It was crucial that the internal tooling clearly showed where and how campaigns were configured for targeted display. Any mistake in launching or managing a campaign could cause the loss of a Fortune 500 business partner to the tune of six digits. A user explained the need for useful alerting in this quote from a User Research survey:
"Genesis [internal tools platform] throws a lot of errors, and a lot of time when we get them we have no idea how to interpret what they are saying. It would be a lot better if errors actually told us what we needed to fix and how we needed to fix it."
In 2019 a User Researcher on our team did an audit of all the visual design patterns used for alerting in all of our internal tools. They captured a wide range of solutions implemented for system feedback and alerting. These problems were quickly identified as a strong candidate for solving via Design Systems. One of the biggest returns from investing in a Design System is visual unity and consistency of patterns across an application by documenting particular designs as reusable components to be used in every applicable instance. Further, styles from elsewhere in the system, such as typography, color, and layout, were already defined and could be used here to quickly develop a new pattern design for reuse broadly.
Getting production of these components required that either a developer be doing similar work in the component library or that the actual component was included in upcoming feature work. So I combed through our backlog and found tickets for known bugs which could be solved using any of these components. I also wrote new tickets to identify how these components should be included in feature work scheduled after the components were due to be completed. I combined all of these SCRUM tickets into a written plan which detailed the needed work. At quarterly PI planning I advocated for the inclusion of this work alongside the planned feature work. Eventually we were given the bandwidth from the team for the work and production went off without a hitch. I guided development through back-and-forth quality assurance testing done remotely with the engineer.
After completing development of the React components we went back to those outstanding tickets and made sure to note how the new components could be taken advantage of. Before I left Vericast, we had already implemented the patterns in a handful of solutions. Development of these components and patterns drastically improved the usefulness and clarity of the System Feedback & Alerting that could be presented to users in the internal tooling at Vericast. While I was not present at Vericast for long after the completion of this project, documentation of these patterns will ensure the clear transfer of knowledge needed to correctly implement these components in future work. Designers can continue to improve the user experience across a suite of applications and use-cases by updating existing instances of alerting, reducing stress in the daily lives of Vericast users and ensuring fewer mistakes impacting clients.
Are you looking for an experienced Product Designer who can deliver digital products that meet your needs? Drop me a line! Right now I’m looking for full time work, and taking on new freelance clients. Leave your name, some details about the project, and let’s build something together!