My first major design project at FactSet was a re-design of an article database application. At its most basic level, the application allowed the user to enter search parameters to find specific articles in the database.
The project began when I met up with the Product Developers who were handling the project. We discussed the various aspects of the application, the target feature goals for the re-design, and the user needs that this application met.
After the meeting, I conducted some small-scale user research. I did a usability analysis of the existing version of the application, to see what UI areas needed the most focus. I also examined FactSet’s collection of pre-existing personas (as Application Design did not have easy access to actual end-users) to better understand which of FactSet’s users would need this application and why.
With that information in mind, I started my design process with a basic paper prototype.
(Note: due to FactSet’s intellectual property policy, I no longer have access to the original design assets I created. The images in this post were recreated from memory based on my work at FactSet.)
I shared this prototype with my manager to get feedback. From there, I created wireframes of my designs using Axure. Below are some examples.
I then presented my designs to the Product Developers, Graphic Designers, and Front-End Developers in a PowerPoint document. This document covered each element of the user interface, explaining the interactions in detail. Further, the Axure wireframes I created functioned as a semi-interactive prototype, which I used as a demo during my presentations.
The requirements for the application underwent several revisions, so this project was redesigned several times before its final version was complete.
What I Learned: This project was probably the biggest one I worked on at FactSet, in terms of total time and effort. I gained an understanding of how to manage a project backlog (including project documentation and version history) so that future revisions can be made quickly and easily. I strengthened my presentation skills and my ability to answer impromptu questions about my design. I gained experience iteratively designing an application for a real-world problem. Finally, I deepened my knowledge of Axure, allowing me to create effective prototypes more quickly.