When I first joined my previous company, a contracted engineering team had been hired to create a new online experience for a 30-year-old on-premise accounting system.
However, I noticed multiple problems upon my arrival:
- The team lacked the necessary business and user context resulting in a lack of alignment.
- There were significant workflow gaps in the user journey.
- The components and patterns used were inconsistent with the company's internal design system.
Context and motivation:
However, I knew that it wasn't the engineering team's fault. They simply weren't set up for success from the beginning.
So, I decided to take action and make some changes.
Immersion and understanding
To address these issues, I actively engaged with the engineering team to understand their perspective, motivations, and challenges, what led to these outcomes, and how I could help.
As a newcomer, I needed to quickly understand the company's vision and how we could accomplish it through this project. I reached out to internal stakeholders, subject matter experts, and users to understand their problems and how they connected to the company's overall mission and vision.
Solution and action
After gathering all my research, I shared it with my engineers and created designs to illustrate the user journey. I put together a working prototype that we could test with customers and made sure it was ready for the engineering team to work on.
Success and outcome
With these changes in place, we were able to turn things around, learn what the business and users needed, and get the project back on track. Over the course of the next year, we worked together to shape the product roadmap and deliver loveable experiences that made our customers feel professional and in control. Since our customers were accountants and bookkeepers, we wanted to make sure our product appealed to their sense of professionalism and authority.
Thanks to these efforts and the efforts of the team, the project was a huge success. I was able to motivate the engineering team to not only create new features but also fix existing problems. My design manager was in awe of what we were able to accomplish together, and I'm proud of the hard work we put in to turn this project around. We continued to work together for the next year bringing users to the cloud.