CASE STUDY

Quality Assurance Application Redesign

Duration
6 months
Team
Product Owner
Full-Stack Developer
Agile Coach / Scrum Master
My Role
User Experience (UX) Research
User Interface (UI) Design
Product Managemet
QA Inspection Application Interface Design

Challenge

My Responsibilities

My responsibilities on the product team included user experience (UX) research, analysis, testing, user interface (UI) and interaction (IxD) design. Product management responsibilities included coordinating the initial rollout, managing hyper-care support, and management of each update following initial release.

Process and Methods

Working closely with the Product Owner and Scrum Master, I integrated Lean UX methodologies to stay ahead of engineering efforts; ensuring prototypes, documentation, and user stories were reviewed, approved, and ready for development. I assisted the Product Owner in providing clear and continuous communication to meet each of our sprint’s objectives.

process diagram

Contextual Inquiries, Interviews and Data Analysis

contextual interviews

During our research phase, I observed and documented QA inspectors and purchasing department staff using the existing application. Key UX metrics such as time on task, alternative application usage, clicks, task success/perceived success, errors and moments of confusion were captured and documented.

To supplement our quantitative data, I interviewed individuals within each user group as well as other key stakeholders to collect additional qualitative information and business requirements. This effort yielded critical information regarding workflows, compliance requirements, project objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs), QA inspector preferences, as well as individual workarounds and shortcuts.

Stakeholders and Team Knowledge Sharing

Following the analysis and synthesis of our initial research findings, the Product Owner and I presented and shared this information with the team and stakeholders. Not only did this provide a way of building consensus, it also informed many of those on the team who were unfamiliar with UX methodologies and its benefits. This resulted in leadership inquiring how these methods may apply to other IT projects within the organization (#uxwin).

knowledge sharing slide 1knowledge sharing slide 2knowledge sharing slide 3knowledge sharing slide 4

Use Cases and Workflows

Armed with observational data and interview information, I set out to document primary use cases and their associated workflows.

use case flow diagrams

Working iteratively, I created multiple high and low-fidelity design concepts using Axure. Then, collaborating closely with the Product Owner, I created interactive prototypes and prepared for user testing.

Prototypes of our design solution (which included key interactions) were generated and shared with the team’s Developer well ahead of each sprint and any user testing. I'm a huge fan of working closely with developers during initial ideation phases as it helps to identify any potential development "gotchas". But more importantly the developers perspective often yields additional ideas/approaches. This close collaboration and communication allowed us to “fail fast” well before we started actual development; saving costly time and allowing us to meet our sprint goals more efficiently.

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Design Hypothesis

We believe that by eliminating workflow redundancies and simplifying data input this will reduce the time required for QA inspectors to document inspection results. We will have demonstrated this when we can reduce the average inspection documentation process time by 20%.

User Testing

Using Jira, I worked with the Product Owner to capture all features. Weekly backlog grooming sessions with the Product Owner gave us an opportunity to clarify prioritize each feature.

The team agreed to use Behavioral Driven Development (BDD) techniques to document user stories. This was my first time using this approach for user stories and it made documenting requirements easier to write and read. The team found that it communicates the intended user experience of a design more clearly (particularly for non-designers and our Developer) and made QA testing much more efficient.

feature listUser Story

The application was developed using Vue.js with modified Vuetify UI Library components using Google’s Material Design. I provided interaction and style modifications to the team’s Developer to accommodate for the specific needs in our design.

Working with the team's Agile Coach and Product Owner, I was responsible for planning and managing the initial release, providing hyper-care support as well as facilitating each sprint review with the leadership team and stakeholders.

release management slide 1release management slide 2release management slide 3release management slide 4
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HINDSIGHT

The application may have had had a smoother rollout if we had decided to extend our beta release phase. We learned that some users did not directly use the application, but were still involved (downstream) in the inspection workflow (particularly for failed inspections). Actively engaging these users more during the pre-release would have helped minimize support during hyper care. However, given constraints outside of this project, the team elected to shorten our intial beta release.

Results and Outcomes

The redesign of the inspection application exceeded its primary objectives. In addition, the project exposed the multiple departments  to the benefits of leveraging a user-centered design approach and Design Thinking methodologies to not only deliver an effective solution, but expedite overall development and delivery.

PREVIOUS DESIGN

previous design
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NEW DESIGN

new design

OUTCOMES

  • Streamlined user input and interactions (seven different input forms down to two forms).
  • 62% reduction in time needed to complete document inspection results.
  • Creation of automated email notifications for QA inspectors, engineers, and purchasing clerks; removing the need for manual workflows and in-person reviews.
  • Conversion of paper-based forms to new electronic form sheets resulting in more consistent and trackable audit trails.
  • Implementation of time-saving, compliant electronic signatures.
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