IBM Cognos Disclosure

- Enabling the Extended Team 


THE OBJECTIVE 

Create a new solution in the cloud with an intuitive interface and workflow that can transform our users' experience. 

THE OUTCOME

We created a prototype of our final concept, a user research plan, usability tests, and worked with the team to get the designs in front of users. Note: CDM has since been acquired by Certent, Inc. 

 

 

 

 


IBM Cognos Disclosure

- Enabling the Extended Team 

 

THE OBJECTIVE 

Create a new solution in the cloud with an intuitive interface and workflow that can transform our users' experience. 

THE OUTCOME

We created a prototype of our final concept, a user research plan, usability tests, and worked with the team to get the designs in front of users. Note: CDM has since been acquired by Certent, Inc. 

 

 

 

 

download (24)

 

THE BACKGROUND.


In October 2016, I joined the product team of Cognos Disclosure Management (CDM), part of the broader Analytics Solutions team. I joined as the sole user researcher on our team of 4 designers. This was the first design team that was working on the product, so I was extremely excited to dive right in and explore the complexities of financial reporting.

I was the sole researcher on the team and responsible for bridging the gap between user needs and business requirements. I was also able to extend myself to UX design throughout. Combining insights from my research with rapid wireframing allowed me to make quick design decisions that helped our team move forward.

 

 

THE BACKGROUND.


In October 2016, I joined the product team of Cognos Disclosure Management (CDM), part of the broader Analytics Solutions team. I joined as the sole user researcher on our team of 4 designers. This was the first design team that was working on the product, so I was extremely excited to dive right in and explore the complexities of financial reporting.

I was the sole researcher on the team and responsible for bridging the gap between user needs and business requirements. I was also able to extend myself to UX design throughout. Combining insights from my research with rapid wireframing allowed me to make quick design decisions that helped our team move forward.

 

 

DISCOVERY AND SYNTHESIS.

Before our design team had been assigned to the product, Offering Management had conducted 5 workshops over the past year with various users of the product. My initial tasks in the space were first, to understand the overall space and process of Financial Reporting and then, synthesize all the data from all the workshops. I spent time pouring through almost 400 files, organizing and sorting them by relevance and importance, and subsequently synthesizing insights brought out from them to understand users experiences.


 

DISCOVERY AND SYNTHESIS.

Before our design team had been assigned to the product, Offering Management had conducted 5 workshops over the past year with various users of the product. My initial tasks in the space were first, to understand the overall space and process of Financial Reporting and then, synthesize all the data from all the workshops. I spent time pouring through almost 400 files, organizing and sorting them by relevance and importance, and subsequently synthesizing insights brought out from them to understand users experiences.

DISCOVERY AND SYNTHESIS.

Before our design team had been assigned to the product, Offering Management had conducted 5 workshops over the past year with various users of the product. My initial tasks in the space were first, to understand the overall space and process of Financial Reporting and then, synthesize all the data from all the workshops. I spent time pouring through almost 400 files, organizing and sorting them by relevance and importance, and subsequently synthesizing insights brought out from them to understand users experiences.

OUTCOMES.

Through the extensive synthesis of all the workshop data, I was able to construct two key proto-personas that I recommended our team focus on. I reminded the team that these were proto-personas, and not entirely validated, seeing that they were based entirely on workshop data. I was able to conduct a series of interviews and meetings with our Offering Managers and various Subject Matter Experts, to ensure that we were on the right track, and to gain further validation on our findings.
 
I was also able to allow not only the design team, but also the Offering Managers, to feel empathy for our users so that we were not feature-focused, but instead always considered the entire user experience. I created a variety of artifacts to help us gain further empathy for our users - including consolidated journey maps and scenarios that allowed the team to realize the struggles of the users.


  

OUTCOMES.

Through the extensive synthesis of all the workshop data, I was able to construct two key proto-personas that I recommended our team focus on. I reminded the team that these were proto-personas, and not entirely validated, seeing that they were based entirely on workshop data. I was able to conduct a series of interviews and meetings with our Offering Managers and various Subject Matter Experts, to ensure that we were on the right track, and to gain further validation on our findings.
 
