Out with the old, in with the new

Out with the old, in with the new
JKBowley avatar

Turning an old, tired internal training and education portal into a one-stop platform for information & resources

From this

To this


The challenge

After a long time using an out-dated internal website, our challenge was to revamp the offering of the website into something that inspired and helped staff to their jobs as effectively as possible.

With an audience of around 3000 brand managers, campaign managers, digital leads, CRM leads, project managers and medics from across the world, the final solution had to cater for quite a few segments and be as accessible, useful and engaging as possible.

To add to the challenge, there were specific (and tight) timings and budgetary requirements which had to be adhered to, so efficiency was a key factor in how I planned the delivery of the work.

The plan

I started out with a basic understanding of what the problem was, so I set-up a plan that followed a newly created UX Design process that I made for the agency. I was careful to keep a Lean UX approach as the client and some internal team members weren’t very familiar with UX Design processes or activities. The plan followed this process and outputs (with Development being done by our own development team)…

Discover > Define > Design > Develop > Deliver

I mapped out activities and outputs aligned with the above process that would see us identifying the correct problem problem/s the client had, while keeping the user at the heart of the whole project.

I was determined not to solutionise anything before completing the research and understanding the true problem

Discover

This early part of the process allowed me to really understand a few elements to the project…

  • What was the real problem?
  • Who were our key users and audience?
  • When it came to skills and training, what were their challenges?
  • How did they use the existing platform and what worked for them vs. what didn’t?
  • What was most valuable to them?
  • What was the business goal/objective?
  • What did success look like?

In order to answer the above questions, I arranged for surveys and interviews of both key stakeholders and end-users to be undertaken, asking open and closed questions in order to get a better picture of both business and user needs. The critical incidence technique was particularly useful when asking about how users currently used the existing platform – this allowed me to understand the context and scenarios of how people used this type of information,

Additionally, an audit of existing quant data, the information architecture and content of the current platform provided the ‘current state of play’. This was ahead of a workshop with key stakeholders in the project where we mapped out scenarios, users, content, KPIs and goals.

This Discovery phase ultimately allowed me to perform a root cause analysis and understand the goals for the business and more importantly, the end users.

This was presented to the working team and clear actions and next steps were outlined.

Define

After my initial research, I conducted another workshop with our ‘working team’ in order to develop some proto-personas, high-level sitemaps, information architecture and user stories.

I then mapped this back to the business goals, user wants and needs, to ensure the information we had was valuable and relevant to the project.

From this, I then defined several User Need Statements. (or Problem Statements) with accompanying How Might We questions, which formed the basis of an ideation workshop where we looked at solutions to the problems identified. Dot voting and a feasibility matrix determined what solution we’d take forward, and which will either form part of the back-log or be excluded completely.

How Might We up-skill local Brand Managers so they are equipped to do their job as effectively as possible?

From this, the solution we arrived at was a completely new internal training and best practice platform, where users from across the globe could learn more about relevant topics (such as digital marketing, specific tools etc) and also share best-practices and case studies with each other.

Design

Now I had defined a clear direction, I started to develop low-fi wireframes for some of the key areas we identified as a group. This allowed me to bring the information architecture and content to life.

I stitched together a prototype in InVision and tested it with our audience using a simple usability test. It was done remotely with the target audience using Lookback, and in person with the key stakeholders. Using the objectives of the solution and the needs of our users, I created test scenarios:

“Find a case study for Digital Marketing “
“View a training module related to X”
“Use the search function to view results related to Email Marketing”
“View the latest password for platform X”


I took this information and fed this into the next iteration of the platform, where I worked with a visual designer to develop a simple, but clear Design System. This Design System was based on key components from the wireframes I’d created for mobile, desktop and tablet. I then took this to develop a high-fidelity prototype for testing with the key working group.

Development

I worked closely with a senior developer, junior developer and a PM in order to execute the solution developed in the previous 3 phases. I knew the product, the business and the users like the back of my hand and I wanted to help our devs have the same level of knowledge as me in most areas, they could then do a great, informed job at building something useful. This involved stand-ups everyday to cover any blockers and if they had any further questions on the UX Design of the product.

I also QA tested it to ensure user journeys and edge cases were accounted for. I worked on anything that was wrong or missing to ensure a polished, robust product that our users will love.

In addition to the above, I used my knowledge of GA, GTM and Hotjar to ensure we were tracking KPIs and conversion points accurately, so we could measure the success of the platform post launch.

Deliver

This part of the process was very much a CRO exercise where I periodically measured the success of our KPIs and reviewed where we could optimise the user journey in order to increase our conversion rate. This also included qualitative data through in-situ sentiment feedback from users themselves, along with the star rating of content.

The last part of the project was feeding into the product roadmap. I’d established a great insight into the user and business requirements, so I could easily see opportunity to add further value

Conclusion

After delivering the project on time and within-budget. the platform launched to incredible praise from the key stakeholders, but also from the users themselves.

“Josh did an excellent job in leading and executing the UX work for our skills platform – proving the value of UX and keeping us well informed every step of the way”