VCE wanted to create an exchange platform where registered users can contribute solutions and connectors for their different versions of Vblock systems. These solutions after approval become available to all users to view and related files can also be downloaded by registered users.
I was working on this project as Experience Designer with the help of an Senior Experience Designer providing overseeing support. I was fully responsible for the creation of wireframes.
The local scrum team includes myself, an senior UX designer and a project manager, with occasional tech support from a back end developer.
Main steps are listed below.
Requirements gathering: Work with client to understand business goals, user needs and technical difficulties of developing the site.
Wireframing: Depends on the requirements, design and create wireframes to communicate, explore and refine the final structure of the site.
Resposification: Revisit the desktop wireframe and turn the pages into mobile view.
Visual design: Once the wireframes was approved by client. Visual designers kicked in and started to bring the page alive with detailed design.
Development: After the approval of visual design, all design files will be handed over to dev team for development.
Before brainstorming and creating wireframes for the new site, it’s important to understand the overarching scope of work, expectation and limitation from client side, and most importantly project timeline and type of deliverables.
PM team coordinated numbers of meetings with clients to discuss, identify and define the business requirements, types of users, and key functionalities. After the discovery, we came up with a list of functions that were prioritized by looking at the level of importance, target audience , technical complexity, and readiness of contents.
Depends on the requirements we gathered, UX team works together to ideate the information architect of the new site. I was responsible creating detailed wireframes for all the pages based on user flows.
As identified during requirement gathering phase, two types of users will visit the new website. One is the Vblock owners looking for solutions for their needs. Another kind of user will be the solution providers who create specialized applications following Vblock's framework and submit to the VCE Solution Exchange platform for others to download and install.
Since the main purpose of this site is to spread solutions to end users. We decided to make the site Vblcok owner-facing as we present solutions upfront on the homepage. Also, we display contributor informaiton and resources on the homepage. To the end of main nav, we included access point for contributors to submit their solutions.
Many people say we should design in the method of mobile first for the sake of responsive design. However, i don’t think it is always true. it depends case by case. For this case, we approached with desktop first.
Since we designed desktop first, to need to design tablet view and mobile view for the pages we create on desktop. Since we were designing desktop view with the method of “Desktop Led” as mentioned above, we did’t run into too many issues when converting the page to tablet and mobile view. Mostly, it was a practice of re-organizing, re-prioritizing, and re-sizing components on the page.
Since it was a redesign project, and on-going project. My job was to follow existing visual style and logic, represented existing content in a better way to improve usability and find-ability.
Approved visual design files, along with original wireframes were handed over to dev team for development.
This project was my very first design-from-scratch work ever done for real world client at a high degree of completion. I was stumbling through my way and performing inexperienced. But I learned a lot from it, and it got me started quick and steady on the road of being an Experience Designer.