I was also able to allow not only the design team, but also the Offering Managers, to feel empathy for our users so that we were not feature-focused, but instead always considered the entire user experience. I created a variety of artifacts to help us gain further empathy for our users - including consolidated journey maps and scenarios that allowed the team to realize the struggles of the users.

 

  

 

OUTCOMES.

Through the extensive synthesis of all the workshop data, I was able to construct two key proto-personas that I recommended our team focus on. I reminded the team that these were proto-personas, and not entirely validated, seeing that they were based entirely on workshop data. I was able to conduct a series of interviews and meetings with our Offering Managers and various Subject Matter Experts, to ensure that we were on the right track, and to gain further validation on our findings.
 
I was also able to allow not only the design team, but also the Offering Managers, to feel empathy for our users so that we were not feature-focused, but instead always considered the entire user experience. I created a variety of artifacts to help us gain further empathy for our users - including consolidated journey maps and scenarios that allowed the team to realize the struggles of the users.

  

Asset 1


DEFINING THE USER EXPERIENCE.

Once we felt like we had a firm understanding of who we were designing for, and why, it was time to jump right into creating a new experience for our users. I was hugely involved in constructing the desired user experience and supplementing that scenario with concept sketches and wireframes. Because various constraints limited our access to real users to test and evaluate our concepts with, I was responsible for maintaining a steady stream of communication with our Offering Managers to ensure that there was a balance between user needs and business requirements. Leading weekly UX reviews allowed me to both hone my skills as a storyteller and also helped me refine our team’s concepts and designs. 


 

DEFINING THE USER EXPERIENCE.

Once we felt like we had a firm understanding of who we were designing for, and why, it was time to jump right into creating a new experience for our users. I was hugely involved in constructing the desired user experience and supplementing that scenario with concept sketches and wireframes. Because various constraints limited our access to real users to test and evaluate our concepts with, I was responsible for maintaining a steady stream of communication with our Offering Managers to ensure that there was a balance between user needs and business requirements. Leading weekly UX reviews allowed me to both hone my skills as a storyteller and also helped me refine our team’s concepts and designs. 

 

 

 

DEFINING THE USER EXPERIENCE.

Once we felt like we had a firm understanding of who we were designing for, and why, it was time to jump right into creating a new experience for our users. I was hugely involved in constructing the desired user experience and supplementing that scenario with concept sketches and wireframes. Because various constraints limited our access to real users to test and evaluate our concepts with, I was responsible for maintaining a steady stream of communication with our Offering Managers to ensure that there was a balance between user needs and business requirements. Leading weekly UX reviews allowed me to both hone my skills as a storyteller and also helped me refine our team’s concepts and designs. 

 

CDM To-BE-03
CDM To-BE-01
CDM To-BE-05

 

 

INTRODUCING THE UNIFIED WORKSPACE.

After identifying major user pain points, we created the Unified Workspace to help users organize reports for easier access and save time by using templatized reports. We streamlined the process of financial reporting by simplifying collaboration, while also increasing transparency and accountability, allowing users to be confident in the accuracy of their documents and reports.

 

 

 

INTRODUCING THE UNIFIED WORKSPACE.

After identifying major user pain points, we created the Unified Workspace to help users organize reports for easier access and save time by using templatized reports. We streamlined the process of financial reporting by simplifying collaboration, while also increasing transparency and accountability, allowing users to be confident in the accuracy of their documents and reports.

 

 

 

Previously, users really struggled with feeling confident in the accuracy of their report. We thus created a clear and concise project outline that gave users the ability to see if a particular document is being edited by another team member. If so, the document would only be available as "Read-Only", with the option to see who has the document checked out and the timestamp of the last saved version. This allowed for collaboration, but removed any possibilities of mishandling permissions or confusing versions.

 

Previously, users really struggled with feeling confident in the accuracy of their report. We thus created a clear and concise project outline that gave users the ability to see if a particular document is being edited by another team member. If so, the document would only be available as "Read-Only", with the option to see who has the document checked out and the timestamp of the last saved version. This allowed for collaboration, but removed any possibilities of mishandling permissions or confusing versions.

Previously, users really struggled with feeling confident in the accuracy of their report. We thus created a clear and concise project outline that gave users the ability to see if a particular document is being edited by another team member. If so, the document would only be available as "Read-Only", with the option to see who has the document checked out and the timestamp of the last saved version. This allowed for collaboration, but removed any possibilities of mishandling permissions or confusing versions.

