Problem: The profile summary tab is where a user lands when they are looking for profile, but isn’t a summary, it’s a hub and spoke link farm out to other pages and tabs. Each page has been prioritized at different times which has created inconsistency in design and tech stacks. But it’s not anywhere near this team’s roadmap for the year. How might we get to our future state design without overtaxing the team or losing sight of our priorities?
Solution: Create a north star vision with the team, styled with future-use design components and paired with small tech updates, to make incremental changes and take us step by step toward our eventual state.
Method: This project was a little unorthodox. Usually I like to do a design exercise with my team so they can submit ideas and they feel like they have buy-in, but this was something I started doodling with on my own time because I was frustrated to have my hands tied by legacy design.
During a one-on-one with the product owner, who was dreaming aloud about a better experience, I pulled out my sketches which aligned to her ideas, and we brought them to the team for feedback.
We started by removing the tab structure. That’s it. Just removing the tabs from the top and creating pages instead. That got rid of the idea of the “summary” and we started circulating language that called that page simply “Profile.”
Next, I brought my mobile-first sketches in front of the team to discuss initial ideas and what could and couldn’t be possible with our current tech stack.
Through successive weekly design sessions with my developers, we moved the design into our new enterprise design system, created a backlog of stories and corresponding designs to keep us on track to make MVP updates throughout the year to get us closer to our goal.
Moving from idea to install hasn’t been easy; the new design system means a new code base for our developers to work with and frankly a whole new way of working. I couldn’t just dump a design on them and walk away (which isn’t Agile anyway, but still). We are working together to create new working processes, which I support through ongoing communication and deepened connections with the design system team.
Our next steps are being styled with a design system infrastructure that is still being rolled out, so it’s tricky to make solid decisions. But through open and ongoing communication and collaboration, my developers and business partners and I are confident we can build a forward-thinking design and turn the hub-and-spoke into one profile page that surfaces the most important information, provides easy access to make updates, and highlights your next best steps.