Message Analyzer Design and Guidance

Role - UX and Interaction Designer

The Background

Message analyzer was created in a grass roots effort to give network engineers a very powerful tool to track issues within large networks. It can often deal with thousands upon thousands of lines of data and can help highly stressed network engineers solve their company’s IT issues. Because of its grass roots creation it was designed by pulling successful patterns from other Microsoft products. I was pulled in to help the team improve the products UX, UI, and help establish new features.

 

The Actions I took

Quickly ramped up and produced 4 iterations in 4 weeks - I began by collaborating with a few PM’s to create a new feature that allowed users to track multiple inputs. We mapped out workflows, sketched through ideas and ran our work through many design critiques to produce new designs for the Message Analyzer team to build out. We also ran user research to validate our work.

Pushed for UX priority across the product - After finishing work on the scenario we looked to the entire product. Although Message Analyzer gave amazing tools to its users, visually the product was not up to C+E’s standards. I set up meetings with my manager, myself, and the Message Analyzer team to work through how best to improve the product.

Created UX guidelines to help both teams be successful - Both teams decided that UX Guidelines would be the best course of action. This gave the Message Analyzer team the ability to produce high quality work and let samstudios focus our limited efforts on other products.

 

The Results of my work

Through creative problem solving and tight collaboration our feature was built and released - Although our original designs were unable to be built, we were able to take our learning's and create a design that fit within the short time frame we had. The feature was recently released based on our work and guidelines.

Design became a force for good, not a burden - A great working relationship was formed between the UX team and the development team, where none had existed before. This also allowed the development team to feel comfortable to ask for help when working on new features, improving the product overall.

Our UX Guidance led to more, better work - With the UX guidance, new features were well designed and followed establish patterns set for all C+E products. Developers had more time to work on features for the product, instead of having to design themselves.

 

What I learned - working through ambiguity, creating visual specifications for developers, creating product wide design guidance, learning and simplifying complex technical scenarios