Redefine how business users on large teams engage with OneDrive activity
UX designer II (August 2014 - April 2015) | OneDrive Innovation and Growth Team | Creative direction: Suz Marashi
I was the designer responsible for redesigning how activity (primarily iOS) worked across OneDrive for Business during a 3-month push to redesign the product across iOS, Android, Windows 10, and the web. I collaborated with the framework design team (about 10 designers) and a researcher for feedback. I felt strongly that there was room for drastic improvement on how we presented a large volume of activity to a busy team.
IDENTIFY USER PROBLEMS
After brainstorming with designers, researchers, and project managers, I came to believe that the signal to noise ratio was weighted wrong for a traditional activity stream. Providing smart context and highlighting the most important activity was more important than showing line after line of minutia.
RESEARCH, SYNTHESIZE, IDEATE
WIREFRAME THE MOST COMPELLING IDEAS
CHOOSE THE BEST NAVIGATION MODEL
Lots of time was spent getting the navigation model right. Models were compared with other designers working on Android, Windows 10, and web models to figure out which would be the least jarring to users.
SCALE THE SOLUTION ACROSS THE PROBLEM
I particularly enjoyed coming up with a system that dealt with the entire activity workflow. A color system with icons was designed so that a user could identify what activity happened at a quick glance. Color cannot be relied on for accessibility but it was an effective solution based on warmer colors signaling active edits while cooler colors showed passive activity (e.g. sharing).
PROTOTYPE TO STRESS TEST CONCEPTS
During this time, I moved fast to create Powerpoint motion prototypes to sell the designs across project management, engineering, and the design studio. The purpose was to showcase an end-to-end workflow of a user taking action on a mobile notification of an important file.
Get to the point
The fundamental idea that came from all the explorations was providing summaries. Providing a synopsis and combining clusters of the same activity together made it much easier to parse when a teammate wants to catch up on an activity stream of a week or more.
I pushed for data visualization so that users could quickly glance at a graph to see how much activity was going on. It was also a chance to enrich the space with visuals that were functional.