User Experience and Product Designer
Re-designing security for Microsoft
Making an admin tool easier for new users
Microsoft's Forefront Identity Manager was being updated, and an opportunity opened up to address usability concerns.
Role and scope
One designer, often reaching out to other UX teams at Microsoft, to utilize existing related research.
The project was largely information architecture and UI design. With much of their known UX issues being from informal customer feedback collected when dev team leads talked with customers at trade shows, etc.
Feedback was collected through user interviews, contextual inquiry, and from:
Additional details were revealing through cognitive walkthroughs and simple heuristic evaluations. Discussion with product stakeholders factored in the business goals and aided in prioritization. And sync'ing with dev's schedule allowed UX issues to be addressed before dev worked on that part of the code.
Ideation and Design
Simple broad categories were proposed for the beginning of user's experience, with labels and descriptions of sub-categories or items surfaced immediately below, as a rapid means to find and jump to key areas in the product.
The duplicates issue: The need to access the same thing from different areas, in the prior tree navigation, was a known issue. Other issues:
And discussions with the business-side stakeholders revealed which features they wanted to showcase for competitive reasons.
The dev team's enthusiasm for UX changes made all the difference.
Storyboards were placed on a wall where the dev team would frequently walk by, to help keep busy developers in the loop regarding design, and invite their involvement.
Factors that shaped the design direction included:
Prototype and Test
Paper prototypes were used for visual grouping of items in various screen layouts.
Slideshow storyboards with
And additional hi-fi
Final Results, lessons learned...
When dev sees that their hard work will be more easily received by users, they see the value in UX design. Dev and UX then both move forward with mutual support.
Dev enthusiasm and volunteering... particular developers would sometimes run with an initial UX suggestion and show me what they could build even before it was designed. One example: When content in a form changes based on user choices, animating a fade and slide rather than a jarring sudden replace.
And a few more details:
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