Chapter Tools

Creating a centralized repository of the events, hosts, and volunteer information.

Introduction:

Chapter Tools portal acts as a central repository of information about the events, hosts, and volunteers. It is being created to empower the volunteers by providing easy access to information, reducing manual tasks, and helping with seamless onboarding of new volunteers.

I’m leading a small design team for designing the portal. We are designing a simple user experience, focusing on core interactions, and simplified navigation.

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The problem with the current system is that it requires manual tasks that are time-consuming and are not the best use of a volunteer’s time.

Today, the volunteers often keep track of the information manually on their computers. The information is hard to retrieve, leading to missing crucial steps, and loss of some critical information.

Discovery:

My first task was to identify the specific problems our users were facing in their current task management process and then optimize the application to solve the core problems. This project is focused on creating a solution to important user needs.

I conducted a series of exploratory interviews with the users to understand the context and their problems. These conversations unveiled many pain points, of which we prioritized user needs and focused on the features that needed to be implemented on the MVP.

Chapter Tools app allows users to:

Register

Invited members can register to the portal.

Once the registration is completed, a new user is created in the system.

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Login

Members are redirected to the login page after completing the registration form.

The login page is displayed to anyone who hits the portal.

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Digging through, I noticed repeated patterns in user behavior. Users were trying to do one of the two things: looking up volunteers by name and contacting them via email. Taking advantage of this predictability, we designed the auto-suggest feature in the search bar to speed up tasks. Filter and sort feature added as an improvement, where the user could find people based on their roles, status, teams, and year joined.

Search - Sort - Filter

Members can use the search, sort, and filter features to find other members easily.

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Usability Testing:

Moderated remote usability testing sessions were conducted at the end of each sprint. The purpose of the test was to build a product that worked for real users. They were encouraged to think aloud so that we could capture their overarching thoughts and impressions.

Below are some of the tasks that I prompted the user to do during the interview to simulate the real-world experience.

"Let’s say you want to look for directors who joined the portal in 2020. What would you do?"

"Let say you forgot your password. What would you do?"

"Let's say you have logged in as a member, How would you log out?"

To wrap up the interview, a few questions were asked to the user to help them articulate their reactions and also help the team apply what was learned during the testing session.

"What did you like about this prototype? What did you dislike?"

"How would you describe this product to a friend?"

The user insights were invaluable and helped us correct the flow and close any gaps in the product. The prototypes were tested and reviewed multiple times before they were handed off to developers.

Internal Feedback

I sent the designs out to stakeholders to quickly inquire what should be added or removed from our designs. The purpose of this was to discover potential quick wins on simple improvements that could be executed quickly.

Conclusion​

Chapter Tools has obtained positive feedback from users. The product is still under development. New and improved features are being added to the prototype. A few of them include:

  • documenting and displaying information about hosts and events,

  • recording social media posts, and flyers on the database, and

  • providing access to volunteer onboarding information.