Categories
Design Design Ops Product design UI UX Web development

UX/UI Backlog

I’ve been working on a design audit of our live products, I’m looking for anything that will help us bring together our cross product look and feel. Picking up anything that is inconsistent in the UI and generally aiming for brand unity.

Following on from this recent work I’m capturing the UI and UX inconsistencies in the form of a UX/UI backlog. This helps to formalise the tasks in the form of user stories for our senior developers to estimate the work. This can then be scheduled in by our product owners and bought into future sprints for production.

Keeping the estimated user stories light and manageable help the work to be picked up by our dev teams when they have capacity and are available to work on the UI items.

I’m aiming to improve our products with a unified look and feel and keeping our UI consistent helps to deliver an improved user experience. This helps to bring our products to our users as a single brand.

Categories
Design Design Ops UI UX Design

Product UI Consistency

It can be a challenge bringing consistency to multiple products which are available from the same company. It’s important to present a uniform look and feel to the end user so they can see the relationship within the product suite.

I’m currently working on a group of products that have been developed with by seperate dev teams. They have evolved to have a range of inconsistencies and with the lack of a style guide in place there is no single source of truth for design.

Working with the product owners is key and our technical authors have experienced and helpful attention to detail. Seeing the bigger picture is a must to spot how UI elements and tasks are handled in the different product systems.

This project also builds towards a future design system where each UI component’s use case is detailed for the whole company to refer to. Other benefits are that UI components are understood by all in the production and test teams and new starters can quickly get up to speed with the available UI components.

Categories
Design Digital IA Product design UI UX

Rostering Solutions

My current UI/UX challenge is designing a complex rostering solution for NHS workers. Working in close collaboration with our stakeholders, product owners and the development teams we have been progressing through our user stories. We are working towards producing an intuaitive solution for the busy keyworkers in our hospitals.

This is part of a larger project to streamline how our health workers can plan their working days with accessible and usable shift information. We have many user groups and aim to cater for a variety of end-users who will access their information on mobile devices.

An easy to use, paperless digital staff rostering solution should make the NHS end-users’s life easier. This is a system that can be built on into the future and it’s great to be involved and to be at the heart of this health care project.

Categories
Design Design Systems Product design UI UX

Style Guides

At the start of the year I took on a new challenge and a new job. I’m now working for a Uk based NHS approved supplier and again find myself as the sole lead UI/UX designer tasked with bringing consistency to an established product suite.

Working in the product team I began this project with a design audit in order to establish the common look and feel for the Workforce division. This is area of the business has a primary focus of working with NHS staff to roster work patterns and allow managers to organise their hospital departments.

I produced a series of screen comparisons in Figma which I went on to build into a style guide. The guide is now in its second version and is based on Atomic Design where UI components build into common, reusable design patterns and then onto page templates.

I enjoy bringing order to agile teams with organised design and having a single source of truth ultimately speeds up software production and creates an efficient production environment. I feel that this is the start of this process and I’m hoping to introduce a design system once the style guide is further along the line.

Categories
Design Design Ops Design Systems Product design UI

Design System Testing

The design system project that I’m currently leading on is moving forward well. We are now in the testing phase after building out our digital product UI components in Figma with a Zeroheight front end.

We are testing with a small group of developers and test analysts which have been made available from our scrum teams. The first round has now been completed and we’re now working on refinements and the next batch of components that will be released for testing.

The design system project is coming together and it feels good to be able to bring detailed, consistent design elements to our product teams!

Categories
Design Design Systems Digital Product design

Zeroheight

I’m building out our new product styleguide using zeroheight, this follows proof of concept work that I carried out using a Figma shared library.

The UI elements and components form the building block for an established digital product. As our teams grow our new system will really help new team members understand and access our product design.

It’s pretty good so far and it means that we can provide a single source of truth for all our collegues across our design, dev, test and product teams. Our UX team are able to add in guidance and usability guidelines to the components as they’re created in the system.

Once I completed the IA the build out has been going well, there are also features built in like release notes that will help us communicate changes and updates to our new system.

