Since I joined the team in May 2012, I helped designed critical UI flows of adding data to map, grouping and styling point of interest on map, maps sharing, and map legend. I also interviewed and validated the design concepts during the development process.
Issues found included:
By the time I joined the team, they had already begun the initial development process and delivered the first build. We created persona based on the user info we received from stakeholders. Then we redesigned and created 2 versions of wireframes. Meanwhile, I worked with the dev team to prioritize the stories and bugs fixes. From the hallway user test, we found that both solutions did not work well so we got together and built affinity diagram to better categorize the features to the Microsoft Office ribbon. We designed, iterated and tested for couple rounds and finally came to our final results a month before the beta release.
Based on the user information we have from the stakeholders, I categorized users into four groups and created a comparison persona. It clearly mapped features to each user group which helped the development team to understand how user would use our tool.
Based on the problems we have experienced, we came up with 2 solutions. We created paper mockups and conducted tests. We simultaneously worked with the developers to brainstorm design solutions and to prioritized easy-fix usability issues and ensure the issues will not reoccur in the production.
After the second build was completed, we did formal usability testings in Esri usability lab with our potential users. This time I found users had difficulties finding the functionalities in the ribbon. Once they found it, they relied on their memories a lot to accomplish the tasks we assigned to them. The whole team worked together to redefine the categories and reorganize the items within each category by building an affinity diagram.
We went through several iterations of analysis and design, until we were confident that there were no significant usability issues. When the product was close to completion, we did a comprehensive user test with external and real users on two Microsoft Office platforms: Office 2013 and Office 365.
Esri Maps for Office v1.0 Public Beta was released in July 2012 and was well received by users. We received positive feedback from people around the world and heard success stories from users of how they easily incorporate GIS (Geographic Information System) in their daily work by using this product. Since it has been widely used around the world, one of the major milestone for v2.0 was that it became global and available in 22 languages!