UX Evangelism and Research at Omniupdate

Lead the product team from a waterfall process to a user-centered design process.

Summary

  • Teaching user centered practices through workshops, blogs, and co-design sessions for our clients at various universities as well as for different departments within the company
  • User research and persona development introduce the company to our diverse users, learn how they use OU Campus content management software in their campus web teams, and put their needs first during product development
  • Company culture change from top-down, waterfall development, to user centered development based on user research insights on where to make improvements to the content management software

Project highlights

I started with research within the company to learn about each department's goals and mental models of the product, so that everyone was included in the changes.

When I started at Omniupdate I was asked to help change the product and company culture to one focused on user needs first. My first strategy was to learn from my new colleagues in each department, before making any suggestions or changes. I wanted to know what their needs were for their department and what they believed the goals of OU Campus were for our users. So, for about 2 weeks, I met with 1-2 people from each department (marketing, sales, development, training, support, etc.) and ran intensive interviews. In the end, I created personas for each department and shared them with the product mangagment team to include in our discussions of any product changes or upgrades.

I created personas of each department in the company detailing their needs and referred to them when making changes to the product.

While sitting on the product management team, I showed how getting feedback directly from users is more helpful than waiting until the end of a launch.

This is from a card sort scenario I did to test user's understandings of OU Campus' access settings.

So that everyone could learn about UX decisions, I created slide decks detailing my user research process, findings, and next steps.

These are slides from one of my user research findings slide deck that I presented to the product management team. You can read through the entire deck here.

I did remote contextual interviews with 25 different users across 10 different schools to help the company to see that “customers” and “users” were different people.

This was an extensive research project done on my own, as the only researcher/designer in the company. I did all recruiting, prep, interviews, coding, analysis, and persona development independently. The goal was to move away from the company's over-usage of the broad terms "users" and "customers". Instead, we wanted to learn how real universities using OU Campus organize their web teams and use the product.

After each contextual interview, I coded my notes and posted them on the wall for everyone on the dev team to read.

I taught a workshop on Usability 101 for campus web teams at Mt. Sac college (a customer of OU Campus)

Mt. Sac college was a customer of OU Campus, the content management system sold by Omniupdate. After including them in my persona development research and getting to know their web team, they reached out to Omniupdate's sales team asking me to teach a workshop on web usability to all of their web content contributors. During the workshop I discussed how to do guerrilla research to find user goals, design principles for web usability, and how to quickly test your designs.

During the workshop, I taught the basics of web usability, user testing, and design principles.

Things I learned from this project:

How to empathetically create culture change

The value of inclusive and collaborative design

Reaching users buried under organizational hierarchy

Teaching others about user centered design, in an approachable way

The art of juggling many moving parts at one time

If you want to learn more about this project

Thought this project was interesting, or have more questions? Let's chat!

  • 805.201.8509
  • jazmynlatimer@gmail.com

Omniupdate is a software company who sells OU Campus, a content management system for universities and colleges to update their websites and manage their content contributors and web teams. I was the first User Experience Designer to join their development team and bring user centered practices to the company.