Immerse Chart Editor

Refactoring the UX while refacoring the code

This project was also a perfect opportunity to demonstrate my "Bookends Theory" approach to product design.  This is counter to the 80/20 rule. If you are unfamiliar with these two theories, the 80/20 rule is to focus the majority of the design on what 80% of the user would do, while the bookends theory focuses on designing for the novice users and at the same time for the extreme or advanced users. By taking this approach, if we succeed we will provide a UI that will meet the needs of just about every user in between. By focusing half our efforts on the less sophisticated users it forces us to think about ways to make the UI simple and obvious. This approach also lets us evaluate what are essential interactions versus the interactions where users will want to push the boundaries. 

A secondary but related goal was to test the idea of being able to consolidate and introduce new charts into a single chart editing experience. Basically, I pushed our team to create a UI that allowed our users to progressively build charts in the way that their data leads them rather than the current experience where the users had to choose the chart type first then build the chart.

Sometimes development efforts introduce opportunities to revamp the user experience. This was one of those situations. It is also one of those situations that started extremely broad in scope. Unlike creating a new product or feature the discovery phase in this project led us to do a self-evaluation, assembling a collection of issues and opportunities.

From the start of this project, I encouraged our team to ideate without restrictions. At one point we even created a more aggressive - No UI approach. While this was an interesting and exciting design it also leaned heavily towards the advanced user and less on novice users. Sometimes the visual affordances are necessary for a self-service system.

Ideate Without Restrictions