The Marine Corps uses M-SHARP to aid Marine aviation operations, training management, and readiness tracking.
My Role: As one of the two UX / UI designers on the M-SHARP team, it is my responsibility to advocate for the user and understand the business needs and user needs. We conduct exploratory research to inform UI flow models, wireframes, and prototypes. Usability tests are then designed and conducted to validate current solutions. Usability test results are analyzed and used to inform prototype iterations.
Duration: February 2017 - February 2019
Before any designs are created, the team needs to understand the underlying user needs and business needs. We go into the field and conduct contextual inquiries and sometimes journey maps with our users so we can better understand their workflow and identify areas of opportunity. We regroup with our team and share our findings and discuss any additional business needs that need to be addressed. During this phase, we collaborate closely with the Product Owners (POs), Business Analysts (BAs), Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and Customer Support.
Next the design team of two collaborates closely with the Solution Architect and Lead Developer to create UI flow models influenced by our exploratory findings and PO, SME, and BA insights. Once the flows are approved we move onto low - mid fidelity wireframes created in Axure. The wireframes typically cycle through multiple revisions.
Due to the complexities of the system mixed with the predefined rules of the Marine Corps, prototypes are created in HTML/CSS and jQuery to best simulate real-world context.
Once the prototype(s) are complete, we design our usability test and then conduct the test with Marines on a local airbase. After each participant, we debrief the session and throw our observations onto sticky notes that are then categorized into: usability issues, positives, interesting behaviors, expectations, suggestions, and direct user quotes.
Analyze + Report
Typically after several days on base, we reconvene and comb through all the data and get into the nitty gritty details. The results are analyzed and documented on a organized spreadsheet and the usability footages are cut into full length videos and highlight reels. A presentation of the top 5 usability issues are then presented to the team.
Prototypes are refined and tweaked based off findings and feedback from the team.