I’m happy with this product, to be clear I’m not paid to endorse it, but zeroheight was recommended to me and it seems to be a good fit.

I’m looking forward to completing this project and I hope that it wil form the basis for a new, multi product, design system.

Categories
Design Design Ops Design Systems Product design UI UX

Design System Governance

I’m working on the governance process for our new design system, this sets out how the system will be used by our product teams. We work in agile so this is a key consideration when planning the system’s work flow.

Our system will be based on our digital products that we offer to B2B and B2C audiences and users groups. Using Figma for our design system gives us lots of flexibility with their shared library feature so we can control our components and design patterns look and feel across multiple products.

There are many considerations when designing a governance model which include how our scrums team members access and use the system. Our internal users will be at very different technical levels with different system needs from stakeholders to developers and we aim to engage with all of our colleagues.

I’ve started with a simple flow chart which I’ve developed to illustrate how components and patterns are created and introduced to the system as usable, tested design elements. The goverance process can be adapted as we go, as the system itself will be live and should change as we progress as a company.

I also want to encourage contribution from everyone in the company so making this process as easy as possible is important. My view is that anyone can have a good idea and not being a design team member can give an objective view on how patterns work in the real world on our live websites and apps.

I’m enjoying putting the design system governance together as it will add so much to our design and production process with consistency, accessibility and usability for our end users.

Categories
Design Design Ops Design Systems Digital UX

Design Systems

I’m currently leading on a design system project to help bring consistancy and streamline our design component production. It is the first step in a large project which is going to involve close collaboration with our UX design, development and test teams.

At the end of last year I produced a proof of concept of a design system in Figma using the built in shared library feature. This project is now going on to contribute to the design system project following my research on the industry standard approach to building an in-house system.

It’s exciting times and there are many things to consider including system governance which I’ve written a brief research report on. This will help us implement and maintain the new system and enable us to accept and build on design and product input from the wider business.

Once live our new design system will reduce our concept to launch time with a uniform look and feel to all of our digital products. The development team can build out code in multiple front-end technologies to match our design components to further reduce build time. The new system will also make our test team’s job easier with clear accessible design patterns with use cases and guidance.

Overall the new design system will improve our design to development process, this will help our scrum team members with a modern approach to design with a single source of truth.

I’m happy to be leading on this project and I feel that it is part of the future of commercial digital product design.

Categories
Adventure Travel

Motorbikes

I’ve recently traded my Honda nc750x for a near new BMW, its my first German built bike for some time and I really like the feel of my new GS.

Motorbikes are freedom machines and for me they just make sense. Just some of the benefits are they’re cheap to run, parking is free (in the UK) for the most part. Some inner city areas do charge but they’re rare at the moment and the parking fees are much less than a car. You also don’t have to queue with other vehicles in heavy traffic, most of all they’re fun!

Yes bikers are exposed to the weather and the elements but there is something about being out in the open air and being at one with the landscape that you’re travelling through. Ted Simon, the author of the biker’s travelogue classic Jupiter’s Travels explains at length the feeling of being at one with your environment when you travel by bike. There is definitely something in this, along with the sense of adventure. Simon traveled around the world over four years on a 500cc Triumph tiger back in the 1970s.

If you don’t ride bikes already you’ll need training and also pass a bike test to get a full bike license. If you already ride then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Its past mid winter at the moment and winter always turns to spring with sunny days and warmer weather approaching. So I hope that you enjoy your travels this year as I’m certainly going to be exploring on my motorbike a bit more this year!

Happy travels!!

Categories
Travel

Walking

I’ve always walked and seen the value in walking in general, just moving through a landscape at walking pace is something theraputic and a good feeling in itself.

I recently read “A Philosophy of Walking” which goes into the process in depth, interesting to read how great thinkers have used walking to hone their ideas. The health benefits are a real plus especially with the current lockdown isolation world that we find ourselves in.

If you don’t walk I’d encourage you to get your boots or shoes on and get out there, having a dog helps but its not an essential walking aid.

Whatever you do or wherever you go enjoy!