VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) works to manage both urban and agricultural nutrients found in fertilizers, manure, biosolids and other sources so that they retain their efficient use yet don’t impair the quality of Virginia’s ground and surface waters. The work contributes to the larger effort to conserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
DCR - Nutrient Management
The current desktop nutrient management software lacks critical functionality and is poorly maintained. The challenge is to design a new web-enabled Nutrient Management Planning Module to be integrated into DCR’s existing best management practice, conservation planning and resource management system of record application.
Design a web enabled nutrient management planning module that measurably improves the user experience over the current desktop software. Ensure the business is not impacted by a sub-optimal system design. Allow stakeholders and the project team to quantify the performance of a system design with users before development begins, minimizing rework and maximizing success upon deploy.
User Experience Lead
Client stakeholders, project manager, lead developer, UX researcher, visual designer
VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation
Skills & Technology
Business Development, Coaching, Mentoring, Lean UX, Scrum, Qualitative/Quantitative Research, Information Architecture, Ideation, Interaction Design: Balsamiq Mockups/Axure RP
UX Isn't Rocket Science, but...
User experience, like farming, isn’t rocket science, but it’s nice to have the science. Data-driven design should not blindly follow metrics. Delightful experiences are often a result of following seasoned instinct. This instinct should be tempered with realistic technical constraints and achievable business goals.
Overall, the design of the new Nutrient Managment Planning module proved to be measurably more user friendly in helping users accomplish their goals. Average task duration was shorter and the average task success rate was higher when using the new design.
Increase in Success Rate
Decrease in Task Duration
Increase in SUS
Across all goal completion tasks, the new application design measurably improved the experience compared to the legacy system. Areas of improvement included increasing task success rate by 20%, decreasing time on task by 49%, and eliminating task excursions altogether resulting in an improved qualitative SUS score of 77 (B) from 57 (D). Personas were delivered to the client and created for the project using qualitative and quantitative research. Defining the primary audience segments will facilitate further iteration of the application far into the future. In addition customer journey maps were created for two primary persona roles identifying the customer’s online and offline touch points in context with the larger goals they are attempting to accomplish.