Previously, users really struggled with feeling confident in the accuracy of their report. We thus created a clear and concise project outline that gave users the ability to see if a particular document is being edited by another team member. If so, the document would only be available as "Read-Only", with the option to see who has the document checked out and the timestamp of the last saved version. This allowed for collaboration, but removed any possibilities of mishandling permissions or confusing versions.

Previously, users really struggled with feeling confident in the accuracy of their report. We thus created a clear and concise project outline that gave users the ability to see if a particular document is being edited by another team member. If so, the document would only be available as "Read-Only", with the option to see who has the document checked out and the timestamp of the last saved version. This allowed for collaboration, but removed any possibilities of mishandling permissions or confusing versions.


ibm_cdm_outline_tab
ibm_cdm_overview



With multiple users touching a single report, understanding the overall progress of the report became increasingly difficult. To help our users, we gave them the ability to view the report in terms of various milestones - ones that they themselves can create. This way, the entire team can stay on track and be on the same page throughout the entire process.
 

 With multiple users touching a single report, understanding the overall progress of the report became increasingly difficult. To help our users, we gave them the ability to view the report in terms of various milestones - ones that they themselves can create. This way, the entire team can stay on track and be on the same page throughout the entire process.


With multiple users touching a single report, understanding the overall progress of the report became increasingly difficult. To help our users, we gave them the ability to view the report in terms of various milestones - ones that they themselves can create. This way, the entire team can stay on track and be on the same page throughout the entire process.

 


Typically, the process of creating a financial report involves a lot of back and forth, with analysts receiving and consolidating comments from their managers on hard copies of drafts. We eliminated this by allowing users to communicate directly within the product. Additionally, users can view the report details, manage who has access to the report and see the history of edits made by their team.
 

Typically, the process of creating a financial report involves a lot of back and forth, with analysts receiving and consolidating comments from their managers on hard copies of drafts. We eliminated this by allowing users to communicate directly within the product. Additionally, users can view the report details, manage who has access to the report and see the history of edits made by their team.
 

Typically, the process of creating a financial report involves a lot of back and forth, with analysts receiving and consolidating comments from their managers on hard copies of drafts. We eliminated this by allowing users to communicate directly within the product. Additionally, users can view the report details, manage who has access to the report and see the history of edits made by their team.
 

ibm_cdm_users

 

 

ENABLING OFFERING MANAGEMENT. 

Due to various business constraints, soon after completing our designs for the new user experience, our design team was taken off the product. Seeing that we had a relatively short amount of time before the transition occurred, I concentrated on enabling our Offering Managers to evaluate our designs so as to be able to move forward with them. Though it would have been ideal for me as a researcher to be able to extensively test our designs with real users, I decided to embrace our current constraints of time and resources and focused largely on providing the OM’s with a testing tool-kit, so that they could be the future advocates of design research for our product.

The first artifact I focused my efforts on was creating an extensive research plan so as to enable future design teams to be able to carry forward our design work. By listing out our assumptions and questions for all our design decisions and providing recommendations for research activities to validate the same, I was able to both inform and educate any incoming designers of our work. I supplemented this research plan with a toolkit for our Offering Managers - creating a simple click-through prototype of our designs, and creating scripts for evaluative tests. I created a set of tests in the case of a Group Demo, and also a set for Individual Usability Tests. I also provided a basic introduction to the do’s and don'ts of usability testing, hoping to quickly enable anyone without a background in research and/or testing.

 

 

 

ENABLING OFFERING MANAGEMENT. 

Due to various business constraints, soon after completing our designs for the new user experience, our design team was taken off the product. Seeing that we had a relatively short amount of time before the transition occurred, I concentrated on enabling our Offering Managers to evaluate our designs so as to be able to move forward with them. Though it would have been ideal for me as a researcher to be able to extensively test our designs with real users, I decided to embrace our current constraints of time and resources and focused largely on providing the OM’s with a testing tool-kit, so that they could be the future advocates of design research for our product.

