Freemarkets’ ES app was intended to meet the complex needs of large-scale manufacturing. Unfortunately, the initial release suffered from poor usability, most notably due to poor wayfinding and state insight. A large, expensive investment, the app wasn’t signing customers. My first task with Freemarkets was to work with a cross-disciplinary team to improve the situation.
We faced many hurdles along the way. Visual redesign was out of scope, so we had to work with the existing style and iconography. Internationalization was a major consideration — any new design had to accommodate multiple languages. Technically, the UI was very data-centric. Developers had limited front-end skills, and no experience with dynamic, AJAX-style interfaces.
As we iterated through the redesign, we incorporated multiple rounds of usability testing. By project end, we had reduced page count by over 35%, and usability ratings had increased from 60% to over 90% across multiple factors.