How I designed a responsive leadership development platform.
A busy healthcare authority approached us to help improve their leadership development across the organisation. Previous leadership development attempts had been clunky with low completion and retention rates. Time commitments to development programmes had been too long.
I designed the full responsive aspects of the platform for both desktop and mobile. Working closely with an external team of developers to achieve our goals.
I had to undertake user and market research to understand what friction points users currently have. Develop wireframes, concepts, prototypes and final build. Evaluating effectiveness of platform through qualatitive and quantative data and make iterative improvements quickly through sprints.
Research was primarily conducted via group sessions with key stakeholders and individual interviews (yes I got to go to Canada!). I also ran internal research sessions with the team to gather a wider perspective on how to approach the challenge looking at their current leadership development systems and competitor platforms.
This was a recurring theme amongst all the employees we interviewed. These are super busy people under intense pressure, dealing with unpleasantness on a daily basis. The last thing they need is a new complex system to learn and use.
The group of people we interviewed mentioned how the online learning they were taking through the organisation was complex. Finding what they needed and returning to it at a later date posed issues.
Many of the current systems were dated with older technology and design. Some of the should be 'simple' tasks were convoluted.
Through the user and market research conducted I compiled user personas which were available to the rest of the team and referred back to often so we were all on the same page through every stage of the development cycle.
I had to consider how the user would access the platform and how easy we could make this for them. Instead of developing a dedicated app we chose a responsive website platform. I worked closely with the clients IT team and our developers to implement a single sign on (SSO) system to remove another layer of complexity to the platform.
By having a clear picture of who are audience were and what they were trying to accomplish, I moved on to generating visual ideas to present to the stakeholders, design and development team.
Moodboard, colour palettes, typography, client location, inspiration and icon sets were all discussed and considered before mockup stage began.
I also took into consideration all the branding that the company already had in place in order to fit the larger organisation aesthetics.
All mockups and prototypes were passed to test group. Rapid prototypes were compiled using InVision and Zurb Foundation. Feedback from these sessions was considered and discussed and any changes we felt would benefit the platform were implemented before final build.
When the HTML prototype was at a stage we felt was viable to launch we started the build using the open-source content management system, Drupal. We used the Zurb Foundation framework to build the Drupal theme as the SASS and layout files were already complete from the prototyping stage.
We built a feedback system into the platform that allowed users to let us know (from any page) what they thought could use improvement. We also ran feedback groups and used Google Analytics to identify friction points. With this data I was able to make iterative improvements even while the platform was running.
After evaluating user feedback, the contact system was raised as being the most pressing issue. I examined the original and looked at how it could be improved.
Building a site from scratch from a user centric mindset allows us to build exactly what the user needs. The Healthcare Platform had very positive feedback and usage figures. There was vocal appreciation for the effort gone into understanding their needs.
Iterative improvements are an indefinite ongoing process (think Facebook) and the platform will be under constant review until it is no longer needed. I expect it to be a very different beast when that day comes!
Did we achieve what we set out to? I would say mostly. There were features that needed to be developed that weren't viable due to budget and time constraints that would have made the user experience journey much more frictionless. These may be developed at a later date.