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Redesign &

Continuous Delivery 

Minimum Viable Product

When I started Control the purpose of the product was to give our primary personas — small-medium business owners — the information they need when it is most needed, regardless of their location or device.

Why mobile first? Because mobile is immediacy. If a business is getting attacked by a fraudster, for example, every second a cyber criminal’s behavior is left unabated will incur greater losses and more time and effort spent to deal with the aftermath of the fraud. 


Original Wireframes

My initial product was an Android app integrated with Stripe, that could perform basic connect and view functions, as well as enable the user to perform time-sensitive actions.

Basic System Design
Stripe Connect flow
Dashboard roll-up
Time Series drill-down
Transactions list
View and act on transactions

Basic System Design Stripe Connect flow Dashboard roll-up Time Series drill-down Transactions list View and act on transactions

Original Design

My initial designs were very rudimentary. The Beta product launched in late 2013, before Google standardized Android UX via Material Design standards. However, the designs allowed me to solicit market feedback while validating our interface with Control's Version 1 of the backend services.

Goal : Redesign the Entire UX

Catalyst for Redesign

For the first year, I experimented with numerous features and integrations. My designers also experimented with a variety of designs, colors, and layouts. After I acquired Pay Pad (a competing iOS product) and started building our desktop app, we realized the need to have a harmonized design across our web, iOS and Android apps.

I realized we needed to to take moment to step back and look at the entire product suite holistically.



Challenges

Usability or ROI

There were two perspectives when redesigning: usability and business goals.

The usability perspective is to rigorously defend the logic behind a design element and produce a product that provides a frictionless experience (UX).

From a business perspective, redesigns can be long processes with no immediate ROI. Depending on your budget and priority, you’ll need to find a median between the two opposing sides of the design spectrum: quick improvements versus a complete overhaul of a product.

Designing Around Data is Hard

The Control product involved complex transactional data that had to be organized and presented in a logical and accessible manner. Usability and clarity remained on the forefront of our attention. For example, we were very specific about how all the information was displayed via various form factors.

Ensuring the integrity of an analytics product involving real-time transactional data requires setting up complex testing environments that can simulate a production environment and populate the app interfaces with realistic data.

Products Aren't Built in Vacuums

By early 2016 Control's back-end services weren't scaling in proportion to the volume of data we were processing and needed to be completed re-architected by our back-end engineers for risk of collapsing. 

Like many startups, we weren't redesigning our products in a vacuum free of distraction; we were building new product, supporting legacy code, and managing operations simultaneously.


Solution

Approach : Agile Design & Creative Communication

Beyond kanbans, stand-ups, scrums and backlog grooming- ongoing communication & flexibility was key. My product design process could involve spontaneous wire-framing on the whiteboard to discuss the UI treatment of data extrapolation to a time-series graph, to ad-hoc chatter on Slack soliciting feedback from the engineers on capabilities or limitations of the various APIs.

Every available space and window became ad-hoc whiteboards.

Analysis and discussion was conducted via every possible medium.

Common Ground

Key to harmonizing our design was establishing a Control universal styleguide that would be applied across every touch point of the user experience across web. mobile, and tie back to all aspects of our marketing messaging. Once we had our "brand bible" and interaction guidelines established we work towards creating the seamless user experience we were endeavoring for.

Examples from the Control styleguide. This would set the tone for every touchpoint of our brand messaging and app functionality.

Mission Control : Accomplished

After two months of stress testing and QA, we made the cut-over during a 6 hour outage period in October 2016. We were able to migrate all of our customers and their 2TB of historical data over to the new stack and the newly redesigned iOS and Android apps with minimal impact.

Using Format