UX/UI Development

Whether it’s discovering the Higgs Boson or reprogramming the HIV virus to attack cancer cells, most scientific developments require strong interdisciplinary teams. IdeaLyte is the cloud ecosystem that helps researchers collaborate in groups, and more importantly: make data actionable. By providing the infrastructure for collaboration, IdeaLyte will be the catalyst for next generation research.

``As inventors and owners of the key resource, the research university, we should be investing to stay ahead in this space and not biding our time until others catch up``

–Craig Barrett, Former CEO of Intel Link

MY ROLE

As the creative and UX/UI lead, I provided design leadership amongst our team and provided deliverables with a goal of creating this next generation collaborative tool for research.

Working hand-in-hand with our large development team, I lead them through UI and UX initiatives and implementations under a strict agile software development process (SCRUM) to launch while also being challenged as a designer to lead brand development: From the very beginning with a logo design that would set in stone our applications aesthetic direction,  up to the very end when we transferred assets such as our fully interactive style guide to our team overseas.

Research

THE PROBLEM

Managing research projects, content, and personnel for large research institutes and universities is extremely complex:

  • Research is done in silos
  • Key information is lost in hour long, weekly meetings, emails, etc.
  • Inefficient usage of time, money, and effort
  • Inability to transfer knowledge from one entity to another
  • Promising projects sit and fade away, never seeing the day of light

THE SOLUTION

  • Powerful Collaboration tool platform with built in tools for R&D
  • Projects can be taken from proposals to patents and publications
  • Creates relevant connections between field-experts
  • Opportunity to monetize key IP

Interviews

We conducted interviews with notable members in the industry
to help solidify our core feature list and user needs:

Currently the Confluence system fulfills a lot of the content sharing mechanisms we utilize.The tool is not suboptimal, but there is no way to incentivize users to put their content on the platform. Individual achievement is key, so a lot of time information and ideas isn't shared between groups. If we had a way to provide metrics over project progress and contributions from individuals, it would incentivize the higher level users (admins of labs) to encourage/force the other users to use the platform. I use the platform the search extensively, but I don't use 90% of the other functions.

Ravi Kallayil
Technology Exploration Lead at Nike (Corporate)

Simply sharing information and creating content on the cloud is a need. He can get us two customers in the commercial space. Confluence is a site hosted solution, so connecting with an external entity has to be done off the platform. He also clearly sees a need in terms of data aggregation. He says that if he can get a demo we should be able to secure a few customers (including Walmart).His wife Deepa is a Marketing specialist and also has offered to lend her expertise to the project.

Rampalli Narasimhan
Director Product Management (Corporate)

The Numbers

After extensive research and analysis, we discovered through
our collected data that this was a strong need and solution for institutes across the world.

Source:  2013 Top American Research Universities Report -The Center for Measuring University Performance
Source: National Science Foundation
Source: Council of Graduate Schools

Competitive Analysis

Working with founders, technical directors, and stakeholders,  in gathering business requirements to understand product goals and client needs.  through understanding user needs, humanizing product ideas, creating working prototypes,  and developing these ideas into elegantly designed solutions.

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Information Architecture

Working hand-in-hand with our large development team, I lead them through UI and UX initiatives and implementations under a strict agile software development process (SCRUM)

Now was the time to architect our information and lockdown our core features and map features

Click to View Journey Map

Design & Development

UX Deliverables/activities done to help solve problem

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Rough representations to help us to validate our concepts early on in the development process. Generally limited function, limited interaction prototyping efforts. These prototypes were created to depict concepts, design alternatives, and screen layouts while also aiding us to communicate, educate, and inform our founding team and developers.

Interactive HTML Prototypes

With working, clickable pro type, we could now assess the user flow and path our user would take on the platform. An invaluable process, saving us plenty of headache down the road by helping us fine tune and bumps in the users journey.

The wireframes were then built in MockFlow , an up and coming rapid prototyping platform thats great for team collaboration and very lightweight

The Results

Findings & Future Roadmap

The endgame is to provide access to a network of past and current project related content, and communicate and manage personnel and resources in real-time to spur the Next Generation of Research; a holistic approach to doing research

Currently the team is in stealth mode and running more beta texts. Also working on solidfying the pricing structure through the business development team and improving our user engagement numbers.

More Users = More Content = More Utility for the research Community

Base Platform

  • Groups
  • Projects (Sub-groups)
  • Collaborative Rich Text Editor
  • Version Control
  • Messaging and Chat
  • Task Management
  • Training
  • Group Documents
  • Resource Requests
  • Comprehensive Search and Tagging
  • Automated Periodic Project Reports

2nd Gen. Features

  • Public Profiles
  • Read-Only Users
  • Project to Project Interactions (i.e. Document Cloning, Linking)
  • Reference Management
  • Integration with LaTex editing
  • Integration with 3rd party Slideshow and Spreadsheet Editors)
  • Message and Chats added to Project History
  • Inventory and Equipment Integration