The case studies presented here explain how the blended consulting-creative services model works in practice on real-world client challenges.
Akorri: Creating An Informative Experience For Navigating Data Center Complexity
Challenge: Akorri's BalancePoint is an innovative new software product that helps enterprise data centers discover and fix problems and optimize performance. The Akorri team wanted a usability perspective and close partnership to enhance the product's UI and help drive new product features and interaction design.
Solution: We helped Akorri across the software development life cycle, from beta to product launch and beyond, with usability testing and analysis, information architecture, and interaction design. We also lead cross-team UX workshops for ideation of new product features.
Spire: Social Media For An Upmarket Community Experience
Challenge: Spire is a new online community for discerning lifestyle enthusiasts. The Spire team wanted to enhance the Spire.Com user experience to integrate content and community offerings and encourage member contributions and participation.
Solution: We helped Spire with both short- and long-term enhancements, offering collaborative guidance, user experience strategy, information architecture, design reviews, and front and back-end workflow recommendations. We also lead cross-team UX workshops and further partnered on RFP consultation and vendor selection.
WEB MD Quality Services: Creating Better Informed Healthcare Decisions
Challenge: Web MD's Quality Services team had created a beta prototype for a new product and needed help enhancing the UX and aligning the team around a shared vision.
Solution: Through a series of workshops, collaborative design, and iterative information architecture and interaction design solutions, we helped the Web MD team advance the product definition and gain internal and external momemntum for their vision.
Partners Healthcare: Improving The Online User Experience For Managing Healthcare Research
Challenge: Partners Healthcare wanted to enhance the user experience and usability of their research management portal. They also wanted to create tools to migrate an existing paper-based clinical research process into a new digital workflow within the portal experience.
Solution: Serving as interaction designer, information architect, and usability consultant, I helped the Partners team of developers, business analysts and stakeholders create a new enterprise user experience for their portal. Together, we also created a new online submission tool optimizing a major step in the clinical research approval process. I also led usability testing, using the Listening Lab approach, to help refine and optimize designs based on user interaction and feedback.
FM Global: Creating An Enterprise User-Centered Approach to Internal Employee Applications
Challenge: FM Global, a commercial and industrial property insurance company specializing in risk management, needed assistance in the design and usability of a new portal and four custom Web-based enterprise software applicaions for employees around the world.
Solution: I served as a lead UX architect for the portal and releated custom software products, helping to lead discovery, identify requirements, convert requirements into user flows, use cases, and designs, and test designs in usability labs with employees on site in multiple locations. Based on test results, I helped the team make major refinements to the planned flow and designs. During phased deployments, I also wrote the multimedia tours used to roll out the new developments to employees. Follow-on work involved extending the business-to-employee intranet portal out to a business-to-business client extranet.
InnoCentive.Com: Changing the Experience of Scientific Innovation
Challenge: InnoCentive, an Eli Lilly e-business venture, enables scientists around the world to solve R&D challenges from leading companies for financial incentives. InnoCentive needed to analyze and improve their interface in order to create a more scalable and intuitive user experience that would also be effective in other countries and other languages.
Solution: I conducted an extensive series of user tests, including a study of cultural usability in Russia, Germany, and China. Based on the findings, I recommended a comprehensive sequence of interface solutions for the site, including an improved navigation system, an easier way for scientists to submit solutions online, and a faster registration process. As creative director, I managed the execution and implementation of these solutions. In subsequent testing, the solutions demonstrated a dramatic improvement.
Fidelity Investments: A Persuasive Experience for Retirement Plan Sponsors
Challenge: Fidelity's Institutional Retirement Services Company (FIRSCo) offers corporations a wide range of human resources solutions, many of them Web-based and grouped under the "NetBenefits" title. They needed a way to communicate the many features and benefits of these programs to HR directors, including both existing and prospective FIRSCo customers.
Solution: I conducted interviews with key stakeholders, such as FIRSCo sales representatives to understand the situations HR professionals and their employees face. Two themes emerged: the idea of employee empowerment, and the challenge of succeeding in a time-starved environment. I worked closely with Fidelity and a creative team to help develop a series of interactive product demos in Flash which captured these themes, using voice-over narration and a self-guided product tour. Based on anecdotal information, the demos proved a resounding success with FIRSCo's users and helped Fidelity reinforce its position as a market leader in the areas of service, technology, and employee education.
Insurance.Com: Clarifying the Path to the Right Insurance Product
Challenge: Insurance.Com, an online insurance resource and marketplace affiliated with Fidelity Investments, needed to reposition the user experience from an insurance information provider to a destination where users could receive quotes and purchase insurance online.
Solution: I helped conduct user testing sessions during which we observed users having difficulty navigating the site and understanding the brand. Based on these sessions, I recommended and helped execute a series of solutions that significantly increased the site's registration and quote-seeking traffic. These solutions including a new information architecture based on the product line, a new clustering of content -- around the ideas of "Learning Center," and "Insurance 101s" -- and a revamping of the Insurance.Com e-mail newsletter.