Most recently, I helped Keysight Technologies design, test and develop a comprehensive platform, known as PathWave, through which they will be moving their applications for running, designing and testing scientific instruments, such as Signal Analyzers and Waveform Analysis. Way out of the wheelhouse from website and mobile apps, but fortunately principles of user experience design hold true, with necessary adjustments as you learn more of the specific users for these complex systems – the tricky part is that unlike consumer-facing design, the expected user group would have years or even decades of experience using the instruments and their associated software, so it became a balancing act of making the designs more usable, but while not confusing the issue for long term users.
The answer was, unsurprisingly, more tests – sometimes just spot quizzes to get a feel for a particular widget or doodad, sometimes a range of items being fixed, redesigned, poked and prodded. From there, we proceeded to hone the direction of the UX for the products we were retooling, both independently and as a part of PathWave.
As part of the PathWave UX Team, we worked in an agile system of incorporating user testing results, debating what that meant for the application, implementing the changes quickly in the rapid prototyping tool (Axure) for overnight ad-hoc evaluation, take feedback from that and put int into the next iteration of Axure prototype.
Axure is a tool introduced into wider use within Keysight, and it was adapted quickly, and was definitively the rapid prototyping tool of choice for the Atlanta Software Design Center. I had the opportunity to train many of the designers, developers and product people in its use, and it because the visual requirements deliverable from UX to development, as validated by Product.
Lastly, I spearheaded a partnership with Georgia Tech’s Interactive Media and Technology Center to provide a grant allowing the IMTC to do research that benefited our usability and development needs, and also allowed for them to use the research in a wider sense to help with their work with the National Science Foundation’s Future of Work initiative.