Improvement Hub

Redesigned an existing ideation platform of an ANZ based railway and logistics organisation.

Improvement Hub


  • Stakeholder Discussions
  • User Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Data Analysis
  • Ideation
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Usability Testing
  • High Fidelity Design

Tech Stack

  • Figma
  • Miro
  • M365 Suite
  • Cisco WebEx


3 months

🛎 Please Note

Due to NDA obligations, I'm unable to share actual product mockups, wireframes, and research insights. However, I have documented the entire process and also recreated alternate sample wireframes and mockups for this case study.

What is the app about?

This application enables employees of an ANZ based railway and logistics organisation to share ideas and suggestions to help improve their processes, technology and work culture.

Key Business Objectives

  • Replace the existing legacy disconnect systems with a single repository for anyone to register an idea
  • Provide a single source of truth for all ideas and improvements across the organisation.
  • Create an intuitive design and ease of use with appropriate notifications and reporting that drives an ideation culture.
  • Support organisations strategic transformation initiative, allowing better visibility, planning, capture and realisation of teams' value.

Scope of the app

  • Central repository for ideas and improvements at all stages of implementation.
  • Integrations with organisational data and relevant critical applications.
  • A robust notification system that is user-configurable.
  • Ability to view, manage, update and report on ideas and initiatives.
  • Voting and collaboration on ideas and initiatives.

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What we generally do

We normally follow the human-centred design methodology for all our client engagements. You can find numerous, amazing articles on the web on this topic.

  • We run design thinking workshops for 3 weeks (varies depending upon the project scope and client)
  • We will finalize all the required logistics for the workshop a week prior.
  • We create a workshop plan with day-by-day activities and share the same with all key stakeholders.
  • We also identify the participants for each of the activities and send out detailed invites well ahead to give users time to block their calendars.

Dan Nessler's Double Diamond

You can read more about Dan Nessler's Double Diamond approach here.

Working Remote

The Product Manager, Technical Architect and I were supposed to travel to Australia to facilitate the design thinking workshop, identify user personas, design prototypes for the core user journeys.

We applied for the necessary travel documents, got the visa stamped, and were set to fly on March 25, 2020. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic happened and India went on a lockdown from March 22, 2020.

Lockdowns were pretty much happening all across the globe and we were unsure on how to proceed further with the project. After a series of talks with the business stakeholders, we decided to go ahead with the project delivery, entirely remote.

To finalize the logistics, participants, and schedules due to time zone differences, we postponed the kick-off by a few weeks.

We identified the participants, procured the necessary software licenses, onboarded all the relevant personnel, and finally kicked off the project on May 1, 2020.

Requirement Breakdown

During in-person workshops, we usually allocate one full-day session for requirement breakdown. But it's very tough to remain focused on calls over a long period. So we decide to wrap up the session in 90 minutes.

We decided to have multiple short calls as required.

This was the first time I was facilitating a workshop entirely Remote. I took some time to learn and prepare better for engaging with people virtually.

  • I anticipated few stakeholders to have difficulties in using Miro, but surprisingly, everyone adapted well and had no difficulties.
  • There were 12 representatives from all the key departments with the Global HR Head acting as a decision-maker.

It is very critical that a decision-maker be present for this session as she would help finalize the scope and the direction.

Discovery Workshop

Prior to the workshop, I set up a Miro board with select questionnaires to breakdown the requirements

Discovery Workshop Questionnaire

We showcased each question and participants were given 3 minutes to share their inputs. I had already set up a template for this process with stickies and text blocks which made it easy for participants to share their thoughts.

We then analysed and discussed the generated inputs and I facilitated a voting session for each question to pick the best inputs.

I wrapped up the session, once we went through all the questions. Post the call, I synthesized all the data and inputs gathered from the session and created a "Business Model Canvas".

Idea Model Canvas

You can read more about the Business Model Canvas here.

I facilitated a playback session with the same participants on Day 2. I showcased the Idea Model canvas to validate my understanding of the requirement. I had to make some minor tweaks to the canvas, post which we finalised the business requirement.

User Research

We planned to interview 20 employees from the organization for the user research. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts and timezone constraints, we were able to interview only 12 employees.

I drafted a clear email outlining the interview agenda and the expectation and ensured all the participants were notified well in advance.

Due to the timezone differences, I had to start my day at 5 AM to accommodate certain participant schedules. My PM was supposed to join the calls along with me, to observe and take notes. But due to a personal emergency, he was unable to join and we couldn't onboard another person temporarily.

