Due to circumstances, the business had to pivot and focus on delivering a consumer vacation package website in 3 months. From a design perspective, we wouldn’t be able to research & design a completely new product (and get it built, tested and deployed) in the time required, so we had to find another way to make the deadline.
While we had some B2B functionality we could repurpose, we knew that:
- Whatever we built would become the foundation, so while we could incur some design debt, too much would be very costly later.
- What we already built was way too complex for consumers to users (it wasn’t designed for them).
- The visual design language had to be completely different from the previous product we had built.
- Our base of knowledge for consumer vacation package shopping behaviour was woefully insufficient.
I lead the team in a approach of minimal Interaction Design resource investment upfront (b/c I knew the product wouldn’t stand still for long), while betting long on projects that would have mid to long-term value (visual design & research).
- Our Visual Interface Designer worked within the existing Bootstrap framework to create a new visual design language and capture it in a component-based style guide. This approach minimized the possibility of introducing complexity and the style guide allowed for easy implementation.
- Myself and another Interaction Designer pulled together fast solutions for the consumer and internal operations. Drawing from my consumer travel experience, I would review the existing B2B functionality, and enhance (or shave it down) to work in a consumer context. This was delivered quickly, which allowed Dev & QA to start building within 2 weeks of start.
- Our third Interaction Designer designed a “Discovery” study to better understand our customers, and help inform the future iterations of the product. She put together a project plan, discussion guide and recruited participants.
- By the time the sessions were ready to be held, the other IxD and I were ready to help and the three of us moderated the sessions, which were then analysed and distilled into our user personas and experience maps.
In the end, we made the date (and required scope), create a visually distinctive product, and establish the foundation of knowledge required to fuel the many iterations to come.