End-user adoption and interaction with EPM Live was relatively low. There was no way for users to see relevant actions and content. Users were required to "drill" into specific areas in order to create content and/or collaborate around work. The goal of the Social Stream is to provide users with a stream of relevant activity with the intention of increasing adoption among workers or end-users (non-managers).
We'll know we are successful when...
In order to determine if the problem is eventually solved, we must first define our success criteria. In this case, we determined we would be successful when users could perform a set of tasks significantly faster than before we implemented the solution.
In order to test, we first needed to establish a "baseline", so we tested a set of tasks with mostly family and friends who had never interacted with the system before.
I worked directly with our services team (customers) to define goals, scope, and constraints. Before any prototypes began, we spent a lot of time discussing various ideas using low-fidelity sketches on office whiteboards.
After whiteboarding and tossing out several proposed ideas, I proceeded to start creating high(er) fidelity wireframes. You can see some of the proposed formats below.
We enlisted the help of family, friends, and a few partners for brief user testing in order to observe users interacting with each of the prototypes. Scripts were followed to ensure the process remained as objective as possible.
We were trying to determine whether or not users preferred content to be presented broken up by specific days OR just shown in a more Facebook like format where edits moved activity up in the stream independent of when the content was first created.
Our studies proved that users were more comfortable with the "Facebook" like approach, so this is the design that made it to the final production round. Additionally, users could more quickly perform tasks using the selected prototype.
The answers to the questions below helped us determine which prototype worked best for our users and also, how well the users could perform tasks against the baseline.
Sample User Testing Questions:
1. Please explain what you see in the stream.
2. Check the status of the "Database Upgrade" issue.
3. Reply back to Jason's question regarding the specification document.
4. Create a new Issue.
After our user testing revelations, we began building the production feature and finalizing the visual design.
As soon as we began our production development iterations, QA began the process of reviewing the technical specification and creating test scripts in TestRail.
Once the feature was properly tested, we pushed the feature into our production environment along with updates to our training and help documentation.
Once the feature was released, bugs and feature enhancements began coming in for prioritization into the backlog.