Design at D2 Nova
Build up a small design team and lead product design on Contact Center software.
Product/UX Design | 2017 - present
D2 Nova is a software company developing business communication platforms and has decades of expertise in VoIP Communication. As the first D2 designer, I transitioned from working with outsourced design resources to building up a small design team and crafting product design in-house. My duties include:
Working with the company management to synthesize business requirements
Conduct researches and user studies to identify user needs and using scenarios
Propose information architecture and define user flows
Led the design team to produce and deliver high-fidelity mockups and prototypes
Held design reviews and usability tests to validate design solutions and iterate on designs
Working closely with the R&D team to ensure the accuracy of user experiences.
In the below sections, I listed the key design projects that I have led. During the work, I also establish a set of design processes to ensure efficient and effective product designs.
2017 - present · 4 yrs
Lead UX Designer
Sketch & Invision app
Atlassian Jira & Confluence
Miro & Lucidchart
∎ Research & Identify Problems
While small feature designs have explicit requirements, most major design projects start from broad business needs and researches. The first step is to identify problems, learn user needs, or get familiar with the current solutions or best practices.
1. Secondary research
We collect online information to get a quick understanding of the problem and current situation.
For example, I use this method to analyze the market and competitors of our new contact center product and to expand my knowledge of traditional call center features.
2. User interview
We also hold 1-on-1 interviews with target users to understand their needs. During the design of the Connect Agent app, we talked with our sales and support team individually to learn their daily work activities and goals so that we could identify aspects to help and improve.
3. Persona & Using scenarios
Based on the collected information, we build personas and look into detail using scenarios. Persona helps us categorize different user types and be empathetic to users when we make design decisions. Identifying specific using scenarios helps narrow down the design scope.
Some of the study examples with the design team
∎ Define Features & Information Architecture
Based on our learning from the research, I start with proposing information architecture. We hold meetings with stakeholders to discuss the features and scopes of a project. This involves lots of feedback from the engineering teams related to the implementation.
Diagrams from Connect Manager
∎ Wireframes & User Flow
Based on the structure, we sketch wireframes to visualize design concepts, quickly try out different solutions, and define major layouts. We also define user flows for more complicated tasks. For example, first-time onboarding experience and agent-customer interactions.
Left. Some wireframes & flows from Connect Agent | Right. Sketches exploring a graphical IVR editor
∎ High Fidelity Prototypes
After wireframes and user flows are approved in design reviews, we turn them into high-fidelity prototypes in order to show a complete look and feel of the application. When static screens are not enough, we also add animations to demo the user experience.
Some high-fidelity prototypes from Connect Manager & EVOX PC
∎ Component & Styling Sheet
Along with interface mockups, we also deliver components sheets and visual styling sheets to the development team for a thorough understanding of the user experience. The components sheet helps us to think through different modes and corner cases. The styling sheet helps to maintain a consistent visual language across the applications.
Left. Activity components from Connect Agent | Right. Styling sheet from Connect Manager
∎ Usability Test
Depending on the time of projects, we also hold usability tests to verify design solutions and get feedback from users. As designers who are familiar with the feature and user interface, we sometimes may not notice the un-intuitiveness or high-learning effort of a feature. Through design tasks, we learn real feedbacks from people using the product for the first time. It helps us to find flaws in the design and iterate to achieve better results.
Some usability test summary from Connect Manager
∎ Designing business products
It's more about problem-solving and provides efficient solutions.
Comparing to toC products, toB products are much more complicated and heavily information-loaded. So the user experience is not just about the delightful colorfulness and animated effects of the interface. Instead, I find it's more about presenting the numerous information in a clear and hierarchical way, and how you guide the user to perform their tasks efficiently and gain values from your product.
Also, your target user is not a single person but a whole company that includes different roles. You need to think about the experience from different perspectives including users, managers, admins, etc. This requires more consideration of users' different situations and needs.
∎ Design system
Based on this circumstance, I tend to keep a clean organization of information and define modulized and extensive design patterns for our products, especially for the web administrative consoles. For client products, I also keep a light-weight and minimal visual design language. The extensiveness of the design system is very important in agile development. It allows us to iterate the design quickly, seamlessly expand the functionality, and gives us lots of efficiency for the implementation.