User Research and Updating a Legacy Product

The Challenge

While at Vitalsource, I worked on a product team that was the foundational legacy application of the company. All other applications are possible due to this interface, however, it had grown organically over the years, and not maintained many ui patterns. Users had found work arounds for complicated workflows and included members of the customer success teams.

My role: UX research, UX interviews, brainstorming, whiteboarding, design thinking, iterative design
My deliverables: Personas, responsive wireframes, workflow prototypes, feature prototypes


Defining & Ideating

First, it was important to understand any patterns that existed in the current interface. Agnostic from the users, what structurally design systems were being implemented? Most users of this interface had developed work arounds for the structure, so they were making it work, but why wasn’t it working in the pattern it was designed?


User Interviews

User research was mandatory with these updates, and fortunately I had easy access to the user base. I conducted numerous user interviews where I collected qualitative data on current workflows and feedback on what could be improved. I gathered quantitative data to gain insight on common tasks, under-utilized tasks and level of expertise in the interface. I took all of that data that I had from these interviews, synthesized it, and created four main personas that we catered then used to guide our updates. I conducted over 50 interviews, with over 20 unique users to develop these personas.


Prototyping & Iterating

Once the user interviews were analyzed, we were able to move forward with informed decisions on a cross-application navigation, advanced search and revisited a few various commonly used workflows. While the same workflows were being performed by different personas, the end goal was the same, but how they were reaching the workflow was very different. We were able to get various design solutions in front of users to get their feedback and validation on the refreshed designs.