Improving the Analysis Workflow

Supporting our newly added features with a more guided user experience

What was the problem?

Our flagship application once allowed users to analyze their projects with a single, powerful analysis feature. But after one nine-month stretch of work in 2018 we found ourselves with 5 separate tools for analyzing a project. Our original designs for these tools share consistent layout, style and interactions, but over time we found that this framework worked better for some tools than for others. In subtle ways, the tools began to grow apart.

How did we approach this design?

Each tool within our application has it's own unique inputs and outputs. Different tools can be used to answer different questions. But the features share a lot in common too. Within each tool a user can apply filters to narrow down a period of time, compare periods of time, analyze feedback for a certain demographic or they can choose a set of concepts to study. These are the common elements that make up our new framework

Thoughtful placement of elements can help the user intuit the relationship between elements on the screen as well. Each of the elements of our framework can be thought of in a hierarchy. Without choosing a range of time, you can't compare to a previous period and without choosing a larger set of important terms, you can't start narrowing and curating our visualizations. So in designing our updated framework, we made sure to place elements relative to each other based on these hierarchies

Some elements and features are consistent from tool to tool. These are the elements of our analysis tool framework

Examples of designing with this framework, using the Drivers tool

How did we approach this design?

This project is still in progress. One of our biggest challenges with updates like this that touch so many parts of the UI is finding the right order of execution. We are developing a broad cross section of these updates, starting with a single tool. In this way we will be able to get user feedback earlier, and have a clear path to impementing these updates in each of our other tools once we have worked out the kinks