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Various samples of digital artifacts supporting the user experience effort.
Branding & Identity
Telling potential new clients that you can't show them your latest work because of Non Disclosure Agreements can be a bad thing. Showing them proprietary work can be even worse, so I spent some time documenting the process I used for my own brand development to help fill the gaps during new client conversations.
Wireframes and Annotations
Once I established an overall concept for my personal brand (see previous), I considered content and design theory. I worked through some potential content constructs and page layout ideas using Axure (low fidelity wire-frames) and then annotated the component parts.
High Fidelity Comps
After completing the wireframe excercises, I constructed high fidelity compositions. Compiling a set of high fidelity compositions allows for brand alignment and an appreciation for the finished product before jumping into code development. Complex interactions can also be prototyped using Axure to articulate the vision concept.
UX - The Business Side
Some organizations are still attempting to wrap their cultures around a UX program. I spent a brief time evangelizing the UX discipline within Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's B2B appdev groups. I advocated for proven UX best practice workflows and user validation testing. I also helped coach several Product Owners, Srum Masters and Business Analysts on how UX artifacts can help define MVP, user stories and test cases.
Back on Track
Sometimes project complexity can derail momentum. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield had lost traction on a new and complex, B2B Provider application build. I stepped in and realigned the project effort by producing Information Architecture diagrams, a working prototype and supporting wire-frame artifacts that informed cross-functional teams on the direction with more clarity. Sprint planning was now worthy of celebration; not fear.
I helped mentor and manage two Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield UX resources. One individual was remote but located within the United States. Another resource was located off-shore (India). My management included day-to-day task assignments, work product reviews, collaboration and mentorship in the areas of User Experience, Information Architecture, concept to completion process theory, Interaction Design techniques and Axure.
Complex Axure Prototyping
The Axure mini cart prototype I built for formal usability testing used all the best of Axure. The prototype leveraged global variables, dynamic panels and mathmatical expressions to create a full-featured, dynamic shopping cart experience. During the test, the prototype facilitated free discusion around the most important topics of concern... the user's motivations and perceptions that drive purchasing decisions.
User Validation & Testing
When businesses merge, experiences merge. When AT&T purchased DirecTV, it was important to persist the intuitive online shopping experiences users from both brands had come to enjoy into one solidified digital AT&T "buy-flow" experience. I translated static wire-frames into a full-functioning Axure prototype used for formal user testing.
NextGen Design Standards
I was asked to lead the Information Architecture and Interaction Design effort for AT&T's next-generation responsive HTML table component. The final solution was inspired by (but not dependent upon) the FooTable open source solution that promoted a collapsing column concept. I presented the final solution to senior UX leadership and the model was adopted as an enterprise-wide standard.
E-commerce Product Tiles
AT&T does its best to implement new technologies and trends whenever they emerge. I participated in envisioning and designing AT&T's next-generation product tiles for it's e-commerce B2C online experience. This task included providing competitive comparison research and interaction design observations. The challenge also included the introduction of new brand standards and additonal product data points.
As UI Producer, I led a team of internal and off-shore developers using USAA's UX methodology (pioneered by Jesse James Garrett). Together, we completed over 27 feature migrations within the auto, banking and credit card buisness sectors. The project was a complete success and I left USAA with an "exemplary" status.
As UI Producer, I was positioned at the same level as Project Manager and Lead Engineer and responsible for ensuring USAA's UX level of excellance was incorporated into all projects I was assigned. I was also responsible for crafting intuitive design, information architecture and (in some cases) front-end development.
Working with Usability
The USAA usability group are keepers of the ethnographic research and user personas. User validation testing was a required gateway for all projects with a UI Producer assigned. As such, I worked closely with my assigned usability counterpart to ensure awareness of USAA user behavioral tendencies and that my proposed UI, IA and interactive pattern constructs would resonate well with the USAA user.
UX and Agile Working Together
In my experiences, I've only seen one company (USAA) integrate Agile and UX with harmony. It takes mature leadership and buy-in from top brass to truly build a culture where proper UX can flourish. In my opinion, UX and UI are different; UI is a result of UX analysis. As Lead UX and IxD at Synchrony Financial, I provided more UI support for the UX that business leadership declared relevant.
Advocating the UX Process
My preferred UX methodolgy leverages Jesse James Garrett's Principles of User Experience gateway model when it comes to putting UX analysis into digital artifacts and deliverables. I also subscribe to Jesse's P.A.C.E. model (Perception, Action, Cognition, Emotion) for exploring anticipated user reactions to intended digital experiences and his visual vocabulary symbolism for describing user flows (IA maps).
I worked closely with other UX colleagues and engineers to drive Synchrony's design (visual and interaction) standards that supported the integrity of Synchrony's brand identity and UX bar of excellence. I also coded the pattern library that hosted the WCAG 2.0 AA compliant HTML components. In addition, I led a three day training workshop for onsite and offshore developers that were new to responsive design theories.
Keeping Them Honest
We have all been exposed to bad experiences. It's a part of living in an imperfect world. However, after a verrry poor in-store experience at my local Wendy's, I decided to post a blog detailing the events. Google started to pick up and index my blog material which led to a response and reaction from the Customer Experience team at Wendy's. They applied many of my observations and I'm proud to say the experience has much improved.
Overhauling Legacy Web Sites
I participated as a UX/UI/IxD and front-end developer for Invesco's corporate, B2C North American Web overhaul effort. As such, I reacted to daily Agile task assignments that included re-imagining legacy Web pages into next-generation design and development solutions based on WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility and Invesco brand standards.
Redesigns Can Be Scary
For some small business owners the idea of modernizing a legacy site that is enjoying high organic search engine rankings can be a scary thing to take on. I consulted Ski.com on its first major redesign effort. I convinced leadership that even a fresh coat of paint would be a good first step to increase revenue and engagement. They continue to make design updates and changes with great success.
12.2M CRM Application
As a North Highland Consultant, I provided wire-frame comps for Great West Life's (GWL) retirement services' 12.2M Salesforce CRM application. I participated in daily, deep-dive business analysis meetings with various Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to understand the GWL business systems and processes. My wire-frames were included in the Business Requirements Documentation (BRD) that went to the Board of Directors for final project approval.