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International shopping with American brands

Nixon has been the premium lifestyle accessory brand of choice for independents, creatives, and free-thinkers the world over. Sold in over 90 countries, they've built a global following of people living unbound lives and This is a story of how I made a positive difference to the use of this platform by enhancing the country selection process.

To comply with my confidentiality agreement I have gained approval to post these designs on my portfolio. Nixon is a consumer-facing e-commerce site is a local San Diego Brand available for retail sale.

THE PROBLEM

How might we improve the country selection process?

This was the last phase of the total makeover of the INVision app. All the workflows in the app were completely renovated. At this point all we needed to do was connect all the workflows with an improved redesign of the homescreen. We worked backwards to achieve the optimal functionality and to ensure we didn’t leave any loose ends or surprises.

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Problems observed from user behaviors
My biggest challenge when redesigning 50+ large workflows was user acceptance of design changes. So it was no no-brainer that this one was going to require some sort of onboarding as well. The challenge was to evolve with the technicians and wow them with the designs to ensure the onboarding was happily boarded by all users. ;)

Product requirement
Product requirement was mostly comprised of technical constraints ensuring the design was approved by engineers and that we had their blessings to start sprint for implementation.

Requirement vs observation
The graphics/data visuals did not serve the brand very well. I had discovered that in addition to the brand colors, the consistency was varying among the different user groups. Cross research of the different user groups was necessary to identify the differentiating designs needed for each group.

Setting up to solve the problem
Since we had an existing brand design, I knew I had to establish a bottom navigation for the mobile app. Then I had to redesign at the card level or tile level for each workflow and apply the design copy-paste style throughout the different user groups.

MY ROLE

Kick Ass Lead UX Designer

I was the lead UX designer/acting UX manager on the INVision team and was responsible for creating an Android experience for 3 different user groups. I led the UX work, producing all major deliverables and presenting them to the the client between Aug 2022 and Dec 2023. I worked alongside business, product and the engineering team for feedback.

Timeline
May 23 - Nov 30

Tools

  • Figma

  • User Testing

  • Service Now

Teams

  • Product Owner

  • Technical PM

  • Design Intern

  • Lead Engineer

  • 5-7 Developers

  • Super Users

Team Collaboration
Rarely we are ever alone on our UX island. Although I was the lead designer on the team, I collaborated hand in hand with the product and development team that worked on designing the Android application.

Communication was extremely important to share our vision for the home screen. This helped create a good relationship with the Dev team and bridge the technical language gaps.

My goal was to provide organized visuals such as mockups and flow charts that helped the team understand the designs clearly.

I follow the above process in 100% of my projects. I truly believe in taking excellent care of our engineers as much as our users.

THE DIRECTION

Sky was not the limit!

I focused on the application and the number of tiles/cards needed for the home screen. I took inventory of all the workflows and navigation menu. I decided to divide each user profiles so that I can mimic the data for each persona. I would work on the card design individually which when approved would be flushed out in all the user profiles.

I led efforts to evolve the service and address customer pain‐points related to the browse and discovery experience.

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Customer Insights & Ideation
I partnered with lead technicians, product owners and technical managers to uncover insights and translate concepts into features that address customer behaviors and motivations.

Experience Strategy & Vision
I created frameworks and prototypes to share the vision, design principles and content strategy. This helped to convert ideas, gain alignment and drive decision making.

Planning & Scope Definition
I defined the product with my project manager partners. I brought into the fold customer goals and balanced business goals. I prioritized and negotiated features for launch and beyond.

Oversight & Scope Definition
I designed across and collaborated with five developers and PM partners to translate product content for each user profile.

Design Execution & Validation
I designed down on Android, Tablet and the google App Store. I executed journeys, wireframes, prototypes and design specs (design handoffs).

Leadership
I designed up and presented works to gain buy‐in from executives, senior stakeholders and many other Sleep Number teams throughout the project lifecycle.

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THE SOLUTION

Total Makeover Success

Our mission to comprehensively enhance the home delivery experience was a huge success. By immersing myself in every feature and workflow of the customer journey, the product team and I improved all the identified bottlenecks and areas of improvement.

The homegrown mobile application for delivery and warehouse technicians, along with the archaic customer care system, showed great signs of improvement not just in design but functionality as well.

