Pinipa Case study
My Role: Lead UX designer.
Introduction: This case study will outline the steps taken in designing Pinipa 1.0. And then discuss how the same process was used in future iterations and feature development. I applied the same 4D UX design process I outlined on the UX page of my site and I’ll now demonstrate how effective it is in practise.
Pinipa is an Enterprise SaaS Management tool, backed by Passion Capital and currently participating in Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program. Primarily focusing on solving the problems incurred by SMR legislation on senior management within the banking sector. I guided Pinipa through a major pivot. Overseeing the design process from initial product ideation and conception to delivery, deployment and further iteration.
Please note I can't show all the live design deliverables for copy right reasons.
I hit the ground running at Pinipa, being brought in to the company as the executive had decided to make a major pivot in direction. I was aware of the need for the synthesis of visions for the new product, as even a small discrepancy at such an early phase could lead to a mass of problems further down the line.
I held ‘one on ones’ with the CEO, CTO & CFO. Quickly realising there was a clear disparity in vision. I had them write vision statements separately and held a meeting in which I presented these vision statements to the group. It proved to be a valuable exercise and generated beneficial debate. At the end of the exercise we all signed off on a concrete Vision Statement adding a huge amount of value.
Research & ideation
A large amount of research had already been undertaken before I joined Pinipa. Primarily the CEO & CFO conducted user & stakeholder interviews in an effort to define pain points and areas in which Pinipa could innovate and add value. An issue with their research was that it wasn’t clearly defined and had not been formally written down and evaluated. Therefore nurturing an environment where this was the case was key. Creating the Vision Statement really helped to uncover a lot of the findings from their initial research.
SME & Stakeholder interviews. Requirement gathering & business analysis.
I Personally conducted In-depth meetings and design studios with numerous SME’s and Stakeholders including; Price Waterhouse Coopers, Financial Conduct Authority, British Banking Authority, Deloitte & Microsoft. Validating our research & hypothesis. Systematically gathering requirement and analysing them against our user and business goals.
Competitive analysis & Task analysis
Reflecting on our research I began to dissect the tasks a user would need to perform to solve the pain points uncovered whilst requirement gathering. Analysing any other platforms that were resolving these same issues in a process known as competitive analysis. A valuable exercise that highlighted market segments with real pain points and few competitors. Outlining the space for Pinipa to innovate in.
Personas & collaborative design
With so much research undertaken, it was time to move in to the definition phase, I chose to start by distilling our research in to a set of personas. Knowing how valuable collaborative design methods are, I conducted this exercise with the entire Pinipa team. Collaboratively creating personas proved to be another incredibly beneficial exercise, getting buy in from the team, building relationships and creating empathy for our users.
User journey & experience maps
Once the personas were created I worked with the executive in creating user journey and experience maps as well as use cases and user stories. Further bringing to life our personas and solidifying them as part of our development process. With our research distilled in to a set of personas and maps we could then practice a genuinely user centred design process.
MVP - Feature prioritisation & KPI’s
We had amassed a huge amount of research, formulated our hypotheses. Defined our user and business needs. But now we needed to decide what would go in to Pinipa 1.0. Using the MoSCoW (Must have/Should have/Could have/Wont have) feature prioritisation technique. I conducted workshops with the entire team, amassing all of the features & ideas we had and then sorting them in to the four categories. Encouraging people to challenge question and debate one another. It was a long process with a lot of back and fourth discussion, but is a crucial phase of the development process.
Taxonomy & Information architecture
With an app as large as Pinipa nailing our taxonomy and information architecture was key. The taxonomy was particularly tricky, as although we had a focused set personas and primary use cases, our executive was determined to sell to a range of different sectors and use cases. I decided to use a variety of card sorting techniques to find the best middle ground between these use cases.
Site maps, sketching, flows & wireframes
With everything we learned in the research phase defined and documented, it was then time to begin development. Starting with creating site maps informed by our taxonomy and IA work, and progressing on to initial sketching, user flows and wireframes.
Prototypes & testing
I first created paper prototypes, testing them thoroughly. I then up’ed the fidelity to a clickable wire frame prototype, and conducted extensive testing with SME’s and users. Iterating and refining the design as I went.
Visual design & interaction design
After extensive testing and iteration we were ready to move on to the visual design. I started by working with the executive to create mood boards and style tiles, so I could get an understanding of their vision for the UI of the product. Once I had completed this I went away and added the visual skin to the wireframes. Liaising with the development team over the subtle nuances of interaction design.
High fidelity prototype & testing
As we came to the end of the development phase I created a final high fidelity prototype. We used it in further testing to iron out any issues, and it became a invaluable tool for the sales team to use in pitches and presentations. Which in turn gave us solid feed back on the proposition.
Design deliverables & development hand off
I invested time in creating annotated design deliverables. I then went over these deliverables in meetings with development team, to make sure we saw eye to eye on how the design should be executed.
Improvement plans & metric analysis
As the product was being built I worked with the executive, going over the MoSCoW features that didn't make it in to this iteration and lining up work for future sprints, whilst also working with the CTO to establish metrics and KPI’s we could begin measuring as the product went live.
At the end of this cycle we managed to successfully launch Pinipa 1.0. it was a mammoth task to launch a large enterprise app in a matter of months. But the process delivered and guided us successfully through. As effective as the process was in launching the initial app, It also proved itself when iterating and adding new features. A testament to the value of good practice and methodology.