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Lumen Technologies

Company Type: EnterpriseAgency

Role: Senior UX Designer

Problem Statement

Business owners experience difficulty when they need a temporary upgrade in bandwidth capacity in the context of temporary business needs. This is a problem because it requires them to break their term agreement, upgrade to a new price, and commit to a new term agreement, resulting in unnecessary long-term costs and contract obligations for a short-term requirement. This negatively impacts both the user experience and business flexibility.

Something to Note:

At a seasoned company like Lumen Technologies, the UX team had to really advocate for the importance of the UX Design process. Because of this, our project had a few gaps that I'll be sure to point out with these cards.

During the project kickoff, I collaborated with the key stakeholders to conduct interviews & facilitate product discovery sessions in Miro.

These sessions involved product owners, key stakeholders, and select developers, ensuring comprehensive consideration of all potential touchpoints. Throughout our discussions, we diligently noted existing pain points encountered by users interacting with Lumen salesmen, as well as anticipated pain points.  I then translated these touch points into user journeys. *The screenshots are from the Miro boards. 

Research & Discovery

After the product manager translated the identified touchpoints into JIRA requirements, I utilized Balsamiq to craft lo-fi wireframes, initiating feasibility discussions with the development team.

I presented these lo-fi wireframes with the same stakeholders, recognizing the team's inclination towards visual problem-solving, I found that the lo-fi wireframes served as valuable tools for brainstorming solutions. These wireframes often unearthed unforeseen pain points, prompting critical questions such as, "Can our APIs retrieve this data in real-time?"

Define & Concept

Something to Note:

Before my tenure at Lumen, they often would skip this step and jump straight into high-fidelity mockups to rush to development. I strongly advocated for the incorporation of this step, and the team instantly saw value in it. We were able to catch feasibility concerns earlier and it gave us more time to solution the problem or pivot from the idea.

Following the presentation of the lo-fi wireframes to stakeholders, I led working sessions with the product team to fine-tune the proposed experience to evaluate business goals, technical capabilities and project deadlines.

Because we caught a few issues early, we had to evaluate our business goals and scope of work to be sure we could deliver what was promised and still meet our deadlines. I collaborated with the stakeholders to refine what would be included in the initial launch, and what would be pushed to Phase 2.

For example, we had to adjust business goals #2 and #4 because we wanted to display real time data through a visual of the user's network (as shown in image). Unfortunately, this would have been a huge cost and a blocker to reaching our launch date, so we had to pivot from this idea. 

Ideate & Evaluate

Next I crafted pixel-perfect high-fidelity mockups, adhering to Lumen's standardized style guide, incorporating continuous input from fellow UX designers and leadership.

Once finalized, these designs were handed over to the development team. Additionally, I actively engaged in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to ensure the proper implementation of UI elements and address any discrepancies that arose during development.

Design

Final Learnings Post Launch

Given our stringent deadline for product release, extensive UI and experience refinement were necessary post-launch. It was during this phase that we uncovered numerous discrepancies in how we had initially integrated the new experience into the broader context of the company's portal.

This served as a significant learning opportunity, highlighting the risks of working in silos and emphasizing the importance of considering the holistic integration of new features within the existing framework.

After we launched the product, we allowed 20 customers to test the live version. It performed well, but many customers shared it was missing critical features, such as security options & integration with their private networks. 

Due to the nature of it being such a new product and budget limitations, the UX Team was finally given funding to run user tests to validate some of our assumptions. Many were uncovered during the 20 customer testing of the live product, but we also ran a card sorting test to ask customers what would they expect to see on a dashboard experience. We analyzed the data and this is what we concluded:

85% of customers expected to see the following items on a dashboard experience in this order: 

1. Urgent alerts that required action (such as security issues, capacity issues, etc.)

2. Quick view of their services

3. Bandwidth monitoring (so they could be proactive if they were approaching a threshold)

4. Ability to purchase more services 

Post Launch Research & Refinement

Something to Note:

This is when my tenure at Lumen Technologies ended, so I wasn't able to see translate these research findings into a redesign of the dashboard. 

During my involvement in this project, I spearheaded a visual overhaul of the company's order flow, transitioning it into a more innovative wizard experience.

After starting at the company, I observed the use of an expansion panel in the order flow, which, while functional, was considered somewhat outdated in terms of UI design. Despite its initial positive reception among users, I advocated for conducting a UI test to learn whether users would prefer a wizard experience, especially with the increasing complexity of our product offerings.

The wizard design allowed us to streamline the user experience by concealing expansive flows within individual screens, rather than relying on conditional accordions to manage complex orders.

Future Visual Improvements