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

Services
  • 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 surrounding that data.  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

What our starting point was

The initial rollout of the hierarchy manager was met with consistent mishandling of the uploaded data.  There was a lack of understanding in the role of relationships between datasets.
Users didn't understand how those datasets are stored and related to in each hierarchy as well as how to interact and associate them with the hierarchy users were creating.

04/ Research & Develping a
Plan of Action

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

From user interviews and user metrics, we found a lot of areas for improvement. The Terraframe team found that the current interface was confusing to users and that they created unnecessary structures when they could use those already created.
I noticed that there was a distinct lack of instruction on how to structure, associate and generally work with hierarchies.
Insights & Feature Solutions

Next I compiled our insights and we worked to find solutions to those problems.  

Insight:
Users didn’t know what other hierarchies were associated with their GeoObject Type

Feature Solution:
Give an indication as to whether or not the starting GeoObject Type had another hierarchy associated with it.
Insight:
Users found the current system confusing and created unnecessary content

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 the separate columns and what their relationship was

Feature Solution:
Add in drag and drop functionality as well as a more accessible option

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
  1. 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
  2. Usabilty Testing:
    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.
  3. 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.