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Production Overview
Production Order Overview
Revising the order overview, that enables to keep track of production processes and activities.
Role

User Experience Design

Interaction Design

User Interface Design

Visual Design

Timeline

January 2021

April 2021

A short heads up

Since I’m bounded to a nondisclosure agreement, there are no specific client- or team member names mentioned throughout the portfolio and case studies. When names do show, there are additional agreements made with the client/person at hand. Some designs are distorted to meet the agreement.

Sketches, designs and concepts are copyrighted by Linx-IT Solutions bv. All rights reserved.

Thank you for understanding!
Production Overview
Introduction
Overview to track production activities and orders

Linx is part of a full service company, primarily for marketing communications of retail chains. One of our sister companies focus themselves around the production of those materials.

In the past, an order overview was created. Functioning to track and get all production activities for their clients done, before their deadlines. Back then, the need for such an overview was high and came around the corner rapidly.

Kick-off
Idea exploration and come up with a detailed design

Markets, processes, and needs change over time. The current order overview has fallen out of context since all of these three points have made the shift. Unfortunately, it no longer fits in the process as it currently is established.

Receiving the question from the CEO to tackle the problem, explore possibilities, identify issues related to the project, and finally, come up with a detailed design.

Production Overview
Production Overview
The challenge
Ensuring recognition and improved user experience

There already is a tool that provides the users assistance with keeping track of production processes. Since the users have integrated the current tool within their daily workflow, despite the fact that it generates multiple pain points, the challenge is to make sure they recognize the tool in a way, with improved UX and a better fit within the current landscape.

Who it’s for
Project managers and production process managers

Overall, for our sister company. The primary users of the eventual tool are their project managers and lead production process trackers. Secondly, DTPers, graphical designers, and everyone else that is involved with, and needs overview of all production processes, are those for which the tool is created for.

My Contribution

My responsibility during this project was to explore and iterate on possibilities. I was in full charge of the user experience and -interface design. In the first stages of the project, I did thorough end-user research and aligned the business needs with those of the users and other relevant stakeholders involved.

THE PROCESS
Part 1 | A limitless adventure
Research and exploring possibilities
How we started of
First iterations, only little constraints

The goals of the first iterations were to explore possibilities, with the idea to eventually replace or revise the current order overview, with generated concepts.

To understand the problems, I consulted the experts, users and stakeholders involved in the current overview. I wanted to gain knowledge on the user- and business goals.

Accessible research opportunities

This was the perfect opportunity for qualitative research. Due to the fact that I had access to our sister company’s employees, I was able to gain insight on the users their experiences, motivations, pain points, and workflow.

Research, empathize, validation
Digital oriented meetings and information gathering sessions

At the beginning of the project I had the chance to talk to both project manager and CEO to understand the scope, question, and gain first insights. The pandemic influenced the contact with users. Primarily, contact was established throughout digital communication, instead of face-to-face.

In-house qualitative research

By the use of qualitative research methods, I was able to gain the insight on the users, and understand their motivations, pain points and experiences better. Personas flow from the translated research results.

Synthesized personas
Production Overview
Production Overview

Flow identification

Through the gathered info from this point and the created personas, it was time to move on and identify the user-/task flows and user journey map. This to be ahead of potential pain points, and visualize opportunities efficiently.

User journey maps
Production Overview
Production Overview

Ideation starting point

Eventually, once all information was analyzed, synthesized, and mapped out – in order to meet all identified user needs and business goals – I started working on the ideation sessions.

Ideation & sketching
Exploring possibilities and iterating on concepts

With a thorough brainstorm session – inspired by scrum boards and similar software solutions – a clear overview of possible functionalities, that address identified pain points came around the corner. While challenging assumptions, asking questions, and using the research results to strengthen ideas, I started iterating on possible solutions by the use of sketching.

Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview

Aiming for contextual control

During the sketching, I guided myself with research results towards a solution, where every user has the maximum, most contextual control over the production process.

