Symphony Commerce | 2016
A San Francisco startup brought me on to unify a disparate suite of ecommerce applications for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
I started by researching the existing applications and deconstructing them into a set of elemental UI patterns: buttons, input fields, navigation, typography, etc. I turned this into a style tile, which formed the toolkit for the rest of my work.
At the same time, I conducted user analysis, mostly via interviews with internal subject-matter experts like Product Managers and customer support personnel. For each application, I drafted a “user’s hierarchy of needs” that identified the user’s highest-level goal, along with the strategies and tactics they employed to achieve that goal.
Next, I combined the style tile with my user analysis to redesign each of the major application flows. I collaborated with the junior designers and the product team to flesh out and refine my wireframes until they were complete enough to build a testable prototype. My tools of choice were Sketch and InVision.
We took our prototype on the road, testing it with actual clients all over the Bay Area. This was also a great opportunity to train up the junior designers; I made sure each of them had a chance to watch me facilitate, then they took the reins on the next session while I acted as note-taker. Afterward, I showed them how to tabulate and prioritize the results.
Finally, it was time to revise and improve our design system based on the results. We created an UI pattern library in Confluence, which we chose for its robust collaboration tools and close integration with Jira. The closer you can get your UX specs to where engineers do their actual work, the more impact they’ll have on the final product.
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