The first artifact I focused my efforts on was creating an extensive research plan so as to enable future design teams to be able to carry forward our design work. By listing out our assumptions and questions for all our design decisions and providing recommendations for research activities to validate the same, I was able to both inform and educate any incoming designers of our work. I supplemented this research plan with a toolkit for our Offering Managers - creating a simple click-through prototype of our designs, and creating scripts for evaluative tests. I created a set of tests in the case of a Group Demo, and also a set for Individual Usability Tests. I also provided a basic introduction to the do’s and don'ts of usability testing, hoping to quickly enable anyone without a background in research and/or testing.

 

 


ENABLING OFFERING MANAGEMENT. 

Due to various business constraints, soon after completing our designs for the new user experience, our design team was taken off the product. Seeing that we had a relatively short amount of time before the transition occurred, I concentrated on enabling our Offering Managers to evaluate our designs so as to be able to move forward with them. Though it would have been ideal for me as a researcher to be able to extensively test our designs with real users, I decided to embrace our current constraints of time and resources and focused largely on providing the OM’s with a testing tool-kit, so that they could be the future advocates of design research for our product.

The first artifact I focused my efforts on was creating an extensive research plan so as to enable future design teams to be able to carry forward our design work. By listing out our assumptions and questions for all our design decisions and providing recommendations for research activities to validate the same, I was able to both inform and educate any incoming designers of our work. I supplemented this research plan with a toolkit for our Offering Managers - creating a simple click-through prototype of our designs, and creating scripts for evaluative tests. I created a set of tests in the case of a Group Demo, and also a set for Individual Usability Tests. I also provided a basic introduction to the do’s and don'ts of usability testing, hoping to quickly enable anyone without a background in research and/or testing. 

 

 

...

Cognos Disclosure Management was my first experience working on a legacy enterprise product, and subsequently being able to lead the research efforts for the same. It was extremely exciting and unnerving at the same time. I had to learn quickly, and was able to not only hone my craft of research but also gain experience as a UX designer. All in all, I was able to ensure that our design work was ready and set to be carried forward by another team, and ensured that all our design decisions could be validated by real users - which was extremely fulfilling for me as a researcher.

NOTE: Some images and the final protoype of our design are not attached due to confidentiality purposes.


 

 

 ...

Cognos Disclosure Management was my first experience working on a legacy enterprise product, and subsequently being able to lead the research efforts for the same. It was extremely exciting and unnerving at the same time. I had to learn quickly, and was able to not only hone my craft of research but also gain experience as a UX designer. All in all, I was able to ensure that our design work was ready and set to be carried forward by another team, and ensured that all our design decisions could be validated by real users - which was extremely fulfilling for me as a researcher.

NOTE: Some images and the final protoype of our design are not attached due to confidentiality purposes.

 

 

 ...

Cognos Disclosure Management was my first experience working on a legacy enterprise product, and subsequently being able to lead the research efforts for the same. It was extremely exciting and unnerving at the same time. I had to learn quickly, and was able to not only hone my craft of research but also gain experience as a UX designer. All in all, I was able to ensure that our design work was ready and set to be carried forward by another team, and ensured that all our design decisions could be validated by real users - which was extremely fulfilling for me as a researcher.

NOTE: Some images and the final protoype of our design are not attached due to confidentiality purposes.

 

 

 

 

TEAM

KELSEY EMERSON - LEAD

RUTVI GUPTA - RESEARCH

JUDIE LE - VISUAL

POLICARP QUARCO - FED

 

 

 

TEAM

KELSEY EMERSON - LEAD

RUTVI GUPTA - RESEARCH

JUDIE LE - VISUAL

POLICARP QUARCO - FED

 

 

 

TEAM

KELSEY EMERSON - LEAD

RUTVI GUPTA - RESEARCH

JUDIE LE - VISUAL

POLICARP QUARCO - FED

  

 

TEAM

KELSEY EMERSON - LEAD

RUTVI GUPTA - RESEARCH

JUDIE LE - VISUAL

POLICARP QUARCO - FED


 

SKILLS

DESIGN RESEARCH

STRATEGY

UX DESIGN

DESIGN THINKING

  

 

 

ROLE

USER RESEARCH

UX DESIGN

STRATEGY

HANDOFF/PRESENTATION

 


 

  

 

 

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