UI & visual design
Design inspiration retrieved from scrum entities

By retrieving inspiration out of scrum-like tools, while shaping it to fit the current context and process, we created the first few versiona of the user interface, via visual design.

Staying open-minded

We used the final visual design iteration to explore possibilities to solve the eventual problem, in an efficient and effective way. Also mainly for the fact that more input will be delivered later during the project. Since we already had a good idea who the users are, we started and created this design solution. During the creation, we stayed open-minded for what the future might bring.

Design & prototype
Project- and task management

This part of the solution was mainly created for solving the pain points regarding the current order overview. We made sure that all users involved, could keep track of all production related activities via this tool. Providing detailed briefings and corrections, in a visual way, strengthened the overall workflow.

Production Overview
Production Overview
Design
The meeting tracker

The meeting tracker was based on research, input, and insights that were discovered a little later. Although the additional information came in later, it enabled me to cover all researched pain points. It also helped me exploring more relevant scenarios where the designed solutions could be of help.

THE PROCESS
Part 2 | Perfect context fit
Creating a valuable solution
Continuing the journey
Channeling earlier gained insights to the perfect fit

By the use of the explored design solutions, we continued our journey. Now that we had a great sense of what can be achieved, while also providing ourselves with detailed, context fitting inspiration, we started additional meet ups and calls, channeling the insights and first final design towards the perfect fit for the question, regarding the production overview.

Production Overview
Empathize and iterate
Consulting previous knowledge and additional information

While insights were channeled, previous created sketches and the designed solution were addressed, I extended the concept to even more context fitting solutions. I continued to talk with stakeholders, users and the CEO. Which ensured me to integrate all the additional gained information in a rapid, effective way.

Empathizing with stakeholders

Since the final design of part 1 of the case was an massive amount of development, we empathized even more with the stakeholders involved. We wanted to use the part 1 design for further iterations, for the current order overview. We reshaped it in a way, where it fits the context, user- and business needs, while being a much lower development time-consuming solution.

Final sketches
Sketching solutions with configurability in mind

Once everything was aligned and mapped out, I started the next session of ideation and sketching. The aim was to create a design that would be as much configurable as possible, since we wanted to keep development times low, to launch the new module quickly. I also focused on maintaining points of recognition, in order to make the transition to the new module more fluent for the users.

Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
UI & visual design
Ensuring a recognizable design and smooth transition

Finalizing the project by designing the user interface. Using previous synthesized research results, in combination with additional insights, helped me to establish a relevant and great user experience, with a recognizable UI. Stronger visual hierarchy, lower visual complexity, and overall much more refreshing to look at.

Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Production Overview
Talks and interviews
Consistent contact with all involved stakeholders

All the way through the project, I had talks and interviews with all stakeholders involved, to ensure needs were aligned and work alongside one another.

Crucial part of strategy

Since the project was spread across a longer timeline, it was crucial for me to take this plan of action. Because needs and information could change over time. It enabled me to include all gained insights. Even when they came in, or were discovered later on.

Retrospect
Evaluation & reflection
What I’ve learned
01

A big challenge

During the exploration of possible outcomes, I had only little constraints. Because of this freedom, I had a few moments during the process where I lost sight of the objective, since every option could be considered.

02

My biggest challenge

Finding balance and alignment between the 2 primary users of the product order overview. Their needs were rather close to one another in most cases, while in edge-cases, their needs interfered.

03

A great lesson

How incredibly valuable qualitative interviews are. During the project, the talks with the users, CEO and stakeholders provided so much valuable data. I learned a lot about how people act, work, and think within a production process.

04

Best lesson

The importance of visual hierarchy and consistent layouts. During review/feedback sessions, I discovered that by good implementation, people in general are able to intuitively navigate and scan through a product.

Contact
Coffee-time!
Let’s get in touch

Liam Tanis

Currently, I am not open to new work, but feel free to contact me anyways for a good conversation. Loving to talk about inspiring challenges and ideas. 

Experience

LinkedIn

Download resume

Contact

liam.tanis.work@gmail.com

+31 6 138 28 668