Online Service: Sears Service Live
As Information Architect for Sears Holdings ServiceLive.com, one of my key responsibilities was performing continuing analysis to discover what the pain points and barriers to entry were for potential customers of the website and to determine how to address them. Working alongside another Information Architect, we performed statistical and heuristic analysis on the site and its visitation statistics and identified five critical barriers to conversion. We also identified five detailed strategic initiatives to address and correct the conversion issues.
Executive PowerPoint Analysis
I produced a 25 page document and presentation that described these items in detail and also provided a step by step plan with next steps, proposed UX/UI tasks and recommendations. This document provided a blueprint and timelines for a comprehensive overhaul of the site.
Basic workflow diagrams are the backbone of any successful system. the first example shows a basic workflow for a user interfacing with a graphic/video uploading promotional system for the store.
The second examples at right show navigation variations for the ServiceLive Search and skill tree selection from a simple viewpoint and through a more complicated transaction. The revised navigation flow resulted in a more easy to follow process for the end consumer.
Whiteline and Code Diagrams
As a UX/IA Professional, there are many additional types of diagrams that help to communicate concepts. The primary layout responsibility of an Information Architect is to make recommendations of where items literally live on a web page in order to direct the user to the most needed elements. A “low fidelity” grey-line (without the distraction of final graphical elements) is the most effective way to communicate this layout to the development and design team so they may create the final page with the correct placement key items.
For websites and web pages that are fairly complex in terms of behind the scenes coding, a single page may be made up of literally hundreds of lines of code. A code diagram helps to define those various pieces of code for development teams and the other individuals that may interact with the code down the line. Such knowledge management results in a well organized team that does not need to reinvent the wheel or step on another developer’s toes.
Business Analysis – ServiceLive Use Case Actors and Use Case
In order to develop the most efficient user experience possible, it is imperative to understand all the potential users of a site from the casual visitor, to the power user, to external managers, to internal administrators. ServiceLive did not have any actors defined in a formal way, so I created an overall viewpoint of all the actors that would touch the site as well as rudimentary use cases that followed various paths that a potential user might follow. Having this information available resulted in both the marketing and development teams fully understand the current and future needs of the website. It also facilitated more agile and rapid development.
ServiceLive required a promotional management tool for the internal business marketing users to post upcoming specials and offers. After subject matter expert interviews and reviewing other related sites, I designed the final promotional management tool including the analysis, use case document and final wire-frames. The result was a clean uncluttered interface that provided a promo management tool with easy-to-fill out multi-choice forms and fields. The Use Case document also anticipated and provided details regarding future potential expansion of the tool.
Search Requirements Gathering
I have other examples of requirements documents, but I showcase the ServiceLive Site Search project here because it encompassed requirements and rules for technical, business and marketing, as well as user experience and interface considerations. The document also included sequence diagrams, high and low fidelity wire-frames, and out-of scope considerations.
The document resulted in providing a complete road-map for the agile development of Phase 1 and 2 of Site Search.