AppDirect

Leading a design sprint, generating insights for enterprise products

Project Overview

How might we envision our enterprise products as an integral part of users' work lives?

(And also educate the company on what we do as designers and researchers?)

CHALLENGE

To better inform product decisions for our enterprise products, we needed some generative research to understand our users' needs in the workplace.

PROCESS & ROLE

I saw an opportunity to educate the company on our roles and processes as designers and researchers, as well as do some of the first user research for the company. I planned and facilitated the entire design sprint, as well as crafted and co-presented the resulting presentation in front of the company.

OUTPUT

A set of insights and a proposed re-imagining of existing AppDirect products: an intelligent dashboard crafted to each person's workflow and feeds into a common knowledge, reducing information silos.

IMPACT

Leaders in the company got interested and approached us to discuss how design and research could help their projects. Insights from the sprint went on to inform current projects.

TIMEFRAME

2 days prep

2 day sprint

TEAM

Dan Higbie

Ryan Boye

Isaak Hayes

It felt amazing to put out there what we did in that short time period. Donna did an amazing job leading and planning. It was a high point for our team.

- Dan

Clustering insights

Challenge

Our enterprise products needed insights into our users. Fast.

The design team knew we needed a baseline understanding of our users and their software needs in the workplace. With new enterprise products in the pipeline, we needed them fast.

We also saw that the company at-large did not understand what we do as designers and researchers, which rear-loaded us in processes and diminished our impact.

For the company hack week, I saw an opportunity to educate the company on design and research, as well as do some of the first user research for the company. I rallied my team and began planning a design sprint.

Process

I planned, prepped, and led the two days in detail to ensure a smooth sprint.

Examining insights

Research & Insights

I led research and facilitated the team to the first set of user-centered insights for the company.

RESEARCH

I led the team through discussions to determine our goals and craft interview questions and developed the final interview discussion script. We gathered eight interviewees from our networks, selected from a breadth of roles and industries to represent our user base.

INSIGHTS

From affinity diagramming, we came to the first batch of user-centered insights for the company. Given time constraints, we chose to focus on the two insights that were most relevant and impactful to business goals:

Ideating on concepts

The Concept

An intelligent dashboard crafted to each person's workflow and feeds into a common knowledge base to reduce information silos.

We refer to this concept as the Total Visibility Dashboard, which brought new perspective and value to our existing products. The features of this concept are:

Intelligent Springboard. Gather information across sources.

Information from external sources and applications (like calendar events, emails, etc.) are centralized into an actionable hub that users can review, plan and immediately access those applications on their own terms and in their own working styles.

Share My Status. Reduce information silos.

Enables users to share pieces of information (like what you are working on or new project information) either actively or passively to reduce information silos across teams and throughout organizations.

Executive Assistant API. Promote individual effectiveness.

Aggregates information from the above two features into a feature that enables users to find information and get team statuses quickly using natural language queries.

The following wireframe illustrates an example flow of how these features might interact:

Impact

It was the first time the entire company began to understand and appreciate design and research.

I crafted a compelling story and presentation deck (above) to illustrate our process, findings, and concept. After refining it with my team, we presented in front of the entire company.

The presentation was well-received and sparked conversations. Many were awed by the breadth and depth we accomplished in just a few days. Product managers, the CEOs of subsidiaries, the VP of corporate development and others approached us to explore ways that design and research could help their teams and products.

Insights from the sprint continue to inform current projects and inspire further research.

Donna did a great job facilitating discussion by encouraging people to go in depth with their answers, challenging assumptions, but still keeping us on time. She also encouraged us to stay on task and helped lead the conversation in a consistently productive direction.

- Isaak