Hikaya Consultancy
April - August 2020

Visualizing locations of active landmines and Explosive Remnants of Wars in interactive maps

heading image for dots product
To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Hikaya.
My Role
I started as a User Interface Designer and was promoted on their product team as the key User Experience Designer. The responsibilities for this role were to lead the development of information mapping, wireframing, state diagramming, user research and usability testing for all products.
My Contributions
At Hikaya, I was the lead designer for their new product, Dots. I created a custom style guide and components library, re-branded the product, and re-designed over 200 screens within the first 2 months which was well received by stakeholders. I was responsible for creating task scenarios to co-lead user testing interviews while working with the development and product teams to build out features for the product launch.
My Impact
  • Stakeholders showed interest and invested in Dots after I completed the re-design of the product.
  • The product launched and the same stakeholders became our first clients.
  • Users were able to finally see over a decade of their work visualized on a map.
My Team
Co-founders, Product manager, Product team, QA Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Fullstack Engineer, Frontend Engineer, Backend Engineer  
Objective 1

Understand the Users

Dots is a data management application that simplifies the process of managing information and creating custom mapping to report classified data such as locations of active landmines.

The first objective was to re-design Dot's brand and information architecture by addressing user pain points from stakeholders.
Problem Point
Physical constraints limited the ability to conduct qualitative research on users
  • I read user personas for each role in our client's production system.
  • I compared the product features with the responsibility of each role.
  • I analyzed each role's user task flow and their relation to the product flow.
What I learned
  • Our primary target audience are project staff, system admin, and regional staff.
  • Project staff and regional staff want an intuitive and clean interface design that is accessible and improves production.
  • Users currently have no way of visualizing their data to make reporting to funders easier.
  • Users want to easily report data while maintaining information security.
Objective 2

Improve Dataset Analysis

Problem Point
Project staff and regional staff want an intuitive and clean interface design that is accessible and improves production.
  • I created a custom style guide to re-brand Dots.
  • I re-structured high-priority information to cover more screen real-estate.
  • I aligned navigation systems to increase user familiarity.
What I learned
  • Re-branding Dots was required to differentiate it from pre-existing products.
  • Due to changes in brand colour and information architecture, stakeholders were interested and approved the MVP for further development.
Updated Designs
Initial Designs

Change the Billing System

The first billing system organized billing information for all workspaces into one location. The team mapped two scenarios to consider where the billing system would be most appropriately placed. Below lists our reasons for each.
  • Placing the billing tab in the profile settings would allow admin or owners to edit billing information for all workspaces they are under, but would show workspace details when users expect to only see personal settings.
  • Placing the billing tab in the workspace settings would organize all workspace details in one location, but would show multiple workspace details when users expect to only see one.
Problem Point
Each scenario had limitations because we were organizing billing information for multiple workspaces under a single workspace.
  • I worked with the product manager to conduct affinity mapping for a new workspace system.  
  • The updated user flow made it more apparent that users were changing workspaces, allowing the billing system to be organized based on individual workspaces
What I learned
  • Each system affected another. The billing system was the target problem but the most effective solution to better the user experience was to increase user restriction in the workspace system.
Initial Flow
Updated Flow
Objective 3

Visualize the Data

The team built a feature that would import bulk data from users third-party data collection tools. Our goal was to find a way to link the imported data columns with the building tool to create accurate maps.
Problem Point
Users currently have no way of visualizing the imported data
  • I worked with the product team to design a building tool that creates map layers from data columns. These layers can visualize custom data on a map.
  • I cooperated with the engineering team to approve the logistics of the design.
  • I conducted usability testing on stakeholders.
What I learned
  • Designing a system for visualizing custom data can only be simplified for the user if there are standardized naming conventions in place. The reason being that without predictable data filing, we would not be able to accurately target data columns in imported spreadsheets. The end consensus was for users to manually select data columns to link each element of the map.
  • Stakeholders have been working with the data for over 10 years and it was the first time that they were able to see their work visualized on a map.
Objective 4

Creating Maps

When reporting to funders, our users analyze change occurring over time, comparing values from multiple spreadsheets. System admins must also approve before confidential information is released.
Problem Point
Users want to easily report multiple spreadsheets while maintaining information security
  • I worked with the product manager to build a feature that can save multiple layers into a single map.
  • We developed a system where sharing options are only allowed after a map is created to increase information security.
  • To ensure user satisfaction with the feature, I researched long-term user behaviour and conducted usability testing with task scenarios to analyze the success of the workflow.
What I learned
  • For this product feature, security and user flexibility outweighed the importance of simplicity in the workflow.
  • Users demonstrated patience with understanding the program as long as there was guidance through the learning process.
Final Review

Next Steps

Next Project

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