Localeze is one of the four major data sources for businesses in the U.S. It is a trusted business listings identity management provider for local search. Localeze maintains direct, authorized relationships with local search platforms, national and regional brands, channel partners and local businesses—providing the tools to verify, manage and enhance the identity of their local listings online.
My typical UX Design process
For all of the projects I was involved in, my process consisted of: research and discovery, documentation, collaboration and building relationships, early low-fi designs and socialization (including iterating/testing), creating static, low and hi -fi InDesign, Axure, or InVision prototypes, handover for implementation, and implementation support.
Research and Discovery
I worked alongside the VP of Operations and the VP of Marketing to learn about products and services, competitors, and our goals, and align business strategy with users and their tasks/needs. I also had many meetings and individual interviews with everyone from Data Intelligence, Engineering, Marketing Sales, Support, and even the CEO.
With the website and web app, I conducted a heuristic evaluation of the current state which led to quick fixes for "low-hanging fruit" usability issues. With our internal tools, I combined contextual interviews with usability tests to learn how users completed their work and to unearth issues they had with our current system. I worked closely with these users to identify and address their needs and to be their voice during Engineering meetings.
A unique challenge of working at a large company was uniting disparate teams. Engineering, Operations, and Support were located in California. Data Intelligence was located in Utah. Sales and Marketing were split between Illinois and Virginia.
An easy way to help unite these teams and to provide transparency at every step of the way was to continuously socialize my design documents (sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, mockups, prototypes, living style guides, content and messaging, user scenarios, and test scripts) as well as the engineering backlog to help get us all on the same page and to manage expectations.
Collaboration and Building Relationships
I served as a translator who spoke the different languages of engineers, support, sales, and marketing. With my experience, it was easy to communicate how engineering work affected marketing and sales teams and vice versa.
I also established close relationships with Support to get a deeper understanding of customer issues and pain points by sitting in on their customer and support calls, observing their workflow, and reviewing support issues with them.
Building strong relationships and collaborating closely with all of these teams established trust and mutual respect. I could empathize with each group and help remove collaboration impediments to get to a point where we could better understand goals and constraints. This helped UX designs tremendously.
Forming a partnership with the technical teams helped move our projects along much faster. For example, Engineering controlled the website and web apps, but they granted me the keys to make UI changes—something Marketing did not have access to before.
From flow diagrams to collaborating on design-to-UI implementation:
Examples of Axure User Flows shared with QA, Support, and Engineering
Early Lo-fi Designs and Socialization (including Iteration/Testing)
Because my focus was on improving user experience and I was working within an Agile team, there were no high-fidelity Photoshop or Illustrator documents. To quickly communicate designs, I would fire up OmniGraffle, Balsamiq, or PowerPoint to document ideas and notes and then review these with stakeholders and iterate.
Hi-Fi Axure Prototypes and Socialization (including Iteration/Testing)
I would prototype and review these solutions with users and stakeholders to find out what worked and what needed to be changed. If possible, engineering would quickly push out changes so we could test and iterate.
I also designed an infographic for promoting the app and easily explaining the process.