We hit our first roadblock of our platform when we onboarded our first “alpha” client. This client had a lot of great user feedback for the platform, and it was great to sit down with an actual analyst and observe what they did day-to-day. Prior to this, all of my knowledge about incident response has been second hand information or from books. This client became a major factor in spearheading a lot of design changes not only in the platform itself but also changes within our design process itself. I was the only designer at the time in CyberSponse, and as a result, I inherited the UX hat. Not being experienced in UX design at all, I went in head first to challenge myself in this new field and role.
After researching and studying further, I learned a variety of processes that I wanted to inject into our design timeline. Methodologies such as user testing, rapid prototyping, and lean UX were the primary strategies I wanted to adapt for the product cycle. Because we already had a platform built, it was going to be tough to completely scrap features or build new ones. Time was a big motivator in a lot of design choices as other startups and companies were beginning to create their own incident response platform. In the end, with some back and forth, I was able to implement a new design process for the team which consisted of:
- Assumption-based UX
- User Feedback/Testing
- Design and Implementation
Our team went from a stakeholder-centric flow to a more user-centric flow that focused a lot of efforts on getting the experience right. We couldn’t afford extensive user testing and observation, and so we opted for the assumption-based model that allowed us to rapidly prototype interactions with post-it notes, index cards, or other prototyping tools. The team not only tested these prototypes and interactions with actual users that would use the platform, but we also tested them with non-users to partake in our sessions. We concluded that if a normal person can go through and recall the interaction easily, then a highly trained user of the platform would be able to function through it just as easy and more powerful.