Establishing a UX practice at Harvard Business Review

When Harvard Business Review re-launched hbr.org with a new, responsive design, they created a series of user-centric tenets that they needed help living up to. They brought me in to help them establish a UX practice and make UX improvements to the website.

The details

Over 10 months, I helped them create a user-centered design process that integrated seamlessly with their Agile development team. This included:

  • Drove enhancements of several of hbr.org's account features, including improvements to the user's purchase activity which led to a 46% reduction in customer service calls related to digital purchases in the first month after launch.
  • Made incremental improvements to content utilities, such as following topics and saving articles to the user's library, leading to significant increases in customer engagement with these key features.
  • Brought a regular cadence of user feedback via multiple methods (click tests, A/B tests, moderated and unmoderated usability testing) to inform site enhancements.
  • Spearheaded a new, lean method of reporting usability findings, working directly with product managers, developers and designers to incorporate the findings into the development backlog.
  • Worked with the design team to document guidelines for the HBR Pattern Library, including use of color and type, interface elements and system copy.
  • Helped the design team transition from wide-screen Photoshop comps to responsive Axure prototypes to more effectively guide the responsive design process.

Highlights

Facilitating user-centered design in an Agile team

Working with a cross-functional group, I helped us evolve an agile, user-centered process that incorporated multiple research, design thinking and rapid prototyping methods. I also helped the team align on strategic goals, structures for JIRA tickets, and a set of UX benchmarking metrics.

Creating a Lean approach to usability testing

As a UX team of one, I innovated a new format for planning and presenting usability test results that enabled me to perform 1-2 tests per month, gain stakeholder buyin for findings, and integrate improvements into the team's Agile backlog.

Improving access to customer purchases

Over the course of 10 months, I helped the team find and prioritize multiple improvements to the e-commerce section of hbr.org, including a redesign of the customer's Purchases screen that reduced customer service calls by 46% in the first month post-launch.

Crafting a compelling video experience

I worked with the design and product teams to conduct foundational research, create and test early prototypes for HBR.org's redesigned video experience.
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