Signals Analytics helps world leading brands uncover actionable insights from disparate data, driving smarter product decisions quicker and with less risk.
As the director of UX and one of the first members of the new product department, I took an active part in the definition of the future product offering and all of its features, performed user research and testing, defined UX principles, built and nurtured a design team, evangelized the role UX plays in the success of our products and services, and more.
When I joined Signals Analytics, a successful company with multiple 'Fortune 500' companies as clients and years of consulting experience,
it was looking to expand its offering in the form of a product. Transforming a service-oriented offering into a
pre-packaged product is a challenging task, especially in a world that is dominated by consultants.
Since we were looking for a subscription model, we had to be able to provide ongoing value throughout the subscription period. As classic users of similar services are only actively in need of this type of offering at certain periods, we were looking for ways to provide value even when our customers were not actively looking for content.
As with any new product I started with intensive research, both internal and external. My first insight was that
performing good analysis and making sense of large amounts of data is not an easy task for most of our clients. Even if someone reaches
some kind of insight, connecting several insights in order to reach an actionable conclusion is extremely difficult.
The first goal was to create an experience which simplified the process of analysing a large amount of data points and reaching actionable insights. I defined a new and improved information architecture. Clearly defined principles were used as guidelines during the development of our new product offering. One of the main principles was that at every point during the user's journey, it should be clear what the user is looking at, how she got there, and how to move forward from there. Just providing answers to questions was not an option since in many cases, people don't know what questions should be asked.
After the initial research we were able to define our main user persona. Understanding the persona's goals, fears, skills, and day to day tasks, allowed better understanding of the product needs and its overarching experience.
Knowing the user was one of the many aspects needed to develop an engaging product. By understanding the customers' work processes we were able to better understand the usecases and adjust our content offering accordingly.
For the new product vision we created a clear product flow which ensured ease-of-use and retention. The flow included different scenarios for different types of users.
The product is divided into 4 main areas. The first area is a feed-like area with reports and one-pagers.
This content allows the customers to stay up to date with regards to trends and developments in their eco-system.
The second area allows users to analyse the data. The data has been categorized and placed into different models. Each model is transformed into an easy-to-consume dashboard with filtering options. The different dashboards are connected through 'narratives', guiding the users through different analysis scenarios.
The third area is a personal area where users can bookmark interesting findings and configure what content they want to receive and in what frequency.
Finally, a stand-alone reader combined with sharing features, allows the customers to share findings and reports within their organization. Since the reader is stand-alone, it allows executives to consume content in an easy manner without having to go through the other product areas.
Building and maintaining a large product demands clearly defined work methodologies. My team worked in an organized matter, using pre-defined naming conventions, a library of symbols, and style guides. These resources where shared with the development teams. Combined with elaborate user stories, this left little room for inconsistencies, communicational errors, and unclarities.
Clear style guides ensure consistency in use of UI elements for design and development teams