Scales with a large gold piece titled ‘overhaul’ vs a number of smaller pieces titled ‘incremental’
Scales with a large gold piece titled ‘overhaul’ vs a number of smaller pieces titled ‘incremental’

I have spent a vast portion of my UX design career working agency-side. That gives one an opportunity to learn about many different business models, organisational cultures and approaches to change management. I work mostly with start-ups and scale-ups, who rely on digital products in their businesses. That makes them exposed to the ever-changing demands of a global market and global trends.

In UX, or particularly UI design trends come and go every couple of years. Some of them are driven by new technology, such as touchscreen devices or emergence of new CSS properties (remember the creativity frenzy when CSS3…

Rethinking Engage — a comprehensive analytics solution for HR in large companies. A brief story on how we approached the redesign and did not get lost in almost 130 screens.

The story was originally published on the EL Passion Blog.

So, what is the product we redesigned?

Betterworks Engage (back then known as Hyphen) is a successful product, which had been developed over 3 years of focused work from distributed teams. As their competition in the space of employee analytics became more fierce, the team identified the user experience and the user interface of their dashboard software as big selling points in the industry.

The technology was there, it was simply not that easy to use.

The platform connects company management and HR with the employees through surveys, polls and sentiment analysis of online conversations. …

Part II of the story of how we designed a tailor-made PIM system for an Enterprise. In 6 weeks.

In PART I, we focused on the Strategy and UX Design phase in the process of designing a Product Information Management Platform (PIM). Our work triggered digital transformation on a company level.

Now it’s time to connect the dots and unveil the full picture of what we actually managed to achieve.

Syncing with the development team

Apart from back-end development, the design team needed alignment with the data science team. Their work, in turn, was focused on building realistic concepts of how the assistive AI functions of the PIM (more on that later).

The collaboration was important for the whole product team, especially to the…

A story on how we designed a PIM system for an Enterprise. In 6 weeks. And in a user-centered way.

Digital transformation — where shall we start?

No revolution starts without a spark. Especially a digital one. One of our clients, a leading clothing retailer from Norway, needed something special to excite the key stakeholders and the whole organisation at the dawn of the digital transformation.

The retailer’s problem was fragmentation of systems they used for operations. Marketing, sales, warehouse ops, the websites, product information— all of those functions used a myriad of digital tools, none of them customised to the organisation’s real needs. This often causes teams to slip, systems to break down and the whole operation to suffer should anything go wrong.

A few thoughts on how to avoid wasting time in remote collaboration.

Online meetings can quickly get out of control — in the end it’s something new to many of us (at least in such density). Standard meetings are short, however, there will be situations when you need to work through some bigger decisions together and host a remote workshop. Not a casual meeting, but one with structure, and specific inputs and outputs.

A UX Strategy Workshop at EL Passion
A UX Strategy Workshop at EL Passion
Stable Internet connection problems, anyone?

It may seem that it’s harder to do workshops online, but from what I observed so far — it’s not harder or easier, it’s just different. You can actually take advantage of it and be even more focused during…

A screenshot of Miro’s website with the tagline “Where distributed teams get work done”
A screenshot of Miro’s website with the tagline “Where distributed teams get work done”

After using the app in several projects, I want to share my personal favorites with you.

The role of workshops (actionable, highly structured meetings) in product development processes is essential, especially in cross-functional teams. Online workshopping is now more relevant than ever, for obvious reasons.

When running a workshop in the office you can just grab a bunch of post-its and prep a room, but online… you may need more dedicated tools. My weapon of choice (at the moment) is Miro — a Swiss army knife for remote collaboration.

HBO Max desktop and mobile design
HBO Max desktop and mobile design

A brief story on how our team approached a conceptual UX and UI redesign project for HBO’s primary VOD service.

HBO Max is an upcoming video on demand streaming service, set to release in the spring of 2020. Based on the two available HBO services released prior to Max, we decided to create a visually stunning concept design of our own, backed by user research and usability tests.

The whole process took us less than 3 working weeks of 2 people.

Crafting the design process

Our creative process was constructed around the idea that the final design should not only represent a strong and visually stunning brand image, but primarily increase the usability and immersiveness of prior HBO ventures in the VoD space.

Leverage the power of collaboration to make strategy and design more efficient.

Many professionals are scared of meetings and I can fully understand that. Many meetings in corporate environments are run without a proper agenda and end up without any concrete outcomes. Essentially, a waste of time.

Workshops, on the other hand, are structured meetings that serve a very specific function and, if done properly, can be an extremely efficient weapon in product development. Whether it’s physical products, digital products or services — a whiteboard, a couple of post-its and a well planned session can do wonders in making collaboration a bit closer and outcomes richer.

The silo problem

As companies grow, it’s more difficult…

Tips for a successful co-creation workshop for your next design project

Many business environments suffer from unproductive, toxic meetings, that last for hoooooours. If you’re just waiting to punch the clock at the end of the day, it’s probably a blessing when 5pm rolls around. But if you want to help your company or your client create something feasible, you will need some structure!

I used to go to a lot of meetings where I saw my co-workers or stakeholders digressing, mixing the current reality with science fiction and coming up with random ideas just to prove to everybody else they’re smart. …

As design as a discipline is maturing, years behind software development, we designers need to get familiar with certain terms already established among developers. Design backlogs, version control; quite recently DesignOps started being a thing. Now it’s high time we discuss design debt.

It’s a concept built upon something called technical debt, a term coined by Ward Cunningham, who realised that cutting corners with technology and releasing software too quickly can result in additional costs (interest) after the launch. He started using the debt metaphor to describe this issue to his business stakeholders. Even though the team saved some time…

Michał Mazur

UX Designer, educator and speaker. User-centered strategy evangelist. Currently working as Senior UX Designer @ EL Passion.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store