Research and Design for Reference Data
While at Avanade, I led a User Experience work stream at JPMorgan for a suite of internal enterprise products. Through upholding human-centered design practices, I advanced the user experience for 14k~ users worldwide in NA, EMEA, and APAC across 48 countries. By emphasizing empathy-driven solutions and effectively collaborating across lines of business, the workstream grew into a team of four senior and three midlevel consultants.
The opportunity came to work on a deeply architected, relic software within the lengthy client onboarding process. The portal received upwards of 45,000 requests annually to apply regulatory due diligence. Many user experience issues stemmed from the deprecating Flex technology. With HTML5, we addressed those issues and no longer the reason to ignore best practices. Identifying the cumbersome workarounds and redesigning the experience was imperative to satisfy my users and stakeholders.
The bank was a complex network of departments. I worked with 13 user groups within the digital ecosystem who used these applications daily. Upwards of 125k cases would undergo rigorous data entry and administrative processing. Records would circulate through the hands of the front office to the back office. For management and analysts alike, these digital tools were critical to their day-to-day, and performance was an issue that was always at the forefront.
Figure 1. The manager archetype
Figure 2.1. Before (left) and After (right) the redesign with improved use of space, navigation, and branded UI
Figure 2.2. From requirements to design: Breaking apart a dense interface without sacrificing the need for more data. The new design prevents errors by removing unnecessary inline editing and focuses each task.
“The UX design format showing the options and the workflow is extremely helpful for the business to see and conceptualize the expected tech delivery – a significant upgrade from mock-ups and walkthroughs that didn’t have the same layout previously...”
Executive Director, Prime Brokerage, J.P. Morgan
Figure 3.1. The framework used to define prototype testing included a clear problem statement, high-level journey maps, and task models.
Figure 3.2. The executive summary of prototype testing results
Figure 3.3. An example of qualitative measures of usability
Figure 3.4. An example of quantitative measures of usability
Figure 4. Framework for selecting user-centered methodologies
I worked to consolidate interaction patterns because, more often than not, similar problems would occur across different lines of business. I aligned closely with the Center of Excellence to reduce duplicated efforts and refine the pattern library. My applications indexed high on the usage of tables. The information must be available at all times and at the user's fingertips. As a result, mountains of data filled the screen unintentionally, causing information overload.
Without design interpretation, diret user feedback lead to poor user experiences with crowded interfaces that cannot scale. Adopting new interaction patterns offered focus and satisfied productivity goals and was a change to the system for good. Defining the threshold for information density was guided by these principles:
I. ADA compliance
Disarm design push-back with accessibility standards. Does the proposed solution meet AA accessibility standards?
II. Reduce visual noise
Limit distraction by asking these questions: Is this design simple? Can we achieve the same goals with less? Example: Do we need all these colors to add value? Can a single-column form take out the guesswork of data entry?
III. Make signposts visible
Guide the users through emphasis. Does the navigation blend into the content?
Provide context for the information displayed. Can I understand the data trail?
Emphasize actionable items. What do I do next?
IV. Break up monotonous behavior
Orchestrate interactions for a delightful experience. Does opening up a table within a table within a table spark joy? Here are some alternatives that kept the focus on the task at hand.
Progressive Disclosure (adds narrative)
Wizards (adds clarity)
Pagination over lazyload (choice adds a moment of pause)
What was most rewarding was watching innovation unfold through user-centered practices. These methodologies can transform, grease the wheels of collaboration, and breakthrough organizational silos. In a large, established organization, innovation is best managed through evolution vs revolution. What I found is that people are agents of change. What matters is the team that you take the journey with. Below are two valuable insights I picked up along the way.