Bridging the gap between business and IT with Justinmind and Onespring. Business requirements, UX design and great discussions here!
Earlier this fall, Justinmind and Onespring held a workshop on facilitating communication and visualization between business and IT through interactive prototyping. With the intertwining of Business Requirements and UX Design Thinking, the increasing pressure to balance costs with design output has shifted the design focus toward more cost-effective prototyping tools.
The workshop, presented by UXPA at Galvanize, Seattle, on September 10th, was well attended with over 50 UX designers and Business Analysts. Justinmind’s very own Product VP, Victor Conesa, presented Justinmind as a high-fidelity prototyping platform, with an extensive set of interactive features that are suited to a variety of design and development professionals, including UX designers and Business Analysts.
We kicked off the workshop with a case study, presented by Onespring’s Chief Information Officer and seasoned UX expert, Robert Grashuis. Onespring is a UX Design Consultancy that provides digital business strategy for design and development vision to companies and government agencies, using Justinmind as an effective platform in real world business collaboration, to help them define this strategy. The combined disciplines of user experience, design, and business analysis, coupled with Justinmind, as a visualization platform, help them to work more effectively. Onespring aims at closing the communication gap between business and IT by helping each to build up a shared understanding of what the other is trying to accomplish, and then defining solutions to their specific business needs and requirements.
As UX Design Consultants, Onespring leans away from the traditional use of visualization in terms of UI design; rather bringing in new alternatives that enable designers and business analysts alike to realize their vision, in a cost-effective manner. Their goal of “get it right the first time before too much time and money is wasted” has been realized with Justinmind, and Robert mentions that Justinmind is “fantastic value for what you get”.
The case study was an example of Onespring’s work with a US-based Communications and Media conglomerate, during a process of restructuring. Within this company were 5 different divisions, each with their own business processes and requirements. The challenge was to find a way to develop a unified strategy with solutions that would benefit all divisions, as a whole. With help from Justinmind, Onespring learned what the individual needs of each division were, and was then able to facilitate the shift towards centralization, integration and a unified family of divisions.
“It’s just the most logical tool…the tool that we are using day in and day out throughout all the different types of work we do” (Robert, Onespring)
To understand the goals of the different divisions, Robert and team focused on three key techniques: user research, journey mapping and visualization. From this, they were able to develop guiding principles, personas and journey maps to help the company improve strategy as well as capacity. Robert stresses that User Experience drives their work and also serves as the foundation for better communication for their clients, both within as well as outside the organizations. Here at Justinmind, we understand that a user-centered experience should leverage user research to steer good UX.
Let’s take a quick look at how they were able to define design solutions with interactive Justinmind prototypes.
“Justinmind helps to efficiently and effectively communicate these requirements” (Robert, Onespring)
User research is performed to understand how we work and interact, to effectively respond to our needs with informed and inspired design solutions. It should not act as a method to validate assumptions about user behavior: true user research should be performed with real people and real data to get real results. Back to our case study, Onespring conducted user research with actual stakeholders and real subject matter experts within the company, including human resources, recruiting, communications, marketing and technology across the 5 divisions. Through realistic user research, they not only learned the individual requirements of each division, but also where there were mutual requirements across multiple divisions. By understanding the requirements, they were able to assess the knowledge gaps and provide meaningful methods and solutions to them. The way they experimented with these design solutions was with Justinmind’s prototyping platform.
Interactive journey mapping
“You can’t truly understand requirements unless you can experience them” (Robert, Onespring)
Just like Justinmind, Onespring understands that you can’t expect to understand a problem without experiencing it yourself. With that in mind, they created a prototype with a wide range of design and development observations, including a range of journey maps and personas. They were able to map out all of the different stages and steps of each persona: a “day in the life of”. This helped them to understand the life cycle across each division, and to better recognize and overcome any obstacles by providing meaningful solutions. The use of personas allowed them to evaluate how the teams were working and then provide suggestions on how these techniques could be developed and improved. And, by creating an interactive prototype, they were able to bring the user experience to life.
Realizing vision with prototypes
“The more interactions you have in your prototype, the more realistic it is” (Robert, Onespring)
The next step was a round of testing sessions at different iteration levels, from which the Onespring team got feedback about the different layers of their proposed design solutions. Robert explains the importance of starting out with low-fidelity wireframes to really focus on the core features and functionalities of the designs: to understand the priorities and requirements—no “pixel-pushing”, before moving on to the high-fidelity “look and feel”, characteristics. The Justinmind prototype provided Onespring with the tools to develop levels of their thought process.
Justinmind facilitates visualization throughout the design process: from the very early stages through to the final details. For the designer, visualization allows you to go beyond what they would expect to be able to do with a prototyping tool. Justinmind allows you to start with low fidelity wireframes and progress on to high fidelity prototypes, building upon each level and propelling your design process forward.
We’d like to say a big thank you to Allan Luik and Jennifer Ursich from UXPA Seattle, and Lee Ngo from Galvanize for facilitating and hosting the event, and to Robert Grashuis, for giving us an insight into how Justinmind has helped Onespring to define digital design solutions. You guys are awesome!
Want more information on this event? Watch the entire workshop below and get the full scoop. Extra points for those who can count the correct number of chips our friend in the front row eats!