potential applicants and did not fully integrate with the application system. A new website was created to support the development of the employer brand and overall strategic company goals. The experience focuses on the Ritchie Bros. core values. Design provides an immersive experience into the company culture, diversity of people and career opportunities.
The application system was provided by a third party with very little customization abilities. We had two months to design and launch the site. The system was deferred to a future phase. We made only some minor adjustments so it aligned with the new site.
We conducted a competitive analysis of other brands. The analysis combined with stakeholder interviews lead to the creation of the new IA and wireframes. The Art Director, Copywriters and I worked together with the HR department on the employee brand strategy which seeded the visual design, print and advertising material. Mockups were converted into code and delivered to the development team for CMS integration.
The new experience has drastically increased the recruiting experience. It has helped the company attract candidates with the attitude and work ethic to succeed and help the company continue to grow as a leader in the global equipment marketplace.
Tasks: Visual Design and Development (HTML/CSS Templates) | Design artifacts included mockups
Saturhack was a weekend gathering of web designers and developers looking for a collaborative atmosphere to work on their projects. It was a space to share ideas and learn from other professionals. It was the equivalent of a meetup group without a topic or speaker.
Tasks: Ideation, Research, Design and Development (HTML/CSS Templates). Design artifacts included IA diagrams, sketches and mockups
Michael recognized the need for an online presence as a teacher, author and anthropologist. It would help him to promote his skills and experience with colleagues and grant proposals.
Starting with the creative brief, we worked through what the goals, constraints and success looked like. I created and reviewed the IA, wireframes and visual design with Michael. When approved, I converted the design into code.
After launch, his online presence was discovered by the studio that created the new Planet of the Apes movie. It resulted in Michael consulting on the movie and leading to TV appearances.