In my most recent position as a Senior UX/UI Specialist at Shopatron, an eCommerce Order Management company, my duties consisted of redesigning complex existing products as well as creating experiences for new products. My goal is simple, to create an experience that gets out of the user’s way so they can do their job more efficiently.
Whether I am working on a new API product or fixing an issue with a legacy product, my UX tools are the same, and I always start with the following questions:
Once I have answered these questions, I can begin the UX process of designing a solution. This process includes: Researching (user and engineering), flow charting, sketching, wireframing, user testing, prototyping, and designing.
Below in no particular order are some of the products I have been working on recently.
When a customer service representative needs to view or modify an order they use Customer Care. Customer Care was one of the first products to use the new APIs and was the first product to launch using Global Resources.
Iteration is key to product design and Customer Care has had its fair share. Our first go at this product used what we called views. Views would pull in data as requested by the user. You want to see customer info, great here is the customer view. Want to see shipment info, okay here it is. This ended up being flawed. Customer service representatives want to see the whole picture at once. Having to constantly click around to retrieve data slowed them down. A one page layout was tested and well received.
Imagine you are a manufacturer and you have a network of dealers who sell your stuff all over the country. Order Routing allows you to group locations in that network and apply rules to them so you can fine tune to meet certain business goals. Get your product to a consumer quicker or make quick adjustments to account for unexpected circumstances such as weather.
If I had to summarize Order Routing into one word it would be iteration. Users have a hard time visualizing how this tool will work and a harder time deciphering why Order Routing did what it did. So the product team and I have compiled many hours of testing, interviews and reviewing analytics to make this tool easier to comprehend. We determined that the tool was not flawed it was our reporting.
Getting down to the root of the problem was: why did this happen, not how do I do this. So the best way to show what was going on was what we called the route story. A visual timeline as to exactly what happened on a route.
The following examples are iterations on the design.
I joined the Shopatron product team in 2013 as we started the transition of replacing our legacy tools with new Java based APIs. We would use these new API’s to build out our new responsive products. Before we could get to work on replacing the tools we needed to develop a cohesive pattern library that would define not only the look, feel, and UI interactions but also provide guidelines on when and where to use certain elements. We call this Global Resources.
Local product search is a new offering that finds items a customer wants to purchase within a certain radius of their location. This is an example of a customer survey that gets sent to users three days after initiating a Local Product Search
Checkouts are complicated. Tons of hours go into optimizing them to get a customer to finish placing an order. When thousands of orders get placed a day, any incremental swing in conversion results in a lot of money being made or lost. This flowchart is an example of improving the checkout flow and removing obstacles that would result in a loss of conversion. Having two separate checkouts one for mobile and one for desktop, both with slightly different paths to complete an order, not only is hard to maintain but hard to iterate on.
Having one set path allows us to A/B test slight changes that can improve conversion results. Another challenge was to create a design framework flexible enough to be styled to match a clients brand.