DFX – Data Management System

Overview

DataFabricx is a global solution provider in addressing data management challenges predominantly in unstructured data management. The DataFabricx product suite enables its customers to discover their enterprise data across corporate landscape, classify the data to put it in business context to enable the business to make informed decision more efficiently.

Problem Statement

DFX already had a team of coders and developers and the screens were being built purely developer centric. Stakeholders were not happy with the outcome though the application was functional.

Users and audience

Users for this application were people who sort, categorize and organize volumes of file based on their file type, size, kind, and more than a hundred such parameters. They have tasks such as fetching or searching for files that match certain parameters and analyzing the data. Further discussions with the stakeholder, need for an admin user who manages other users was realized.

Roles and responsibilities

My role here was to help them with an improved interaction design and since time and budget was low, they were keen in only wireframes initially. Later a high fidelity pixel perfect version with full graphic and aesthetics design was rendered.

Scope and constraints

Only wireframes were required initially and time frame was 1 week. Later Hi Fidelity prototypes were requested. The team had no idea of UX process, but timeline for the project was kept minimal.

Process

Research & Strategy

There were no direct interviews with users or any focus groups since the project needed really quick enhancements and within a short span of time. Most inputs about users were given by stakeholders. There was restriction to interact with real users, however the high level need was to get an expert opinion on the interfaces. Inputs from the stakeholder were gathered and then I started to convert them as user stories.

User Stories

User stories were written as statement and shared with stakeholders. Some of them were assumptions and new ideas that were welcomed by the stakeholders. Some of the user stories were:

As a user I want to view overview information in a dashboard so that I am informed of status of processes on the various files.
As a user I want to view activity feed so that I get to know the recent actions that have been progressed.
As a user I want to view local as well as a remote files so that I can view their contents.
As a user I want to view the basic and meta data about a selected file so that I can view or edit them if necessary.
As a user I want to define a set of parameters and search for a specific set of files so that I can find the file easily.
As a user I want to save the search criteria so that I can use it as a preset to view fresh results when revisiting later.
As a user I want to delete a search preset that I no longer use so that I can maintain and keep the list updated.

Wireframes

User stories were shared with the stakeholder and got a sign off on them. Then, wireframes were quickly sketched and iterated several times to meet the user requirements as understood with the user stories. These could not be taken to real users as there was no access and hence again verified by the stakeholder.

Design

Based on the wireframes, the client also wanted to experience a hi fidelity design of them. Newer requirements were added to the existing list of user stories.

New User stories that were added:
As a user I want to see a list of dashboards so that I can choose one and view.
As a user I want to know the most recently viewed dashboards so that I can quickly reopen them without needing to search from the list.
As a user I want to know the most frequently accessed dashboards so that I know which one is popular.

The following hi fidelity screens were designed.

More Wireframes and Design

With more iterations, I was also asked to work on a user management screen. I came up with the following wireframe and hi fidelity screen.

The following new user stories were added to the list of requirements after another round of interview with the stakeholder:

As an admin I want to manage the list of users in the system so that I can control each user’s access to various resources.
As an admin I want to be able to search by name or email so that I need not browse and instead quickly find the user I want.
As an admin I want to add, remove, view and edit users in the system so that I can manage.
As an admin I can export the list of user details to a spreadsheet format.

Outcomes

The stakeholder was happy to take these deliverables to their development team and rebuild their user interfaces keeping the above as references.

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