The Problem

 The “Printer app” is currently a Windows application designed for directly printing labels on packages. However, its appearance is outdated, and there is a need for rebranding and transitioning it into a web-based application. Both from a cost and technical standpoint, the maintenance of the current setup has become increasingly challenging.

Ready Set Go!

Starting a project and going straight into a solution is not always ideal, but sometimes it happens. The challenge I was faced with was that I was told, “Faith, just have fun with this one. We don’t have a dev team, we don’t have funding, and NO USERS to talk to.” We really just need for you to get a quick prototype with a couple of screens. Afterwards, they planned to present this information to other business departments, to demonstrate the potential and value of the forthcoming application.

Doing What I Can w/ What I Got

I received a demo of the app from a Product Specialist since I wasn’t able to download it on my MAC laptop.

  • I thoroughly reviewed all the documentation that was out there, which was about 2 PowerPoints
  • I studied the screenshots that I captured from my meeting
  • The Product Manager addressed any other questions that I had concerning any other known pain points

Time to Design

  • Despite not having any users to consult with at the time, I remained mindful of UX heuristics while designing to ensure I covered the fundamentals
  • I also wanted keep in mind to be realistic with restraints on what our dev team would be able to do within application when the time came.  I didn’t want to go rouge and design any willy nilly thing
  • I moved quickly to Figma to start taking advantage of some components in our design system
  • Concentrated on immediate improvements that could enhance the UI/UX was my primary focus such as making items that were previously concealed and not easily visible in the current app more accessible, reducing the number of clicks needed for users to access them
  • Collaborated closely with the Product Manager to receive prompt feedback during the iterative design process, aiming to test my assumptions at an early and frequent stage
  • Upon finishing the prototype, it consisted of around three screens

 

Outcome

Did the Project Manager receive a standing ovation upon presenting the mockup? Nope not really. It was more like “Oohh okay. That’s nice”. Following that, it appears the project was set aside and remained inactive for a few months.

Fast Forward

After a period of silence regarding the project, it reemerged with recently secured funding. Yay! You know what that means right? Yup.. I get to talk to users!

Digging Deeper and Learning more

  • I arranged interviews with four users, had them walk through the process of using the tool while prompting them to verbally share their perspectives on both pain points and aspects they liked about the tool.
  • Discovered that their experience consistent errors and bugs
  • There are too many steps to complete the task. They were “managing it” and creating workarounds.
  • Having the flexibility to be able to customize label templates instead of using 3rd party software is important to users
  • Integrating more of the tools they use into one app would improve their process

Back to the drawing board

Leveraging insights gathered from real users, I was able to design a more improved and user-friendly experience much easier.  I set up frequent meetings with the users so they would see the progress as it was going on.  The good thing is I was on the right track and they liked what they saw but also gave input if certain things were not needed.

Is it done yet?

Well not quite. This project is still in progress, but as it advanced, I transitioned to another team, and it was passed on to a different UX Designer. I found satisfaction in this project because it wasn’t merely a routine feature update; it involved starting from scratch on a different platform. This project has been an invaluable learning experience, providing me with insights and lessons that have significantly contributed to my professional growth.  Working closely with a diverse team and navigating through unexpected turns, I gained a deeper understanding of project management, collaboration, and adaptability.