As a workaround, I opted to record the sessions after seeking the user's permission and used it to playback later to capture notes. This was a very tedious and time-consuming process, but it worked.

I would always recommend having at least 2 people during interviews. This will help avoid burnout, adds another perspective, and makes the entire process easier.

User Research Questions

Our participants included business partners, team leads, managers, field workers, and administrators.

I always take time during interviews to put the participants at ease and assure them of the anonymity of their answers but, I felt like people were more open during video calls than in-person interviews. I think it may be because people are operating from the comfort of their homes rather than in an office environment.


I reviewed all my interview notes and used Miro to organize the raw data. I started by grouping similar data into information clusters and patterns started to emerge.

User Needs

Key Insights

We derived the following key insights from the stakeholder discussions and the user research sessions:

  • Process & Governance - Employees found the whole process not flexible and need more transparent and justified governance.
  • Information Discoverability - Surfacing the right information at the right time ensures organisation-wide improvements in productivity.
  • Accessibility - Employees found it tedious to share/obtain feedback from the disconnect platforms
  • Collaboration - Providing an option to collaborate with peers, experts on an idea fosters quality and better realisation.

User Personas

I synthesized all the research insights and the information clusters into a set of relevant themes. Based on the user research data, I found 3 critical user personas account for a large portion of the employee base.

User Persona Snippet

User Flows

From the research insights, I was able to derive 3 different user flows that are critical to the ideation platform. A user flow snippet is shared below:

User Flow Snippet

Participatory Design

A total of 13 users participated in the Ideation session. We ensured that there was an equal mix of business stakeholders and end-user participants for this session.

I structured the workshop for 120 minutes with regular breaks in between to manage fatigue and keep users engaged.

Similar to the Discovery workshop, this session was also facilitated using Miro. Prior to the session, I prepped the board with the session agenda, How Might We.. (HMW) questions, participant stickies, and created a help guide within the board so that participants can refer to it anytime.

I was conducting the ideation session over remote for the first time. so I did a dry run with my internal team to ensure my narrative is clear and the tasks are easy to comprehend.

How might we questionnaire

We had generated a quality set of ideas from the session and it helped us bridge the expectation gap between the stakeholders and the end-users.

Concepts, Wireframes

I used Figma to create the low-fidelity wireframes and designed a prototype for the identified critical user flows. I ensure that all valid ideas from the ideation session were incorporated into the prototype.

I prefer to create low-fidelity wireframes for the initial evaluation stages as it enables people to focus more on the content and functionality rather than the look and feel of the application.

Low Fidelity Wireframes

Evaluate, Iterate, Repeat

We identified few participants during user research and scheduled interviews with them for usability testing. We showcased the created prototype and asked them to perform certain actions based on the user journey.

We wanted feedback primarily on the

  • Information Architecture
  • Layout design
  • Content discoverability
  • and Ease of use.

We observed the participants, discussed in detail the mockups, their emotions, what works and what doesn’t. Based on the user’s feedback, we iterated the prototype and evaluated it until the users were satisfied with the output.

Final Playback & Sprint Planning

We consolidated all the user feedback and created a final presentation deck for the playback session with the key stakeholders. We conducted a walkthrough of the entire 15 days, showcased our insights, prototype, and user feedback on the new design.

Participants for this session include the Project decision-maker, representatives from HR, IT, and other key business units, Business analysts, Product Manager, Designer, and Lead Developers.

Post the playback session, Client SPOC, PM, BA, Lead Developers, and I reviewed the Sprint 1 user stories and agreed on a general sprint plan for the entire project.

High Fidelity Designs

Post getting the business sign-off for the user journeys, personas, and prototype, I started creating high-fidelity mockups for the MVP of the new ideation platform.

The developers started the implementation based on the signed-off low fidelity screens.

We collaborated using Figma and had regular calls with developers and business stakeholders.

The estimated deadline for creating high-fidelity mockups was 2 weeks and I was able to meet the deadline without hiccups.

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Final Thoughts

The MVP development of the new ideation platform took ~2 months. I provided the necessary support required during the development and testing phases.

Post all the management reviews, security, and performance testing stages, the application was successfully launched on August 20, 2020. 🚀

The feedback from the users and the business stakeholders was positive. Making the platform responsive and enabling the field workers to access from anywhere and anytime was a huge success.

Over the next 2 months, adoption of the platform improved by 200% and a lot of ideas ended up as cost-saving initiatives for the company.