As UX Program Manager, I was responsible for all phases of the design, development, and deployment process. I communicated with stakeholders across the company, led the design and development teams, and implemented user testing and research methods. Because PicoBrew is a small startup, I had plenty of opportunities to get my hands dirty, too. I created wireframes, prototypes, use case scenarios, and collaborated in design problem-solving throughout our process.
I worked with our Marketing team to conduct extensive survey and focus group research, which revealed prominent themes in the needs and challenges of our customers. Primary drivers in their interest in our products were convenience, speed, and ease of use. Sixty-three percent of respondents desired a better way to track their brews. An overwhelming 90% cited convenience as their main reason for buying our brewing appliance. These findings would drive feature prioritization for BrewPulse.
Our research confirmed our intuitions about who we were designing for. Our customers are overwhelmingly male (90%), age 40-50, well-educated, with considerable disposable income (31% have HHI of $200K+).
My team and I used whiteboard sessions and user stories to develop a preliminary feature set, specific user flows, and early UI design decisions. I would translate these ideas into either paper or digital prototypes in order to get feedback during early user testing sessions.
Wireframes and Prototype
At PicoBrew, I’ve worked primarily in Photoshop and Adobe XD to prove concepts with our Design team, create interactive prototypes for our design exercises and testing with internal stakeholders, and make refinements to the UI.
Despite the plethora of digital tools at our disposal, I like to use paper mockups during group design exercises. It helps everyone see the ‘big picture’ and understand the impact of design choices as we physically move ‘screens’ around on the wall.
I had to put on my PM hat early on to improve the workflow between the design and development teams. Prior to my arrival, design tended to create static, fully-fledged visual design specs and then pass them to our software engineers with very little instruction. I brought the development and customer care teams into earliest phases of our process and implemented redlining tools like Zeplin to smooth the transition from design to dev.
We shipped BrewPulse Beta in late March, 2018 and are currently testing 1,000 installations. We’ve gotten some very useful data from our beta testers and are already integrating key features, such as push notifications, based on their feedback. BrewPulse will officially launch in the Apple and Google Play stores in September, 2018.