This was a line of business specific project that involved process re-engineering, overhauling the design of an existing system, and form design. The existing process of submitting a form for regulatory compliance was complex and passed through several hands with some manual input before finally reaching an approval or rejection. There was no accountability, and no way to track where the form was in the process. For this project, the UX team was asked to improve the existing service and cut down on inefficiencies.
My Role: I lead UX improvement and design for the new, automated service. During this project, I worked closely with business analysts, developers, and the users of the system to create the new designs.
Due to my non-disclosure agreement, I have obfuscated and anonymized confidential information. The designs presented here are my own that are based on the original.
I first started with user research to understand the users using the existing system. After several interviews, observational site visits, collecting artifacts and task analysis exercises with users and business analysts, I was able to map out the current experience and identify the set of personas for the new system.
Lead: This person kicks off the process of submitting a form for regulatory compliance. The triggers are through email attachments or physical forms that have reached their expiration date.
Submitter: This person may be the lead or someone else; it depends on what type of form needs to be submitted. They may either update the form with more information, or simply pass it to the next step in the process after they have verified the form has all the information needed to be submitted. They are also responsible for following up on rejected forms and re-submitting them.
Approver 1: This person will either reject or approve the form for the next step. It is their responsibility to communicate to the Submitter why the form is rejected.
Approver 2: This person has the final say in whether or not the form can be submitted for regulatory compliance. Their role is to review the form and submit it to the appropriate regulatory authority.
Our first step to solving this problem was to address the need for a single repository.The variety of triggers for the Lead made it difficult to keep track of the forms themselves and the tasks generated by the forms. This caused a lot of work arounds and inefficiencies in the process.
Several personas had a need to check on their work while not at a desktop environment - for example, during meetings. The solution would have to be functional in a mobile environment.
Due to the unique circumstance for every form, personas in each step of the process would take to annotating or commenting. Invariably these would be attached in an email or stapled to the manual form with a tendency to get lost. There had to be an easy way to comment on the form at each step of the process and facilitate communication between each persona.
I started quickly sketching out concepts on paper to figure out the overall information architecture of the system. During this process, I was still in constant communication with the users to understand what functions and UI elements take precedence over others.
Once I was certain I had everything mapped out on paper, I began to create wireframes using Balsamiq and continued validating the designs with the users. The wireframes formed the basis for the my next step, creating high fidelity prototypes that we could use to test the interaction design and user experience of the product.
The high fidelity prototypes were used to test the interaction design and user experience. While testing was going on, the developer I was working with already started to build the product. We made more tweaks and improvements based on usability testing until it came time to launch.
This product increased employee productivity by allowing users to focus on making an approve/reject decision based on the information presented in the form, rather than spending their time on collecting information for the form. The new, automated process tracked all the forms to be submitted, its status, and remaining work in a simple task manager. The experience was made easier in the re-designed form, where a wizard simplified user input into manageable chunks. Finally, another significant improvement to the form was a comments panel that facilitated communication between the various users involved with submitting a form.