Recent UX Success

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A few case studies that highlight my design thinking and user-centered design process.

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Recent UX Success

  1. 1. experience design case studies ux success stories lou susi
  2. 2. experience design case studies The following case studies represent some of my recent successful contributions to user experience design at Monster and Dimdim. My goal in collecting this work for your review is to describe my experience as an ux design professional, including: the challenges, the process, my contribution to the project work and the results. By reporting from the field I hope to reveal some of my strengths and weaknesses – my ambitious intentions – the struggle – the core challenges behind each step of a project – from initial vision, to collaborative exploration and iterations, to final release. ux success stories lou susi
  3. 3. story 1. dimdim ux portal improvements While working at Dimdim, one of the most valuable experience improvements I am proud of involved drastic clean up of the portal interface. Dimdim’s online meeting application often left users in an awkward spot with very little to visually indicate where to begin, and even less to let the first time user understand what Dimdim’s software is all about. ux success stories lou susi
  4. 4. story 1. dimdim ux portal improvements This screen shows the original interface a presenter user saw following sign in. The layout and visual hierarchy are extremely flat. Three large internal advertisements dominate the top region of the screen and provide little direct value to the user. A large portion of the screen potentially remains empty for users with no currently scheduled meetings. The CMO, CTO and I held an impromptu meeting to discuss a quick way to begin optimizing the experience flow. ux success stories lou susi
  5. 5. story 1. dimdim ux portal improvements Our discussion included an active whiteboard session that led to the following ux recommendation to strip out many of the superfluous affordances to accentuate only the most important actions. A thin but sublimated universal navigation would still allow users access to all account and preference settings without distracting them from the primary, crucial application launch points of Share, Meet and Plan. ux success stories lou susi
  6. 6. story 1. dimdim ux portal improvements The final visual design direction helped lighten the feel of the experience by removing container shadows and heavy grey elements. Introducing a more conversational tone brings the app into a smoother, Web 2.0 space – establishing a more playful yet professional engagement with the targeted user base. The final release with these experience improvements brought greater clarity to the product and enhanced ease-of-use. ux success stories lou susi
  7. 7. story 2. monster apply flow redesign As the UX Lead for several experience chunks at Monster, I had the amazing opportunity to redesign one of the 2 core Seeker flows in 2008. Applying for a job on the Monster website previously involved encountering myriad of potentially different flows, all dependent upon the jobseeker’s user state and the application requirements of 8 job type variations. Users were confused and frustrated by a difficult and seemingly inconsistent experience. Our new experience direction would remove this confusion by putting all the variation behind the scenes. We would redesign the Apply flow to create the illusion of a single, cohesive flow that would resolve all of the complexity with a fantastic new approach to the interface. ux success stories lou susi
  8. 8. story 2. monster apply flow redesign Monster UX, Product, Analysis and Development spent countless days and hours collaboratively card- sorting, mapping and sketching the entire Seeker redesign project. Early on in the redesign process, apply-related data provided from recent EU success with an Ajax- driven panel helped drive our design thinking toward a similar technical approach to solving the bigger picture. ux success stories lou susi
  9. 9. story 2. monster apply flow redesign The initial wireframe attempts to redesign Apply indicated to me that the complexity and confusion we wanted to eliminate were only compounded in this new panel-driven design convention. Over the course of the entire redesign initiative, my team persistently approached this flow from every angle with huge efforts put into testing, prototyping and iterative design changes. ux success stories lou susi
  10. 10. story 2. monster apply flow redesign Recognizing issues with the panel convention, I proactively suggested alternative approaches to redesigning Apply. My heuristic insight and initial research always pointed to the logical use of an entire page. The recommendation shown here suggests a way to split the job description page, allowing jobseekers to see important job details while choosing a resume and writing their cover letter. ux success stories lou susi
  11. 11. story 2. monster apply flow redesign Although the panel-driven redesign made it to release, Monster’s latest apply flow takes the apply experience out of the panel. A much less cluttered approach ( one of the original goals of the redesign ). And far more predictable and reliable from a technical, system performance perspective. ux success stories lou susi
  12. 12. story 3. the monster dashboard As part of the same Seeker redesign initiatives described in Story 2 – I led the design and development efforts to create a dashboard for jobseekers on the new, career-focused Monster. The Monster Dashboard was an entirely new feature for Monster. My research included looking to similar key, existing experiences such as iGoogle, PageFlakes and NetVibes. I also read the book ‘Informational Dashboard Design’ by Stephen Few and attended an invaluable UPA session at Enernoc to learn about the latest thought and trends behind dashboard environment design. The dashboard project came together quickly and rather successfully made the leap from wireframes to visuals to full implementation. ux success stories lou susi
  13. 13. story 3. the monster dashboard After conducting some of the original research, I interviewed UX Leads from each product segment to rough out component concepts for more than a dozen widgets. The initial wireframe layout set up a unique center stage grid as well as an affordance to add more widgets to the default set. ux success stories lou susi
  14. 14. story 3. the monster dashboard The basic design and interaction for the widget container included a drag handle, a view and edit mode, and a way to expand and close each widget. One of the most important concepts I wanted to promote internally was the ability to Share a widget out to a user’s website, blog or the social web. Extending Monster’s brand beyond the website would help bring traffic back to the core site. ux success stories lou susi
  15. 15. story 3. the monster dashboard The final dashboard design and implementation successfully allows users to get a snapshot into several key areas of the Monster experience and allows for a quick click over to take a deeper look. Users can easily add and remove dashboard widgets by visiting a separate page. Certain widgets allow data customization. A few usability sessions helped optimize certain interaction design nuances. ux success stories lou susi
  16. 16. further notes on the process Although I originally intended to represent my full set of processes in the presentation of these success stories – one vital step along the way that I feel is crucial is to literally sketch the story of the experience. I apologize for the lack of hand-drawn design thought in this presentation. I find that returning to pencil, pen and paper can save cycles and help bring simple vision to the brainstorming and decision making so vital to the overall process. Many of these projects started on paper before moving to wireframes. I find the number of steps, the medium of artifacts and deliverables, and the nature of the work all depend on the project timeline and the culture of the organization. But lines on paper at least begin to quickly tell the story. ux success stories lou susi
  17. 17. lou suSi 617.750.2922 lou@bxos.com

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