Ongoing project - I was tasked with improving the process of entering lease information into LeaseQuery, a lease accounting software. I am leading the design phase and collaborating with a product manager and business analyst during this process.
In this case study, I'll showcase how I utilized user research to redesign the flow of the lease entry process to improve usability and reduce friction in the user experience.
Time Frame: april 2020-july 2020
Platform: web-based application
Tool: figma & miro
Case Study UX Focus: user interview, contextual inquiry, usability testing, and user flow.
Based on customer feedback, we knew that a lot of users have experienced difficulties during the lease entry process. By conducting user research, we can dive deeper to understand the root of the problem.
Due to the lack of time and access to users, I was only able to conduct virtual user interviews with 3 clients. However, I also spoke with 3 long-term customer support specialist to gain a stronger sense of the problem.
In addition, I conducted a contextual inquiry with our company's Controller. Luckily, he has never entered a lease in LeaseQuery prior to the session.
The main question I want to answer during the interviews with users and customer support team is:
"Why are users having a hard time entering lease information in LeaseQuery?"
After speaking with our participants, I analyzed the data and decided to focus on the following insight during this process of improving the overall flow.
👉 Users have trouble finding what they need.
👉 Users often skip over unnecessary fields.
👉 Internal users need additional training after the initial training.
👉 Users typically spend 3 months with the customer support team before they are comfortable with the process.
To fully see the big picture, I wanted to observe the user's interaction with the current process in the context of their overall workflow. Thus, I asked the participant to enter a lease in LeaseQuery and encouraged the participant to think out loud. During the session, I observed the participant's behavior and ask questions to fill in the gaps of my observations.
💡 Aha! The contextual inquiry uncovered that the user had to constantly flip back and forth between pages in the lease contract throughout the lease entry process.
With that in mind, I determined that the new user flow must mirror how a standard lease contract is structured. The redesign should integrate the digital process with the real world.
I researched how a standard lease contract is structured and came up with 4 main categories. I designed the new user flow to match the structure.
As a result, the new user flow reduced the number of steps and reduced confusion by providing the user with a more linear and logical pathway.
The old user flow doesn't follow the order of a standard lease contract, users have to constantly flip back and forth in the contract as they are entering a lease in LeaseQuery.
The new user flow correlates with how a standard lease is organized to prevent users for searching through the lease contracts.
The lease entry process is long and complex, so I redefined the basic structure to further improve the flow and the transition between sections.
Steppers and Tabs
I designed the steppers at the top and the tabs on the left side to show the categories and subcategories. The goal is to help users find what they need and know where they are in the process.
Y/N Question to Trigger Input Fields
To avoid overwhelming users with irrelevant fields, I decided to ask user if they have a particular item before triggering fields in sections and subsections to appear.
This is the combination of the new user flow and the new structure of the lease entry process. Again, this user flow and structure helps users find what they need because it mirrors the lease contract, indicates to users where they are, and eliminates unnecessary fields.
Current Status: The new flow and structure have been supported by subject matter experts in the Customer Support Team and an employee who used to be a client. Currently, I am gathering additional feedback and working on the mid-fidelity wireframes.
Next Steps: Before designing the hi-fidelity mockups, I want to perform usability testing with actual users to validate the new layout and flow.
My biggest takeaway from this is the importance of thinking outside of the screen. The best UX solutions are the ones that integrate the digital experience with the real world experience.