Creating a Collaborative Space

Role
User Researcher
Navigation/ Interaction Designer
Date
Duration 3 weeks
The Proposal

Current Sets: WANT and NEEDS for their USERS

Current Sets is expanding their software to integrate collaboration, competition, and easy navigation. Current Sets wants to encourage their target users to actively use their software during pre-construction. Their goal is to help their users find construction issues earlier in the process, while also allowing easy accessibility for users to work on multiple projects at the same time.
This was a client project with General Assembly and work with 2 other designers.

Created by Katerina Limpitsouni
Research

Dissecting the Pre- Construction Issues

We wanted to conduct this activity because it helps to visualize our users’ needs when it comes to collaborating on a project:

"Communicate what the drawings are saying and ask questions."
  • Collaboration. All roles should work together and communicate effectively about the designs.
  • This means people are cooperating and participating on design projects, so users with their specialized expertise can share feedback on the project.
"Creating accountability for review"
  • Accountability. Each role takes responsibility for reviewing the architect's drawings.
  • This means each role is accountable for any failures and successes while taking ongoing ownership of issues during the design review process.
"Setting up the best team be reviewing"
  • Having the right people. The users wanted to make sure to have the best team.
  • This means having designated engineers, contractors, and architects to review the drawings.

Taking target users' interviews creating to THREE Personas

All of these aspects shed light on important information pertaining to creating personas, which would help us keep the users in mind when creating an easy-to-use product. This brings us to our three personas, which we crafted to represent each role: Charlotte the architect, Leonard the general contractor, and Noah the owner.

Ideating

From the research to getting to straight to the problem.

Stakeholders such as owners, developers, contractors, and architects need a way to have a more collaborative workplace to hold each other accountable when conducting their respected construction responsibilities.

How might we bring in collaboration?

How might we make the software easy to use?

How do we drive responsiveness and engagement when conducting a design review?

It is important to gather all parties to participate in the design review, so all sides are able to contribute their thoughts while working on the project.
This asks how simple it would be to pick up and use the software without much effort, keeping in mind older contractors who may not be as technologically savvy. Our goal is to make the software easy to navigate so that the user does not become overwhelmed.
We want to show how users would be held accountable for their individual work during the review process.

Current Sets needs to make communication and navigation easy.

From reviewing our personas, problem statements, and solution statements, my team formulated a user flow that would help visualize the decision processes the users may encounter while using Current Sets’ software.

Testing

Testing the Software

From there, we generated ideas and saw how we could create a successful collaborative software. We were able to see how each frame came to life throughout the wireframing to high fidelity phases. Between the wireframing and high fidelity phases, we conducted usability testing with five subjects to iterate and build upon for the high fidelity prototype.

Figure 1: Usability Testing for the Navigation Bar

User feedback:

  • The navigation bar was very simplistic.
  • The "Dashboard" was unclear—thought that was the homepage.

Action:

Noticed users needed an easy way to navigate.

  • Added tabs like you see on the browsers. It made it easier for the user to see where they were.
  • Included a visible home button icon and project on the right for easy and quick navigation.
Figure 2: Usability Testing for Icons

Users feedback:

  • The icons were vague and did not explain their function.
Action:
  • Adding hovering text tags decreased confusion and clearly increased task success.
Figure 3: Testing the Project Overviews

User feedback:

  • Priority is subjective.
  • More interested in people’s current workloads, not past productivity.
Action:
  • Create views that show trends, current workload, and access to project and team’s workload.
Prototype
Reflection

Next Steps

I was very excited to work with Current Sets and learned a lot about the construction industry. Once we handed off the project to our clients at Current Sets, there were a few next steps we would want to flesh out.

  • Project and company overview: Still needs to be further developed because during the usability testing, users seemed unsure about which pieces of data would be useful in increasing productivity.
  • Current navigation bar: Needs to be more thoroughly tested because we are still not fully confident in whether it is easy to understand for less tech-savvy users.

Lesson Learned

I am grateful for this opportunity to work with Current Sets and to be involved in their development of their application. It was truly a valuable experience to see how my team could make an impact on the company’s future product.