Intranet web-application workshop

Intranet web-application workshop

##Web-application for trainers

Being a trainer and an interaction designer of the organization, I came to be the lead interaction designer and project manager of the web application development for internal education. Leading the project, I was responsible for (and facilitating) a week long strategical workshop, where – via active stakeholder involvement – the ground work was done to setup and kick-off the work for a 1+ year long project. Due to high fluctuation of members in the organization, the people on a project change rapidly, therefore thorough ground work and documentation was essential.

Via participatory methods, I led a 4 days long participatory workshop to identify the needs of trainers during workflow, ideate support solutions for them, cluster them into different modules, and document the process for upcoming designers and developers. During the workshop, we used “interviews”, “breakout groups”, “world café” for user research and “impact-effort analysis” for deciding on priorities for the development. This followed requirements gathering in pairs of a designer and a developer, elaborating on the main use-cases.

After the workshop I oversaw the project for 1 year, supervised designers and developers in their work, and also designed and implemented features by myself.

1, Defining purpose

In the beginning the group defined the purpose of the web application, both as a warm-up for the workshop, and as a scoping for our activities.

2, Defining users

Afterwards we moved on to identify the possible users of the webapp – working on an intranet the user groups are important both for different needs and functionalities or security limitations.

The set of users was kept revised with the different iterations, throughout different scenarios were considered and designed.

3, Users’ needs

To understand how users would interact with the system, our approach was to research the process of a how a training course is designed and conducted (generally and in the organization) and ideate on digital solutions to support these steps.

A long list of needs were revealed and summarized by the end of the ideation. Afterwards, we had a world cafe session to analyze all the needs, and identify all the users (and their level of involvement) in the given needs.

Summarizing the user needs in a spreadsheet (excerpt).

Clustering needs

In the end, about 60 distinct high-level user needs were concluded, therefore we went for a clustering process to formulate smaller “modules”; to cluster similar needs to each other, which development ought to be tackled together.

After the clusters were formulated, the workshop participants were asked to setup a priority list of the different modules, by scoring them based on their complexity (by IT developers) and impact (by trainers – stakeholders). This scoring helped to make decisions on the project management side in creating an action plan.

Specific definitions

In order to maximize the tangible outcomes from the workshop, we also covered a high-level definition of the different scenarios (based on each user need), creating user stories and user flows, with rough documentation, so any stakeholder, designer or developer can pick up tasks without steep learning curve.

We also shuffled the different scenarios between different pairs (developer and trainer) in order to filter, elaborate and iterate on them with beginners’ eyes. These pairs also wrote down the most important feature requirements and specifications (lead by the developer).

Prototyping and feedbacking

In the very end of the workshop, our focus was to kick-off the user interface design process, thus started to create paper prototypes and digital mock-ups. These visualized outcomes of the workshop were essential to communicate our outcomes with a broader audience and get feedback in the future.