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User Experience at Wolfram Research

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  • USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN AT WOLFRAM RESEARCH - MAKERS OF MATHEMATICA AND WOLFRAM|ALPHA
     

    MY ROLE:
    User-Experience Designer at Wolfram Research. (July 2011 - Present)

    WORK PROFILE: 
    Currently, I am a part of UX team of 10 at Wolfram Research. I work on variety of experimental research projects and Wolfram products spanning across different platforms – stand-alone application, web application, internal and consumer facing websites, user portals, mobile platforms, etc.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:
    Gather requirements from various stakeholders, identify users and create conceptual and information models, audit existing system and interpret success/failure matices, analyze trends and best practices in social interfaces, conduct user research (interviews, usability tests, surveys), construct sitemaps and storyboards, create wireframes, interactive prototypes and flows using Axure, Omnigraffle for experimental research projects and Wolfram products, write specifications for design and implementation teams, review implementation with design and development teams and collaborate with executives and cross-functional teams. 

    ABOUT WOLFRAM RESEARCH:
    Wolfram Research is the world's leading developer of technical computing software, offering organization-wide computing solutions. Led by Mathematica, its flagship product and Wolfram|Alpha, world's first computational search engine, the Wolfram's products are relied on today by millions of users around the world and have been the recipient of many industry awards for technical excellence. Wolfram Research, a privately held company, was founded in 1987 by Stephen Wolfram and is headquartered in Champaign, United States, with offices in Europe, Japan and South America.
     
     
    PROJECTS & DESIGNS: 
    I have worked on variety of projects some of which are implemented and are live (L), some under development (D) and some stalled (S). Projects in D and S are under NDA and hence not shown here. Some projects in L are shown below –
     
     
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Project: Redesigning company website › Contact page.
     
    Problem: Existing company contact page had several problems. 1. Information was outdated 2. Categorization was improper 3. Email addresses were displayed on the page leading to spam 4. Sidebar navigation weren't helpful and 5. Overall design was outdated.
     
    Process and My Role: Audited current website, found usability issues, identified stakeholders, gathered requirements, facilitated discussions, defined information architecture, designed wireframes, reviewed and iterated wireframes, added interactivity, collaborated with designers and developers, reviewed final designs and implementation.
     
    Status of the project: Contact page is Live. Other pages under company section are under development. Link to the Wolfram Contact page.
     
    Screenshots & UI Designs: Other company pages under NDA. Following are only Contact pages - 
  • Old Webpage
     
  • Iteration 1
     
  • Iteration 4
     
  • Iteration 6
     
  • Iteration 8
     
  • Final website implementation (Live webpage)
     
  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Project: Design new website for Technical Services.

    Challenge: Wolfram Technology Group wanted to officially start offering paid services to customers. The need of this site was to become focus point to find information on services technical support group can offer. This will achieve three goals: 1. Become a profit center and bring revenue to the company 2. Advertise what technical support offerings are 3. Offer systems to keep administrative overhead at a minimum and 4. Reduce support staff to commit them to upselling.

    Process and My Role: Met with the stakeholders, identified requirements and goals, identified primary users, performed user research, performed competitive analysis, designed wireframes, reviewed and iterated after stakeholders input, oversee design and implementation.
     
    Status of the project: Live. Link to Technical Services website.

    Screenshots & UI Designs:
  • Detailed Sitemap to chart out basic information content and website flow
     
  • Home Page Final Wireframe
     
  • Child page: Project Support (with annotation for changes)
     
  • Form design for Project Support
     
  • Final website implementation (Live website)
     
  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Project: Designing new online forum or Community for Wolfram.

    Objective: Providing Community platform for customers and users of Wolfram products. 
    - To provide current users with a robust repository of information, resources, and discussions about our products
    - To provide prospective customers with a sense of added value in knowing support for their new product experience is easily and readily accessible from anywhere at any time
    - To provide leverage against the competition who already offer a user community and forum
    - To lighten the load on the technical support staff
    - To become a robust repository of information for vertical markets

    Process and My Role: Solicited requirements, facilitated brainstorming, identified stakeholders, project planning, define feature-set, prioritize features for versions launch, performed competitive analysis, defined information and system structure, defined taxonomy, navigation structure, designed wireframes, review cycles with stakeholders and users and iterated on wireframes, defined interactions, peformed usability testing, collaborated with developers and designers, oversaw design and implementation, coordinate launch of release. 
     
    Status of the project: Live. Under private beta. Link to the Community website.

    Screenshots & UI Designs: Under NDA
  • Community Home page (Live website)

  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Project: Add registration feature for an education conference to an existing computerbasedmath.org website.

    Objective: Keeping current design intact, website needed to add a registration feature to enable people to register for the upcoming education conference. 
     
    Process and My Role: Studied requirements, determined audiences, defined information needed, designed wireframes using existing website design template, iterated according to feedback, collaborated with stakeholders, designers and developers, oversaw implementation.

    Status of the project: Implemented. Removed after the conference.

    Screenshots & UI Designs: 
  • Pre-registration: Sign In or Sign Up page
     
  • Step 1 of Registration: Enter personal Information
     
  • Step 2 of Registration: Enter Billing details
     
  • After Registration: Creation of Profile (with annotations)
     
  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Project: Improve documentation system for new version of Mathematica - a flagship product of the company.

    Objective: Improve usability and modernize Mathematica Documentation interface with new release of Mathematica product. 
    - Update visual styles
    - Make learning resources more visible and navigational.
    - Unify styles across different platforms - in product, reference.wolfram.com, M Online, M Online for iPad
    - Optimize Documentation interface for more narrow view and touch interface in other web-apps, tablet and mobile devices.

    Process and My Role: Audit current system, Identify usability issues, chart-out sitemap, identify different interfaces to design, wireframe and iterate on new designs, carry out review cycles with stakeholders, coordinate with tight deadline of product release. 

    Status of the project: Implemented. Link to Mathematica Documentation.

    Screenshots & UI Designs: 
  • Old sample Documentation page
     
  • New topic page explaining about a particular topic within Mathematica.
    One topic contains many Mathematica functions.
     
  • New function page explaining about a particular function within Mathematica.
    A function page contains many 'how-to-use' tutorials.
     
  • A 'how-to-use' tutorial page explaining how to use functions in Mathematica.
  • Final design implementation (Live on the website)