Internal

American Express B2C and C2B correspondence

Problem

Products for Inbound and outbound customer communications had become very outdated with internal processes and technology which meant that one of the biggest pain points for Agents was searching and retrieving for Global files quickly.

Role

Lead UX Designer from prototyping to implementation.

Solution

Redesign product to help internal users make searching and retrieving more streamlined which saved a lot of time

Process

After quickly aligning with the Stakeholders to understand the scope, vision, time and budget restraints I knew we didn’t have much time allocated for extra Learning and Ideation. As I feel this is one of the most important steps I couldn’t just bypass it altogether. I’d not worked with this department before and took some time to explain the importance of the stages that are asking me to skip and I truly believed that all the Stakeholders were bought into the ‘Research’ phase and that if we had longer we certainly would have been able to cater for this. Due to budget, time constraints and where I was bought into the project, luckily I was able to use pre created personas to help drive prototyping, design and implementation. Which at least gave me a starting point and quite a solid understanding on the particular Agents I’d be working with. I am a true believer that delivering an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) just isn’t enough, especially when trying to replace systems that already do not fill the users’ criteria, expectations and needs. I want to deliver a MLP (Minimum Loveable Product).

task model

I did some initial learning by creating a user task model, looked at their red routes and from this I decided the best way to start the project, with the huge restrictions I had, was by working with Agents to revamp the way they searched. I started wireframing and rapid prototyping with paper to fail fast, stay cheap and get quick results with the Agents based in the UK.

Once I had something that the Agents in the UK were able to work well with I moved over, from Sketch to inVision to create online prototypes that I could share with Agents all over the world before we started to implement anything. We were able to deliver usable, high value, loveable slices to preform quick and simple user testing on to get instant feedback within 2 week sprints. The relationships I formed with the Agents helped immensely and they were so keen to get involved, even outside of their shift patterns.

Working extremely closely with the wider team Engineers/ Developers/ Testers/ PM’s etc is my ethos. I like to get them involved in every step I take so that we can all be on-board and align with users expectations and team decisions. This way it’s much easier to incorporate UX into the Agile and scrum lifecycle as everyone is bought in to delivering a user centered product. I’d bring them along to user prototyping sessions and go through all my findings if they were not able to attend. Being the sole UXer on this project it was important to build a lot of trust with my team mates, this enabled the developers and users (Agents) to discuss things together if my schedule and capacity was completely full. I don’t like to be a ‘Blocker’ and see that the Sprint cannot continue without me. We delivered a few iterations to a few small pilot groups across the globe including UK, USA and India until all necessary user actions and requirements were filled.

Update 2018

Since working with this team and highlighting the importance of initial learning stages, also where we could have saved Sprint team time, cost and resource when I went back to work with them they bought me in a lot sooner and we were able to deliver a product with real user centered values.