Land Acquisition Manager

Centralizing data and increasing the reliability of information 

Company
Largest homebuilder in Latin America, a DTI Digital's client.

Team
Me as the Product Designer working collaboratively with Developers, Product Owner and Scrum Master of the client.

Year
2021

My role
Product Design: visual design, prototyping, usability testings.


Challenge
Concentrate all land acquisition viability registration on a systematized data, eliminating manual control.

Project goal

  • Find the critical problems of a land register solution already built.
  • Define and prioritize feature improvements in collaboration with the team.

Solution
Redesigned a land acquisition and purchase register achieving centralization of information in the system in an educational manner reducing filling errors up to 100% through usability heuristics.

Project summary
Understanding the context, Tangibilizing the path, Validating solutions, Guiding Users in filling in, Solutions Impact, and Learnings.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study.
All information is own my own.

Understanding the context

I proposed to create documentation of the feature so that the whole team can better understand the context of it. I facilitated the discussion using the Test Card framework to help us extract what the source of the problem is, our hypothesis and the desired business impact with the feature:

We believe that...

(what problem do we want to solve?)

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...our currently the control is all manual, there is a lot of loss of information, many versions of spreadsheets running, affecting the traceability, centralization and reliability of information.

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...Product Owners need to dedicate some time to train new people in the department to fill out and register viabilities.

To verify that, we will...

(what are we going to do?)

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...concentrate all land acquisition viability registration on a systematized data (and using a new software technology, React)

And measure...

(which indicators will we be monitoring to achieve the expected result?)

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...time taken to complete a filling a viability.

...product owners time dedication to solve  doubts about fill out a viability 

We are right if...

(what is the expected result?)

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...increase the reliability of information.

...support users find good land to buy.

...decrease the cognition time to fill a viability and the dedication time of Product Owners to training people to fill it out.

Tangibilizing the path

I created and validated the user flow with the Product Owner to understand the path the users will do in the user testing:

UserFlow-Viabilidade-Casas

Validating solution with
real users

Testing the solution already built

I performed a remote unmoderated usability test through Microsoft Teams with 8 users of the platform. My team's Scrum Master helped me to check the users' schedule availability.

I tested the following screens already built:

  1. Header of the list of the land viabilities.
  2. Land viability register page.
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User Testings results 1/2
Header

My goal on the Header of the list of the land viabilities was to validate the clarity of the user interface elements.

Notes

  1. Icon UI element
    75% of the participants didn't understand the filter icon.

    “It reminded me of the an demographic icon.”
    “If I click here some menus would appear, general data, vendors, etc. It would be to go back to the previous page.”

    The filter was not implemented because of business priority and development efforts. The functionality was moved to the backlog.

  2. Garden UI element
    80% of the participants confused the Garden element as a button.
     
    “It looks like a button.”
    “You could have the color of the status of the land here.”

    The Garden element was created with the wrong Affordance, as it only reports the region of a land, so It should not look like a button. Therefore, I created a colourful UI tag element to show the status of the land (3).
User-Tested-Header-Viability-Before-After-6

User Testings results 2/2
Land viability register 

My goal on the land viability register page was to validate the information architecture. Since the User Test redefined the business rules, I also validated them with some stakeholders.

Typography has changed: I chose the IBM Plex Sans font to replace the Averta Std font because the entire feature is completely new to the product and contains strategic business information about it. Users typically use tools that contain the Arial font, which is an extremely versatile font, so IBM Plex Sans brings innovation value and the overall curves treatment is smoother and fuller on serif faces, providing greater legibility between letters and numbers.

Notes

  1. A 100% new information architecture was made. Some information was grouped on a single card and other information was included considering both users and business needs.

  2. I changed the UI of the table based on the Gestalt principle of Closure to help users use their memory to convert complex objects into simple, familiar shapes as the spreadsheet tool they use most of their time.
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All copies has been reviewed, as well as the visual hierarchy by type scale and some contents have been 100% changed, such as "Project Components" (3) which is now a table, because users have to insert different information values of each project component.

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Guiding users in filling in

To inform system feedback, I incremented the user flow previously created and mapped each interaction point the users would have in their journey of use.

I used Nielsen's heuristics to help me not to forget to map and report an error, alert or success task scenario.

I presented the proposal to the development team. In the image below, the yellow diamonds indicate the mapped heuristic and the proposed solution to be implemented in the first sprint. The other diamonds without filling were considered as improvement by the development team and Product Owner in order to balance the development effort, the users and the business needs.

Flows-Qualifica-Currency-Viabilidade-Casas-Viab.-Casas-Cenários-sistema-feedback-1

Some of the feedback system prioritezed

1: After filling in and sending all the computed data inputed to the back-end, if there is any other missing information, the system will scroll up the page and show filling errors at the top.

2: The system shows error messages if users do not fill required fields.

3: Enhancement on optional fields: I propose inserting the label "optional" in front of the section title or in front of each field to let users know where on the registration page there is an optional field or section.

OK-PROJECT-DETAIL-8

Solutions impact


The reliability of information was increased by achieving 100% centralization of information in the system.


Filling errors were reduced through heuristics and usability principles, such as indicating what is a mandatory field, and showing only new fields based on previous computed data.


The time dedicated to feasibility filling questions decreased. Product Owners are usually reached when the back-end is down.

 

The time taken to complete a filling a viability wasn't possible to measure  because users were doing filling in a excel spreadsheet, without a control of an analytical data tool. Therefore my team and I decided to measure the data after implementing the solution in the system.

Learnings

This was the context of a client with no knowledge of the design processes.What helped me to perform the user testing was to convince the client of the risk level of the system functionality, as it is a very new feature and required a lot of effort to build it.

This case study strongly contributed to highlighting the importance and strength of the design processes to the client.

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