Terraframe

Working to optimize the user experience for multiple organizations on one platform.

View Prototype

My Role
UX/UI Designer
Web Designer
User-Testing

01/ Summary

What was delivered and how

My Role
  • User-Interface Design
  • User Research
  • Prototyping
  • Developer Collaboration
  • High-Fidelity Mockups
Deliverables
  • User-Interface Designs
  • Design System
  • High-Fidelity Mockups
Outcomes

Working to a tight deadline, I delivered a high-fidelity mock up and specifications that was used to demo to the client.

Through collaborating with developers and stakeholders we were able to take an iterative approach to the problem at hand and produce a successful MVP

02/ Understanding the Problem

Re-designing how users build and associate complex datasets across multiple organizations.

Terraframe is a market leader when it comes to GIS spatial data rendering and building data ecosystems.  They are working with the Cambodian and Laotian governments to find a way to track cases of Malaria through compiling information across multiple government organizations.
 The team and I got together in order to re-design how those government organizations created and connected hierarchies and the complex data associated with each dataset.
The Challenges

The original hierarchy manager was built to support defining types of data,  hierarchies, and the structure of those hierarchies. Within the current system, several challenged began to emerge.

  1. HIERARCHY COMPLEXITY: The software that Terraframe creates can associate endless datasets and and create overwhelming amounts connections.  How can we have access to all of that complexity and yet only show manageable parts?
  2. MULTIPLE ORGANIZATIONS: Stakeholders in this project come from multiple organizations and the overall goal was to be able to collaborate and view data from multiple organizations.  How do we manage the complexities of multiple organizations?
  3. HOW CAN WE INITIATE USERS: Initially the interface did not have instruction or visual cues as to what you can do.  How would this next iteration do that?
The Opportunity

I needed to understand the current system, where to give instruction as to how users could accomplish their intended goals and find a way to allow multiple organizations to organize their own data.

03/ Previous Design

Find the starting point & test with users

I needed to understand where we were starting from, what was and what wasn't working with the current system and why.
Initial Research
  1. Users created unnessisary hierarchies
  2. Users didn't understand that the could connect datasets
  3. Users said the interface wasn't intuitive

04/ Research & Develping a
Plan of Action

Using user data and interviews to discover insights and feature solutions.

From the initial research I wanted to understand a bit more about problems we were solving in order to prioritize and create the appropriate features for the project.
Further Research Questions
  1. Where are users getting stopped in the process of creating a hierarchy?
  2. What is visually necessary for all users?
  3. Why are they making multiple hierarchies?
  4. How could we make the overall process easier to understand?
Insights & Feature Solutions

In order to find the answers to my research questions I worked with stakeholders to complete a brief usability test. Through that test I was able to gain further insight into what was and was not working with the current system. We then worked together to formulate and prioritize features to address the issues

Insight:
Users created duplicate hierarchies, not realizing they had already been created and connected

Feature Solution:
Give an indication as to whether or not the starting GeoObject Type had another hierarchy associated with it.
Insight:
Users didn't understand what to do, right from the start.

Feature Solution:
Show user hints and overlays that describe how to use the product and give indicators and information buttons to help along the way
Insight:
Users had trouble connecting hierarchies and found the dropdowns cumbersome.

Feature Solution:
Add in drag and drop functionality and insure that the GeoObject Types looked modular.

04/ Design & Implementation

Going from design to MVP

Once we had developed what our solutions would be, I set to work prototyping and wireframing possible userflows that the System Administrator would execute in order to accomplish their tasks.
Below are a few different iteration screens as well as the final userflow that would be implemented by our development team.
User Flow: Creating a new hierarchy
User Flow: Viewing all related hierarchies

05/ CGR Hierarchy Manager

06/ Outcomes & Learnings

What is next for Terraframe and beyond

We are currently in the first stages of re-creating the hierarchy structure creation. Our next step is to work with stakeholders and users to develop the usability further and improve upon the current model.
Once we have further statistics and user feedback from surveys and our current feedback loop, we will move on to the next stage of improvement.
What I've learned

Accessibility:
Drag and Drop functionality has a significant impact on those with higher accessibility needs.  Although the majority of our user base is able to use drag and drop effectively. I wanted to provide an alternative in order to accommodate for those needs

Usability:
Our biggest hurdle was not being able to test with actual users.  While stakeholders and the rest of our team has some great insights into what could be done, it’s important to keep in mind that we are not our users and with usability testing we would be able to more adequately address issues that they face that we are not accounting for.

Specifics Matter:
Going straight to High Fidelity Mock-ups often hinders the feedback process because stakeholders often worry that small details that you believe they might not notice are brought up in feedback conversations.  If something isn’t finished, it’s better to stick to lower fidelity so you can get the basic conversations out of the way.