Microlise

UX Audit of core Microlise products. Redesign of Information architecture and Design system for consistency

CLIENT
Microlise
AGENCY
SERVICES
ux audit, ux design, information architecture, ui design, design system

Microlise specialises in producing fleet technology solutions that in 2017 had a total of 180,248 drivers using their systems and burning around 1.9 billion litres of fuel.

I started my journey with Microlise as a UI designer. I made it clear in my interview that I was an experienced UX designer and that gave me an extra facet for employment. Although, my primary function was supporting the UI developers in designing user interfaces I was able to perform user research, usability testing and user experience design activities and was promoted to UX Architect within a year. I took the leading role in a UI/UX team, where I was given a budget to employ UX and UI designers. Throughout my time in Microlise I had a chance to assess skill matrix of my team, UX maturity of the company and evangelise UX by focusing on ROI at each project.

My first task was to perform a UX review of their current web solutions, two complex platforms for Fleet performance and Journey management. I found out that the current UI framework was not underpinned by UX and that UX was more of an afterthought rather than the impetus for the design. User research existed only from perspective of Product management and was done occasionally without any process in mind.

Design System

Thanks to my audit I gained understanding of our current front-end set up. The components in the framework were not responsive and would not scale on mobile and desktop applications. In general, the product was lacking consistency and was out of date in terms of look and feel.

I presented these findings to senior stakeholders, with the view to rather than rejuvenate the framework but to redesign it with UX being the driver. I’ve suggested evolution approach of our front-end than a revolution to allow customers use our products without major disruption. It required influencing stakeholders and stating clear objectives and risks.

This would ensure a far more efficient placing UX at the heart of the system. It was agreed that I would work with UI developers to deliver a new design system.

As this project unfolded, we developed a shared visual language, design principal and guidance on how we build products that helped our product and engineering.

Information architecture

The Problem

My UX audit revealed issues with information architecture of the both platforms. Years of adding features without IA guidelines caused both systems to be too complex. My research showed that a number of users, specially new ones are not aware of some functionalities. Platform was forcing users to remember a lot. Our data showed that only 2 pages of Journey Management solution got around 90% of the traffic, while the rest was split throughout without significant usage.

Approach

I started with mapping existing IA, then I proceed to assessing main flows and jobs to be done. mapped it, redesigned it and displayed its visual hierarchy which allowed Product Department to understand where we are and where are we going.

Information Architecture map – Redesigned version with planned new features in green
Redesigned IA – Navigation pattern of 3 levels

Outcomes

  • This work led to creating Design system that assured consistent approach to future projects. Goal was to improve our product design process, manifest our design principles, and provide our customers with beautiful, accessible software.
  • At the back of this work I’ve mapped Microlise Product life cycle to show how design and research are integral part of it. This was then distributed to multiple development teams and stakeholders for wider understanding of design process.
  • One of more practical outcomes of this work was a redesign and rebuild of navigation of our core products – Journey management (header and menu)

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