Visual Design Lead, UX Design
Enterprise-Level Web Application
There’s something rewarding about using design in one of the areas where it is needed the most: archaic government workflows. It might sound mundane in nature, but organizing upwards of a thousand employee-side supply management requests is no joke.
Our design and development teams worked closely with Accenture Federal Services to create an application for this government agency’s employees to submit and subsequently track the progress of a supply management business request. Hosted on the ServiceNow platform, the new application would give users the ability see the status of a request from its earliest stages of a simple business need to a signed scope of work. Additionally, higher-up managers would now have the ability to review outstanding requests and approve them.
From day one, we worked hand in hand with AFS’s business analysts to understand the users’ problems first. Based on the feedback we received from users, our main priorities while creating our wireframe prototype and enhancing the user experience resided in a few areas:
One of the biggest challenges in the project was simplifying the user flow without altering the jargon, or company vernacular, of the agency's supply management team. There was a fine line between organizing the user flow and changing the names of existing items, which would create a higher learning curve for the new users.
Throughout each step of designing the UI, we made sure that we included subtle details like tooltips and lightboxes when needed – to increase user self sufficiency and give users the ability to answer questions on their own.
508 compliance drove a large part of the visual design decision making. It was critical that we included a high color contrast ratio throughout the design, included tooltips and descriptions where applicable, and included alt text within the HTML. Since the product was being developed for such a large government agency, our goal was to be as accessible as possible in the product's design.
We relied on subtle, visual cues to indicate things like required fields, completed and unfinished sections, and quick jumps to summary sections via anchor links in a fixed side navigation.
One of the most important features in the application was the request progress bar: a way for managers to be able to quickly visually identify where in the process an employee's request was – and if the request was assigned to the manager directly.