ADMIN EXPERIENCE

Designing the admin experience for the CBT Nuggets website to enable admins to manage learners by grouping them, managing their playlists, and monitoring their progress 

 

Organizations

CBT Nuggets

My Roles

Lead Product Designer

Design Researcher

My Responsibilities

User Research

Project Management

Sketching and Wireframing

Prototyping (lo/Hi-fi)

Information Architecture

Usability Testing

Design Operation Management

Duration

May 2018   —  Sep 2018 

Team

2 UX Designers

1 Design Researcher

1 Product Owner

Platforms

Responsive Web

INTRODUCTION

CBT Nuggets was founded in 1999 in response to a dire need for innovation in the IT training industry. CBT Nuggets have kept a narrow focus on being the best at one specific thing — developing a learning experience for IT professionals. That learning experience is shaped by our core values: respect for people and their time, friendly and direct communication, a genuine passion for what we do, and an emphasis on continual improvement.

One of the key services of CBT Nuggets is to help IT organization develop new skills to advance their business with unlimited access to the full library of CBT Nuggets training. This type of services is managed by client admins. Client admins are responsible for managing learners, observing their progresses, and managing their playlists and courses. 

When I joined CBT Nuggets, I was asked to redesign the admin section of its responsive website to better meet client admins' requirements and values.

 

GOALS

- Enterprise clients can define one or more groups

- Admins can create learners in bulk

- Provide admin with data to best manage their learners & licenses

- Support large enterprise accounts without performance impact

- Assign Playlist to groups/learners

OPPORTUNITIES

- All learners on an enterprise site are in the same group

- Admins need more data to know how their learners use CBT

- Admin pages are slow for anything more than a certain number of clients

 

USER RESEARCH

The design process initiated by having interviews with the Learning Experience Team members at CBT Nuggets. They were the stakeholders of this project and it was essential to extract the requirements according to their preferences, demands, and pain points.

 

After forming a solid understanding around the requirements of this project, I prioritized the features of the project. Considering the 6-month timeline of this project for implementation, I defined the MVP and future versions of the project. All of the proposed versions and the MVP were approved by our stakeholders and product owners.

MVP AND FUTURE VERSIONS

Since the project was very big and the MVP had to be developed in less than 6 months, I used story mapping to define the MVP and future versions by breaking down the user stories for Agile development process. The user stories were discussed by the developer team and it was confirmed that the project could successfully be implemented within the defined timeline.

 

Taking a closer look at this image, you can see that the details of the user stories and requirements of each view, user state, and user action have been thoroughly defined by me.

USER STORIES

I used Confluence to define the user stories, collaborate with the stakeholder, and discuss the requirements with the developer team.

 

My former experience as a developer, enabled me to fully understand the technical requirements of this project. Therefore, I was successfully capable of describing the details of the interface and interactions in my user stories.

These user stories were later used in the Agile operation of the developer team.

 

DESIGN SPEC

As part of the design process of this project, and the design operation system that I designed for the CBT Nuggets design team, I specified details of its visual/interaction design by explaining every possible action and adequate error handling information. Moreover, I designed the data flow of the system in a very thorough manner in Confluence.

These details were available to everyone for feedback.

 

CBT NUGGETS DESIGN OPERATION

To establish an effective communication between the design team and other teams within CBT Nuggets and to build a transparent design process, I designed the design operation for CBT Nuggets design team. The design process introduced a customized version of design sprints to the design team and helped designers effectively collaborate with all members of the design team, stakeholders, and external teams within the organization. 

 

The pilot run of this design operation was conducted through the admin experience project. As a result, everyone at CBT Nuggets could monitor the progress of this project and follow its progress as it would go through different stages of design and development. 

 

INTERNAL COLLABORATIONS

I introduce Jira to the design team and built the structure of its internal communication.

Moreover, embedding daily stand-ups and retrospective sessions created transparency and helped all members of the design team gain an understanding of on-going projects, blockers, and effective approaches that have been used by different members of the team. 

Finally, introducing Abstract improved the collaborations between the designers and helped multiple of designers work on projects together and enabled them to communicate information with each other, product owners, and the stakeholders.

EXTERNAL COLLABORATIONS

In addition to improving the internal collaborations, Jira helped other teams be able to observe and track the progress of the design projects.

Using Confluence and effective documentation, the information, spec document, and visual components of projects were available to everyone in the organization.

I also introduced InVision to establish an effective communication between stakeholders and designers. Using InVision, stakeholder, designers, developers, product owners, and everyone else who were involved in the project could easily share their feedback.

Developers used InVision to extract visual components, assets, and codes seamlessly, quickly, and effectively. 

 

HIGH-FI TESTINS

After designing the admin experience, I created user flows and defined scenarios in order for the design to be tested. The high-fi prototypes were tested by 2 members of the Learning Experience Team.

After doing 3 rounds of cognitive walkthroughs and heuristic studies, where each round was followed by modification of the design to resolve issues or further improve the experience, the admin experience passed the test and met the goals and requirements of the project.

 

NEXT STEPS

Currently, the admin experience is being implemented by the CBT Nuggets developer team. The final response successfully followed the CBT Nuggets visual system and reused many of the existing component to create consistency and shorten the process of implementation.However, the designed interfaces are subject of NDA and cannot be shown online.

After implementing the MVP, future versions of the admin experience need to be tested and implemented to build an effective experience that would meet client admins' goals and values.

RETROSPECTIVE

The documentation, design, and versioning of the admin experience were reviewed and approved by the stakeholders. In addition, we received positive feedback from stakeholders, information architects, and the developer team.

Although the project was very big, and therefore, had to be broken down into different versions, its design process was completed in less that 3 months.

My collaboration and communication with the developer team, the stakeholders, and members of the design team confirmed the success of the newly embedded CBT Nuggets design operation.

PERSONAL TAKEAWAYS

Learning how to face a very big project as well as how to lead a design team was an invaluable experience that enabled me to believe in myself as a strong designer.

Designing the operation of a team and taking the responsibility of managing a project improved my skills as a lead designer.

Moreover, I had to find effective tools and approaches for both internal and external collaboration, and I'm proud that my CS and design backgrounds empowered me to effectively address this need and successfully respond to it.

 
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Copyright © 2019 Sayena Majlesein.
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