about the project
10 weeks | 2022 → 2023
myself, Head of Product, Head of Behavioural Design
some information in this case study are omitted or changed to preserve the confidentiality of the project
a 10-week design challenge
Redesigning the CMS of a tool that manages complex communication plans within large companies, and doing it in just 10 weeks: this was the challenge I faced together with a nudge tech startup.
The platform was built years ago for the internal team users and was never redesigned, but over time it evolved by adding disparate functions that ended up not making it intuitive at all.
In anticipation of adding more functions to the tool and opening it up to external partners in the future, I was responsible for the entire redesign project concept, while I partnered with the product manager and behavioral design manager and met regularly with the UX/UI designer responsible for the client's application.
“The tool is very smart, but when you use the CMS it doesn't seem so.
It is so complex that when we make mistakes we realize it when it’s too late, when the Communication Plan is live.”
how to achieve the highest impact?
The CMS plays a crucial role in the workflow of the content designers in the startup, but in its current state it’s only one step in a complex process.
To better understand how to address the redesign, I aimed to combine the needs of both users and stakeholders, ensuring an improved user experience while meeting the business objectives.
focus on future goals and actual users
I started from listening to the main stakeholders: through multiple co-design sessions, we explored and clarified their future vision of the whole product and its implications for the CMS.
During the sessions, we immediately recognized the importance of user research, planning to dedicate great attention to explore how users work, how they use the tool, and what problems they have on a daily basis.
opportunities come from listening to people
6 interviews and observation with users allowed me to understand how the CMS fits into their daily workflow and to focus on how they manage communication plans, using many other tools before and after publishing the content on the CMS.
reducing friction by centralizing functions
We found the most significant frictions after the plan is published: if users need to make an update to the plan, they have to do it directly on the CMS.
However, while the CMS's plan management functions were described as limited, users are forced to use overlapping tools to keep track of the plan properly after the pubblication, creating confusion in updating materials.
Research helped me to map the current experience and identify the most promising area of improvement: evolving the CMS from a simple message creation interface to a complete communication management hub.
user interview + observation
current user journey of Laura, user persona based on research
on our way to streamline content creation processes
Defining the information architecture, wireframes, and a medium-fidelity prototype, in dedicated co-design sessions with the other team members, allowed me to develop the first proposal.
This evolution aimed to reduced redundancies, give users complete control over the progress of the plan, and reduce the risk of errors, allowing for more effective and efficient use.
These aspects were then tested with users in dedicated usability testing sessions.
first version of mid-fidelity wireframe
measuring the improvements
To keep track of improvements in the user experience, I looked for a suitable metric and, along with stakeholders, chose the System Usability Scale, measured with users during the first observation and after usability testing.
Although this metric is based only on user opinion, it provided useful quantitative data on whether the direction of the redesign was correct.
well, do users agree?
During the usability testing sessions, I asked users to complete predefined tasks on the prototype and mapped their success, confusion, and error rates.
This iterative process revealed some mistakes in the platform redesign and some confusion caused by the introduction of new features, specifically where the change were more evident, such as the new section for managing message sending logic.
However, tests showed significant improvement in usability and satisfaction perceived by users.
usability testing session
list of tasks with successes, confusions and mistakes of the 4 testers
The final output delivered was a second version of the prototype, in high fidelity with a UI proposal based on Material Design 3, integrated by a requirements document.
The high-fidelity prototype was appreciated by stakeholders because it was coherent with the brief and paid attention to their vision of the product.
The chosen measurement mode, the SUS, also showed that improvements perceived by users were remarkable and this was really taken into account by stakeholders.
“The organization of sections is now much more intuitive, and the interface does not disorient me, although it has changed a lot from before. I can recognize that I am on an improved but familiar CMS.”
The main challenges I had to face were:
tight timeframe that demanded to prioritize specific areas and aspects, due to the extensive platform redesign expected.
complexity in conveying to stakeholders user needs that emerged from both direct and indirect research findings, especially when these needs diverged from stakeholders' initial assumptions.
how I overcame challenges
To address these challenges, I focused on improving communication with stakeholders.
After the initial meetings, I rethought presentations to prioritize showcasing achieved results and asking essential questions before delving into the details of activities.
This approach slowly improved our discussions and ultimately, I think, led to faster and more focused decision making.