Mobile App Redesign
By diving deep into the heart of Sleep Number’s home delivery experience, the team was able to identify core issues and implement strategic solutions. The comprehensive overhaul not only made the system more efficient but also significantly enhanced user experience and customer satisfaction. This project underscored the importance of hands-on experience and observation in crafting effective UX solutions.

Android Bottom Navigation
The bottom navigation bar provided clear and consistent navigation cues, as users can always see the current and available options. This reduces confusion and cognitive load and helps users form a mental model of the app's structure and functionality. This replaced the hamburger menu side drawer design.

Navigation Tab Screens

Tabbed navigation helped conserve screen real estate, which is particularly important in mobile applications where space is limited. By presenting content within tabs, I made efficient use of the available screen space, while still providing users with access to all the content they need.

Header
The app bar & and header component is a fixed dedicated bar at the top of the app canvas that displays important app-related functions, such as branding, top-level navigation, and access to app controls. The navigation menu in the header played a key role in guiding users through the application. Provided direct access to the user profile, enhancing user experience through ease of navigation.

Reorder Cards (Drag and Drop)

A drag-and-drop feature allowed users to customize the homepage to adjust the cards based on users' usage. They could simply drag and drop and arrange the layout according to their preference to limit the scrolling.

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THE CHALLENGES

Obstacle Course

Crafting a top-notch UI design is a difficult task that demands time, energy, and imagination. Throughout the entire Sleep Number journey I constantly faced challenges that put my skills and creativity to the test. The struggle is real when balancing clients' demands and design aesthetics. Some of the challenges that I had to overcome during my journey at Sleep Number.

Vague or Evolving Requirements

Clients may provide unclear or changing project requirements, making it challenging for designers to establish a solid foundation for their work.

Communication Barriers
Effective communication was crucial, misunderstandings between designers and (offshore) developers were a huge problem, leading to misaligned expectations and dissatisfaction with the final deliverables.

Lack of User Research
Inadequate or skipped user research led to designs that did not resonate with the users, resulting in the non-adoption of a workflow. This led to the Super User program my next project that I embarked on. 

THE IMPACT

Chop. Chop. Go Beta Live

The designs are officially in Beta, no data has been collected to report to this section.

Implementation Success
It’s still early days for the service, yet the results have exceeded our expectations. Since the launch of the new design of the INVision App on Android, the interest shown by technicians has led to the creation of the Super User Program my next project that I worked on. Shhh... Coming Soon!

Despite this design still being in BETA, We might not have data yet to confirm the success, but during the process, we also improved our design process, project management, user feedback, and design handoffs for each sprint.

44% increase in points developed with an 81% reduction in incidents reported in production in 2023.

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THE LEARNINGS

Retro: After Party

One of Sleep Number’s leadership principles is having a mindset, users don’t care for the design, as long as it gets the job done. There was a bit of proudness to insist that product decisions are reversible and spending time doing is better than over analyzing or holding off on the sprint release. We’ll fix it in the later sprints.

Throughout the Project

I observed how a reversible attitude converted into a let’s do it right the first time. Our team disproportionately focused on measuring outputs, rather than learning and measuring outcomes. This inevitably led to a lot of waste, short‐sightedness, and distraction for the team.

We let the Question
“How quickly can we build it?” define the it, more than we let our users define it. We let the phrase “Let’s just get something out there” define quality, more than we let our users define quality.

If we had asked “Are we building the right thing?” as much as we asked “Are we going to meet our date?“, we would have launched a more user-centric reliable, intuitive, and polished product, sooner.

Wishful Thinking
Viability should have been defined by our customers way before the technology and date already did. But, who am I kidding, we are a slave to technology and limited by it’s constraints.

Proud of Myself
I am extremely proud of the hustle that went into turning an entire app into a more refreshing appeal as far as the brand and vision of the app were concerned.

In Hindsight
We did 2 years' worth of work in one year with just one designer (Me) and a kick-ass team from product owner to ever-changing developers.

In the End

The hard work, intense collaboration, multitasking and shifting of ideas till last minute led this app to overachieve milestones!

Other Sleep Number Designs

A case study of the entire redesign of the INVisionn App is not possible. So below are images of a few of the kick-ass work that was done during my time with Sleep Number. 

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