The founders of Atruity have started planning for the development of an online product that serves as a tool kit for small businesses. The need is around helping leadership and teams avoid failure and articulate and communicate internally the vision and benchmarks for direction and growth. At its core, the service is about helping companies identify a strategic plan, but the site will have additional tools to make sure the plan is successful.
After creating a product individually, I was partnered with other designers to combine our work and create a new software for Atruity.
As such, my team and I were tasked with creating this online tool, and the site that would maintain it.
The market is highly saturated with different tools with a variety of features, but small business leaders have trouble finding all the tools they need in one. The numerous reasons why small business fail (lack of communication, stagnant business plan, etc.) aren’t addressed and are frequently ignored.
As a solution, we did the following:
Created a marketable product that gives businesses the feeling of teamwork and unity.
Designed a user flow and on boarding that addresses the necessities of any small business.
Developed a social media inspired communication tool and newsfeed the inspires adaptability and transparency.
Why: My client decided to go into this space because he believed that it has never been done before. I did a competitive analysis to check, and found that the market was saturated with business planning tools of a wide variety.
Process: I took a look at a wide variety of competitors, focusing on what features they offered, and what holes were seen.
Why: Since I was creating a product that helping users create a business plan, I needed to know the kind of information and tools that should be included.
Process: We visited numerous online tools and forums to educate ourselves on businesses, specifically focusing on why businesses fail. According to a Harvard Business School study, 75% of venture-backed businesses fail. Before these companies can succeed, I wanted to make sure that the product I create helps them stay alive, against tough odds. We found that small businesses frequently fail from lack of communication, collaboration and transparency.
Why: After my market & competitive research, I decided to do a card sort so that I can get a sense of what order felt natural to users.
Process: I conducted approximately 5 card sorts with fellow UX designers. I gave them a pile of cards, with terms found frequently in my market and competitive research. Users grouped the cards under categories that they felt fit the descriptions. With this activity, I was able to see which items were best grouped together, which were unnecessary, and which topic they were best placed under.
User Flows & Wireframes
Why: Once I narrowed down the features from card sorting, I needed to better understand how to navigate the product, and draw up some rough wireframes to get some designs and layouts flushed out.
Process: For user flows, I start by listing out my main features, and then growing from there. These are the things that customers come to the site for, so I want to make sure they are my focus. Anything that comes before that, or afterwards, is easily changeable.
For wireframes, I drew a lot of inspiration from competitors and social media feeds. The onboarding process was imperative to get all the information needed, and a tab system felt familiar for people in business. Our team used Axure to create our wireframes, as we felt it was best suited for dealing with information architecture.
User Testing & Iterations
Why: After I created my first prototype in Axure, I did some user testing with other UX designers to ensure that the site and product was user friendly.
Process: Using Axure preview, I asked users to navigate the site with various tasks. There were moments where they stumbled, and times the enjoyed the interface. I made note of each time they had trouble, and implemented iterations. Below are a few of the iterations made:
Combining tasks and goals
Focusing more on branding and continuity
Adding a help option