Designing a new B2B SaaS tool
I was the first designer on the team to join at the start of the product. The current visual design is based on the foundation I’ve built. My responsibilities included:
- Planning UX activities and promoting UX best practices within the team
- Running workshops and communicating with stakeholders and developers
- Establishing visual language & design system
- Onboarding a junior designer to help with the workload
- Delivering designs for desktop, mobile, industrial touch screens and paper
the biggest challenge
It was my first time designing such a large, complex project from scratch. My biggest challenges were navigating through complexity and my lack of domain knowledge. On the other hand, being new to the domain allowed me a fresh approach and challenged established processes, which led to improvement.
Dec 2020 — Dec 2021
As a small team of 5, we started by visiting the customer and roughly mapping the ecosystem of existing processes. We then zoomed into each process individually when developing different features. I conducted multiple rounds of user interviews and contextual inquiries during this process, mapped various components, and tested early solutions.
Journey mapping helped me understand how different elements form a large ecosystem and identify pain points and inefficiencies in existing workflows. As processes were carried out using legacy software, Excel spreadsheets, and paper, we focused on improving the end-to-end experience.
One of the biggest challenges was to address underlying problems rather than provide the solutions the users were asking for. This was particularly challenging, as our users were also our clients.
establishing testing culture
With no budget allocated for user testing, I began testing my concepts and prototypes with my colleagues. Through an ongoing demonstration of the value of user testing, I eventually established a biweekly user testing process.
designing for the right device
Expert software is used on large screens. As all our office workers had larger screens, the challenge was to develop an interface that would be both legible on a 13-inch laptop and a 27-inch screen.
mobile & tablet
Understanding the processes was crucial to choosing the correct device. While office workers work on large screens, a driver could use the tool on his phone while delivering goods.
In the time of technology, there was still a need for documents on paper (or PDFs). Among others, I analysed the Swiss envelope format to ensure the address fits within the address field.
systems approach to design
The interface of this highly complex tool needed to be simple yet highly scalable in the future. I developed a system of simple elements following atomic design principles.
To make our collaboration easier, together with the front-end lead, we aligned the naming of the elements in Figma and code. When a new developer joined the team, he was surprised by how easy it was to work with our system.
As our team grew, I had a chance to coach a junior designer, who eventually developed a mobile delivery system. It was great fun to brainstorm together and see how her designs evolve.
learnings from developers
We faced a challenge with our cloud-based solution due to the latency of fetching information from the cloud. Our users expected almost no latency, so the developers suggested using an optimistic UI. This required additional design for edge cases, such as when two users try to edit the same information or when server errors occur. I designed different UI elements to ensure users could quickly recover from mistakes.