Role: Information Architect, Lead UX Designer
A large medical device company had attempted to unite their medical brands before with no success. However, this time I was tasked with creating the global platform that would harmonize the experience and meet every businesses’ needs. It was easily a year-long project squeezed into four months. The development was being conducted by another company, with many of the developers in Costa Rica.
I started with a preliminary strategy provided by the client at Sprint 0, which was one week (not ideal). I had over 20 medical device businesses to learn about, and medical nomenclature always adds an extra layer of complexity and time.
Running this project agile was a necessity. I used InVision to keep everyone informed and organized. I used tour points to detail my expectations for the functionality. Stakeholders and the project manager chimed in with InVision’s commenting feature to add questions or approvals. I quickly synthesized the feedback and made the necessary changes. This was an action-packed project with no time to sit and think.
Our schedule was presentations every Tuesday and Thursday. That gave me 48 business hours to respond to feedback, as well as move forward with the next task assigned for the week. In some ways the tight timeline was helpful because we had no time to second-guess ourselves.
Sprint 1 (two weeks) was a challenge because the most important templates and creative was due. There were many impromptu whiteboarding sessions. My persuasion skills were put to the test as everyone was feeling the stress of the schedule and no rapport had been built with the main client. I presented the responsive header, footer, portfolio, category, and sub-category. These wireframes represented the proposed information architecture. For each template, I walked the clients through how easily the templates could be authored by employees with no HTML experience. The header needed to be very flexible to stand the test of time.
The schedule did not allow for the creation of a lot of examples in either the form of wires or creative. To obtain the buy-in of the many businesses I created key examples demonstrating the user-centered design, which I called “stress-testing”. These examples were often of the most challenging products or edge cases. While I was designing the platform, another team was working on obtaining and creating content.
Due to the time constraints of the project I had to create one template to serve products, packages (a grouping of products in many, many sizes), and procedures (a grouping of products that would be needed for a procedure). I also created a responsive landing page for individual businesses.
I approached all of the templates with content modeling. This allowed the team to see how many components I was proposing as well as how reusable each component needed to be. I used a simple list approach versus a visual diagram style. At the end of Sprint 2, I was started focusing on consistency. I was the liaison between the developers in Costa Rica and the creative team.
One responsive template was created to serve products, packages (a grouping of products in many, many sizes), and procedures (a grouping of products that would be needed for a procedure).
I also created a responsive landing page template for the individual businesses, with the expectation that businesses would merge, become obsolete, or grow as time went on. I approached the templates with content modeling. This allowed the team to see that many components were being reused and helped everyone understand how many components would need to be created. I used a simple list approach versus a visual diagram style. At the end of Sprint 2, I was started focusing on consistency. I was a liaison between the development and creative team to agree to a solid style guide and consistent patterns.
Sprint 3 – 5
The remaining sprints became easier as the team fell into a pattern and we found the best times to meet. The remaining sprints executed search results, corporate pages such as news and bios, alerts, recalls, back-to-top button, jump navigation, etcetera.
With time and budget to spare, I added a sprint to wrap-up items that had been backlogged. This included a responsive campaign landing page and a responsive microsite template on a separate domain utilizing the existing components. I also created high-level content suggestions for each template that was created.
The project was successful and phase 2 was signed. In phase 2 another team helped each business group refine their content, create additional content, and conduct training.