Plated Enterprise Software

Before focusing solely on the mobile product I was the designer on the custom enterprise software that ran Plated. Before I arrived at Plated there was little design done to the system beyond just the getting things to work. Below is the basic area of need where the software operates.

User Research
Observational Research
User Testing
Design Implementation

Some lessons learned from the experience

  • Working on a big system is hard
    • The more moving parts, the more complex
    • Big system design changes are difficult
    • Small incremental changes that can happen within a specific area are easier
  • Someone always knows more than you
  • People fear change in their work
    • A new design is going disrupt their day-to-day flow
    • Getting buy-in from your users early is key
    • When showing users for the first time, position the design as a "test"
  • Test early and often
  • Test participant time is precious
  • Visual design should be 90% transparent
  • Leave that last 10% so you can bring some joy and emotion to the work

  • Testing and prototyping

    Due to the nature of the software and the business cycle, we could not interrupt the day-to-day process with design prototypes for fear of malfunctions. A live data sandbox was created where we could design, prototype, and test with real users on a regular basis. By having the design process embedded within the system itself, there was less room for error when it come on the nuances of a proprietary system.

    The flexibility of the system allowed for testing with many of the typical users of the system across the US. In total there would only be around 15–30 people with access to the system, and we had the ability to speak with every one of them.


Note: Due to the proprietary nature of this work and that Plated is still an active company, I can not share and designs or specifics. :/