PEANUT - A Project Management Tool
Product Design & UX/UI Design
This is my first project in Experience Design Center @ S/LAB. I executed this project by working closely with the stakeholder. I followed an agile methodology as an approach to designing PEANUT. I was responsible for it at all stages right from ideation, through discover, design and validation. This is a detailed case study of the project and my process.
A typical day in a program or project manager’s life includes keeping a check on every project that the company is involved with, plan for future projects, delegate work, meeting with teams, make sure all the collaborations run smoothly, keep an eye on work dependencies etc. Keeping track of all these is hard, strenuous and results in very crowded and congested spreadsheets. A program manager approached us with this problem and wanted a web application that would solve for this. We ran this project through EDC to take it further.
At this stage we had a very generic understanding of the project. So, to discover the depth of the problem we conducted a quick and short PDW (Product Discovery Workshop). During the PDW, we met with the stakeholder, a young Program Manager and asked her open ended questions to dissect the problem and convert them into opportunities for us to intervene.
Our stakeholder is from a small to medium sized company and is the sole programme manager of her company. We documented all her pain points and now had to validate that these pain points were global and not just limited to her. We ran through our contacts, found every other project manager/program manager we know and after speaking to them about these pain points we realized that there seemed to be a genuine overlap of these issues.
PRODUCT DISCOVERY WORKSHOP
After the PDW is when we usually create personas, but because the target audience is already quite narrow we skipped this step in this project. To still keep the focus intact without a persona, we boiled down the pain points to the following:
"Tracking everyday task was difficult"
"Missing out deadlines, or missing out on the priority of a task"
"Excessive workload on an individual"
We then laid down these pain points as opportunities, and created a mind node.
Usually after making mind maps in the PDW I create user flow diagrams to get into the depth of the opportunity, but for this project I took a slightly different approach. I tested the the workflow with the users based on the mind map, and based on my observations and the user feedback I created the user flow diagrams. I chose this approach as we were working on a very tight schedule and we had easy access to the stakeholder and few other project managers to conduct usability studies.
I made rough paper sketches and converted the paper sketches to paper prototypes. This would validate if the product is meeting the user's needs. First, I had to recruit people who will be a good representation of the potential users. We got in touch with all the project managers we spoke to at the discovery phase, including the stakeholder, requested them to walk into our Experience Design Center for a usability study. I conducted usability studies with 6 recruited representative users. While the users were interacting with the paper prototype I observed and documented the happenings.
After the study we spoke to the users about their experience and pain points during the interaction. Based on our observations and the user interviews after the usability study, the feedback we received were:
The workflow while creating a project should be straightened out.
The restriction in colour. Having distinctively different colours.
The milestone colour should be the main focus of the screen.
Sharing a project should be simpler. Ability to view who the project is shared with.
Possibility of the text on the milestone bar being truncated should be avoided.
Show only the available colours to be chosen from while creating a project.
Taking all the feedback, we iterated on the mind node and made user flow diagrames.
As I had already done the paper prototypes and received feedback from the users for the same, it was just a matter of reflecting those feedback in the wireframes. I did quick wireframes on paper before jumping into the visual design. Being the sole product design gave me the liberty to sketch the wireframes the way I understood it.
As you log-in this is the first page you see. The schedule of the week.
The project manager's profile page, where she can see her details and everyone on her team.
A list of all the current projects with its colour code and all the necessary information at a glance.
A current project's show page. Here she can view and create categories and add milestones.
The project manager can share the project with the client or the stakeholder.
The project manager can remind the team of a milestone as and when she seems fit.
The idea and the product was validated at equal intervals throughout the design process. Once the visual design was ready we built tactile interactive prototypes to test with the potential users and iterated the design based on our findings (Due to the non-disclosure agreement that was signed, I am not able to display the prototype). After incorporating all the feedback, I passed the design on to the developers and the application is right now under development.
I was extremely happy with the end result — it was absolutely spot on. Working at Experience Design Center was phenomenal and the project was challenging but really fun.