In 2017, I began working full-time on what was up to that point a side-project. Waxvine provides a content management platform that is specifically designed to support UX and UI experts and the content they create.
The idea for creating a hosted solution for design systems was based on my work creating and managing the design standards at Expeditors. It took a dedicated team to manage the standards which applied across multiple teams. I wanted to create a solution that would reduce the cost of implementation and maintenance.
Before diving into implementation, I spent time talking with fellow designers to determine viability and document requirements. Along the way, I learned that my original concepts were too ambitious and what was really needed was a simple way to quickly document design standards that are shareable with teammates. Once I was able to partner with the right co-founder, work began on determining the technical underpinnings from data storage to the front-end solution. We built a first version that was fantastically horrible but its what led to our current, fantastically great version.
See more at waxvine.com
The goal of Globys' flagship product is to allow large telecoms to better serve their business customers by enabling them to see their calling data in much greater detail. It worked but it was all very old.
The application hadn't seen any significant updates in several years. Starting in 2012, I set out to create a vision for how this product will look and behave moving forward. Not only should it meet the needs of the user, but I wanted to set a course for the product design that would be easy to maintain and evolve in the future.
Although the product owner had years of experience with the product, I wanted to start with a blank slate. The last thing I wanted was to enter the design phase with a whole bunch of assumptions. So, based on lots of analysis, conversations, and questions, I iterated through several design concepts. With input from our engineering team, we decided to use Bootstrap. I created a fresh look on top of a tried and true foundation for responsive design. Although there weren't immediate needs for a mobile solution, utilizing responsive solutions would ensure that the team could accommodate such a requirement when it came up.
Managing clients properly can mean the difference between having a job or having the corner office.
Developed for banking account managers, the application’s goal is to provide insight into what is happening with their accounts.
My goal was to design a compelling product that was easy to sell and users would love. I designed it with the same visual look and feel of the Billing Application above. My goal was to provide visual consistency for branding and ease of implementation across the Globys product portfolio.
Usage activity for mobile phone users in the Middle East.
Globys often needs to create solutions for both clients and its client’s clients. In this case, I designed UIs for displaying users’ usage activity and then some UIs for our client’s support staff to help out their customers when they need a little more help.
This solution required that it be integrated into an existing web portal of which users were already familiar. Working with existing design guidelines, I produced UIs that intergrated seamlessly into their existing site.
Between 2008—2011, while at Expeditors, I spent a good chunk of time creating and maintaining a UI standards library. It looks a bit dated now, but at the time it was a critical tool in the development of Expeditors business applications.
More commonly known now as a living style guide, the library detailed the components, patterns, and standard interactions that the entire enterprise used to create effective UIs.
I worked closely with designers, business owners, developers, and business analysts to establish the true need of our users. From there I managed the process of publishing something that teams could use to answer critical questions about user interaction.
In 2011, while at Expeditors, I worked with a team that creates enterprise data reporting solutions. I designed an all new management interface and updated the work-flow for creating and editing reports.
A redesign of expeditors.com was well overdue since it hadn’t been overhauled in about ten years. Working directly with our marketing department, I lead the interaction design, directing the changes that needed to be made to the site’s flow, main interactions, and page layouts. Within eight weeks the updates had been made and the new site was published.
Using the existing UI standards as a place to start, I proposed how specific interactions (both new and old) should work, how each page should be laid out, how the user navigates around, and changes to typography.
The outcome is a better, stronger website. Content that was once outdated and hidden away in dark, scary corners was now reorganized and easy to find. Updated interactions made tracking freight, signing into an account, finding offices and contacting the company much, much easier.
Globys deals with very large organizations—telecoms mostly—that have large customer bases of their own. What this means is that there is a lot of up-front and ongoing configuration that needs to be done in order to best serve these customers. Not only are there tons of different things to configure, but it’s all done very “manually.” By this, I mean that they make changes directly into the database—bypassing any UI altogether. Not good.
Although I didn’t know it when I started, my first project at Globys would be to design a UI that would actually make client configuration efficient and easy. Sadly, no budget or resources were ever allocated to create this application.
In preparation for a client visit, I was tasked with putting together a clickable prototype. I decided to design the UI to run on an iPad. Not only did I think that this would make for a compelling presentation—showcasing the kinds of products that we were working on—but it also forced me to design within a more restrictive space than I was used to.
Using Axure, I created a touch-gesture prototype that met our presentation goals perfectly: showcasing our product concepts, our ability to create custom solutions, and our ability to think outside of the box (especially as it relates to telecom billing analysis). They loved it and even gave me some chocolates.
Globys' billing product normally integrates into an existing customer portal. Because of this it's important that our customers know what and how they can change the look of our solution to match their own interal branding guidelines. I created the following document to provide an overview of what can be done to support this need.
When providing guidance, I always consider my audience and how well I’m conveying my vision. I want to spend less time creating documents and more time designing. Often, less is more.