Annex

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The Challenge

As a product designer with Monsanto, I was tasked with simplifying a suite of 4 enterprise applications into a unified experience. The apps had been build for different business unites over various timelines, and not surprisingly there were some overlapping features. Users were confused about which application to use for parts of their jobs, and questions were asked about the possibility of a merger.

The Approach

I started by familiarizing myself with the applications in question, making a detailed list of features, use cases, personas, and outcomes. This context helped me identify patterns like viewing, adding, and manipulating data of different types. I mapped the features to flows stemming from a flat root application structure: view the map, capture some data, or do a task.

Since this application was a concept, not a blueprint for production, I didn't dive too deep into the flows - noting that no functionality would be gained or lost. This exercise was intended to discern potential improvements to the experience.

architecture

The Deliverables

After validating my app logic with some users and development teams, I began working on the wireframes to block out a consistent look and feel. I built a wireframe library in Sketch to make mapping out these flows easy to accomplish and consume. I chose to focus on innovations to the experience rather than wireframing the entire application. For example, mitigating the frustrations of capturing data with a touch screen by using toggles, buttons, and check boxes.

wireframes

Our product design group had been pushing for more "productization" of our apps, so for fun I created a logo and brand behind the new experience. I called it "Annex" because of the GPS nature / land management aspect of this app. And because annexed land is procured and merged into a larger mass which echoed this entire process. The branding helped demonstrate the power of color and personality in an experience, too.

branding

screens1

screens2

The Results

I presented Annex to some stakeholders, with a positive response. However, I moved onto other projects before seeing any traction with my efforts. At minimum my work helped the business further explore a challenging problem, demonstrating the value design can bring to any stage of a project. At most I laid a strong foundation for other desigenrs to build on top of in pursuing a new product.

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