Enterprise level E-commerce product (B2B)
After this experience for a continous 8 month, I created the Internal Design Guidelines and I become the live-wiki of the department. I helped other teams to assess whether their designs are conforming to the guidelines. The quality of the product overall is improved.
After the E-commerce product has been developed for half of a year and many features are developed. Some unification problem among different teams starts to appear. Though with a lengthy Design Guidelines, many minor designs issues are not covered and are different from different team. The problem could be as small as “Should we have a close button on a modal?” or as big as “What should be the input work flow?”
Why this important?
From the user experience, it is obvious that different (even if that’s a minor difference) operation patterns create memory burden for the user. As the membory burdern increases, the ‘last straw’ will finally drive the user to have a try on other similar products. For enterprise level products, the user operates so often some times he / she is almost instinctively click / type (just same as you type your name without thinking) something. If unexpected repsonse appears, operation efficiency will obviously decreases and in the end human resource waste will increase.
On the other end, each design team will waste the time to investigate the same problem. Even worse, different developers will implement different components again (this will also leads to less resuable code). In the end, design and development cost will increase in an invisible way. And finally, as the product grows larger, it takes more prices to change the previous designs.
We start to have weekly design leader meeting to discuss the design deviations once or twice (1-hr meeting) a week. During the discussion, we will see the possible different scenarios and how the problem is solved. The conclusions and discussions are recorded for future referrence (while the designers can check the decision-making process). Consult and apply existing popular apps UX methodology.
Deliverables are created:
- Wiki page for convenience of checking why design.
- Graphic library for common patterns and components.
As a UX designer, we always say that we are standing for the user firmly. However, in real design and development, we also integrate it with other purpose. For example, fullfil product purpose (such as increase subscription numbers) or decrease implementation difficulties (e.g. machine learning function designs). Stand for user and think for the team. (Note, for B2C and C2C product the strategy might not be the same.)
This post is general and vague as confidential information is not disclosed. This is to record the problem-solving process.