UX Design, Usability, Wireframes, Prototypes

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So much happened during my 14 months at Which that it would be difficult to mention everything, but here are some of the high points.

Which? is a sector 3 organisation that makes independent reviews and recommendations to the public. Their main source of revenue is from a monthly subscription based access to full product reviews and advice.

  • New payment portal (Commidea) – business analysis, prototyping, research, development
  • Day to day  development stream UX quality management and product owner
  • part of the technology assessment tea, where we looked at feasibility for proposed solutions, estimating effort impact and scheduling stream development.
  • Backlog management
  • Heuristic analysis of the various organisational areas with recommendations
  • User research – structured as well as guerilla
  • New product inceptions
  • Main site improvement backlog
  • Specific new product work on Which? Local, Which? Cars, Which? Mortgage,Which? Mobile

There was so much to do on a daily basis that in order to meet the demands I quite often had to sneak in meetings outside of work hours to be able to give new concepts my initial thoughts before recommending the best way forward to get them introduced to the site.

The image up top shows off three projects which are a good random scattering of my work there. One quite large project which I managed solo was the appliance energy cost calculator tool for which there is a whole separate page

1. The Which? Switch wasn’t getting enough traffic with the existing structure of the tool and the placement and quality of the ads, so we created a larger banner tool that took away some of the pain and acted like a mini-wizard. We were already re-vamping the switch experience but this was a good (quick/cheap) part fix to get things moving. Aspects to note – language “save money”, “free, impartial”. Testimonials were chosen at random from over 200. We collated the steps into 3 because three is a good number.and followed it with a clear CTA

2. The new energy page was designed to effectively use the headline real estate and provide the section with clear journeys to tools and the most interactive and popular aspects of the section. If we started people playing with tools then sooner or later they started looking at reviews as well, which is where we wanted them to subscribe.

3. Which? Campaigns were tucked away in the basement, in a locked filing cabinet hidden behind a sign that warned “Beware of the tiger” (we miss you DA!) This was a concept piece to re-vamp campaigns. Clear signposting, summarised headlines, standardised imagery sizes with bright colours. The campaign itself was chunked into 4 easily digestible sections including the CTA in each section if one existed for that campaign.

To summarise the rest of the work done at Which? we have:

Pages/sections:

A LOT of workshops, here are the main ones though. Each workshop was UX driven and was all about delivering solutions using an agile UCD methodology.

  • Which? Switch – workshop, new front end – managed UX in development
  • Which? Campaign – workshop, new UI, managed UX in development
  • Which? Mobile – workshop, new front end and flow for selecting mobile deals –  MVT of new features –  managed UX in development – unfortunately discontinued
  • Which? Signup for £1 trial – prototyped, user research, managed UX in development – e-commerce by Commidea
  • Which? Mortgages – there’s a full portfolio piece about this project
  • Which? Money tables, workshop, UI and stream UX
  • Which? Car – workshop, new UI and stream UX
  • Which? section landing pages – primarily for SEO but they also looked good

Expert Reviews: 

Not what you would call short documents, full reviews include looking at the UX of the sections, IA and taxonomy, journeys and personas, competitor reviews and ended with a list of prioritised recommendations. Quite often the review then produced enough stimulus to run one of the pieces of work above.

  • Which? Full site review – once complete this was my daily bible, all work categorised and scored for impact vs effort.
  • Which? Local – used external developers unfortunately so only recommendations
  • Which Switch? to allow visitors to change their energy suppliers
  • Which? Travel – IA taxonomy review and research – card sort plus implementation
  • Which? Car – workshop, new front end
  • Which? Campaigns

Prototypes built for concepts:

These were UI prototypes to allow us to demonstrate concepts in high fidelity to senior management. They were only used to try to get enough oomph behind the concept to allow us to have the budget to make the actual projects.

  • Which? Energy saver – UI to demonstrate energy saving scores for best buy appliances
  • Which? Signup for £1 trial – developed new UI for user testing to emulate the proposed form in detail (12 pages, with forms and validation in hi-fidelity)
  • Which? energy saving for appliances (a new badge proposition)
  • Which? switch no bill – removing bills from energy consumption
  • Which? mega menu – we wanted one, we weren’t allowed one at the time
  • Which Energy page – a consolidated landing page with click throughs to the site

Interactive tools built or managed (B/M):

New management comes and goes, and although we wanted a lot of these tools converted to HTML5 we were not allowed to bring the projects into stream due to the cost. So here we have some of the tools that got just enough budget to complete them in flash. As far as I am aware a lot are still active and probably in a queue somewhere awaiting conversion resource.

  • Microwave features explained – says it all (M)
  • Selecting a PVR (M)
  • Viewing distance for TV tool (M)
  • Which? recycling tool (B)
  • Laptop chooser (M)
  • New Brightcove video players (Brightcove API) (B)
  • Energy cost calculators  – full page on this (B)