Mavenlink – Internship Projects

Summary

I joined Mavenlink as a UX Design Intern in the summer of 2015. Being one of only four UX Designers I was involved in a variety of design projects that directly contributed to the improvement of Mavenlink's overall user experience.

  • User Feedback Analysis: Built a tool so user feedback can be easier analyzed and integrated into the design process.
  • Wireframing and Task Analysis: Explored, wireframed, analyzed and tested user scenarios for a complex new product feature.
  • Interaction Paradigm Prototyping: Iterative prototyping to define a new interaction paradigm for the product’s overall main task.
  • Designing a new Calendar Interface: Redesigned the calender interface from scratch and expanded it's functionality.
  • First Time User Experience: Analyzed and redesigned parts of the first time user experience and created an overview of the permissions model.
  • Various: Built an extensive prototype for customer demos to showcase new task management features and gave a talk about information visualization.
View Recommendation Letter from Chris Rumble (Senior UI Designer)

Type:

Internship at Mavenlink's Design team (San Francisco office).

Role:

UX Designer, Prototyper

Time:

07/2015 -9/2014 (3 months)

10/2015 -12/2014 (3 months, remote part-time)

Project Scope:

User Research, Prototyping, UI Design, Feature Launch


User Feedback Analysis

Problem

My first foray into day-to-day work at Mavenlink was a task ideally suited to both introducing me to the product and contributing to the design team's toolkit.

Mavenlink maintains a list of feature requests (collected from several sources), which provide ample data regarding user requests. The goal was to categorizing the database, and subsequently prepare a set of recommendations that synthesize the main conclusions.

How can we generate insight from existing user feedback?

Process

The resource contained over 1600 requests regarding feature improvements and new feature requests that were collected through Zendesk and by the sales and support team. However, these requests were uncategorized and represented an untapped resource. My first task was determining how best to categorize and organize the dataset, both for my own use and for the design team's future use.
Ultimately, I created 25 major categories each with up to 30 subcategories that reflected the common themes across the requests (see image below). Subsequently I went By doing this I gained insight into all aspects of our (rather complex) product, because my categorization of each entry (and indeed, the creation of the categories themselves) required a firm grasp of the content and nature of each user request.

Outcome

Strategic Insight

Based on the categorization of the 1600 requests I created an interactive report. The report contained summaries regarding major types of requests (by category and features) and allowed to see overall trends (e.g. requests over time and the urgency of the requests). The new categories were transfered into Salesforce in order to classify new user requests, ensuring that the reports always stays up date.

I also presented the report to the CTO and CEO to provide a summary of the major types of requests and to provide recommendations for future product development. These reports are now used by product managers to inform the company's road-map for future product releases.

Design Team Resource

I also created an internal tool for the design team to view and filter the data by category, feature or priority. Any designer or PM can now easily find a variety of feedback/ requests for any feature within Mavenlink in a matter of seconds.


Wireframing and Task Analysis

Problem

The second project I worked on was focused on resource planning. Resource planning refers to strategic efforts to ensure that a company's resources are utilized, and remain utilized (but not stretched too-thin) as a company takes on additional projects and re-allocates resources accordingly.

This is an enormously complex and difficult problem that no company has effectively solved yet. Variations in team size, company size, organizational structure type, and leadership further complicate this dilemma.

How can we help organizations to manage their resources more effectively?

Process

Though most of the work I did on this project remains proprietary in nature, as it pertains to confidential, ongoing product development efforts, I will describe the broad strokes of my work:
  • Extensive whiteboarding, analyzing and testing user flows, and checking existing mock-ups against predefined user flows.
  • Engaged in numerous scenario analyses and what-if analyses, with particular attention to simplicity, efficiency, and user-friendliness.
  • Provided reports with my recommendations as to which features should be cut, extended, or prioritized.
  • Created my own mocks and flow diagrams that incorporated my conclusions and applied them to new scenarios as well.

Interaction Paradigm Prototyping

Problem

Before I joined Mavenlink, a new plan was proposed to improve the navigability of the task list (one of the most important features for users). In the old version (see below) users could open the task details below the row by toggling the open icon.

As part of a redesign effort a new interaction paradigm was introduced that would display details through the product in a "Master Detail View". This new task detail side panel would provide greater visibility and context when looking at the details of task.

Determine the new interaction paradigm for the products main task
Though this new interface has been proposed, and visually designed, it had not yet been realized or tested. It was still unclear how exactly the side panel would be opened and closed. My task was to:
  • Create and test different possible open/ close interaction paradigms.
  • Uncover and solve other usability problems related to the "Master Detail View"

Process

  • Created initial prototype to convince stakeholders of viability of prototype-driven approach.
  • Defined 3 different interaction paradigms for opening and closing the side panel (Title Click, Icon Click, Text Click).
  • Extended prototypes to test other actions such as 'change the task type', 'delete a task', 'navigation between tasks', 'rename a task', 'add a subtask' and more.
  • Conducted extensive remote usability study with over 30 existing and new clients.
  • Iterated and refined main interaction and other actions according to user feedback.

Title Click

Icon Click

Text Click

Outcome

The end result was a task list that was both fully functional and a vast improvement upon our existing task list. The new task list is particularly helpful in terms of its ability to reflect both the overall task list and the associated sub-tasks within each task.
  • Synthesized usability test results and created comparison based on consistency, efficiency, intuitive and mobile experience.
  • Based on recommendation title click got implemented as universal interaction paradigm within Mavenlink.
  • Introduced prototype-driven design into design process

Designing a new Calendar Interface


First Time User Experience

Designed & built by Lukas Eiermann 2016
Always happy to chat .