simply be

Next Generation Customer Care Portal

While onsite at JD Williams in Manchester I ran a series of workshops with stakeholders and end users to understand their requirements and the technical constraints of the existing system to create a plan for them to implement a new system for call centre staff.

Their call centre staff were used to “green screeens” and a had a very linear path through the ordering system that they were very comfortable with and could operate easily when placing orders for their clients. The demographics of the consumers tended to be older and not as computer literate. One of the things I found out when doing the research is that returning customers had an almost personal bond with some of the staff and would ask for the same rep and enjoy a personal chat.

This also meant that while the system supported quick ordering it did not allow for some of the conversational aspects. An example being a customer asking about their balance. This would result in the agent having to leave the ordering process and open a different application. The new portal had to deliver a seamless experience and still have clear paths.

New functionality proposed from the UX:

  • Live team chat
  • Alerts for management
  • Integrated team room and tasks list
  • Providing a brand experience
  • Ability to toggle between account information, ordering history and ordering forms
  • Messages and prompts integration – related products, recommendations to create a better customer experience.  


To further complicate matters the roll out to change all the backend systems would not be in place for two years. This meant that an interim design or designs would be needed so it appears as part of a natural evolution.

As the old system had no branding I also had to create a brand presence that would be quite minimal as they have a lot of sub brands that I wanted to use at each shop level to give the staff more of an experience which would help them convey they brand personality in conversation. The conceptual model was a market place and having their team room. The second phase would be to integrate social media features and allow them to talk to managers and each other without have to terminate the call, call the manager and then call the customer back. Queries could be dealt with quickly.

One of the critical success factors of the project was to reduce their training from 13 weeks down to two weeks training.

Key items of the project:

  • White boarding and sketching out the scenarios with stakeholders
  • Creating a design in Fireworks and graphical files
  • Light wireframes in Axure – the IA did not need to be fully complete as the portal build was happening in parallel and I was working directly with the development teams
  • Usability assessment and end user research
  • Testing with end-users and getting feedback
  • Stakeholder and requirements management

A presentation each week was created in a discussion with the wider technical team about the progression of the UX  changes. This was used to talk how at each Sprint design changes would be phased in and plan the activities for the next Sprint.  View Presentation in PowerPoint

JD Williams design out puts



A Functional Requirements Road Map for Design

Project to capture the requirements at a project definition stage for one of the largest financial companies in the world.  

I ran and put together a team of 6 information architects  over a 6 month period to build highly transactional and functional prototypes in Axure.  These were rapid modelling for articulating business process re-engineering to put the complete application online. These prototypes are not to show the end solution but to capture the requirements visually to reduce documentation. The Axure annotation structure was modified by myself to increase the amount of detail necessary to work with the other teams and provide GAP analysis information to the stakeholders.

The prototypes do not show design or a polished UX with final interactions. This was because the speed of which were working and the purpose was to be able to integrate these quickly with live data and test the processes. The entire process involved complex discussions with over 60 stake holders and is a ground breaking application to revolutionise Mortgage applications, selling and conveyancing.

These wireframes and documents cannot be posted here until early 2014 due to the sensitive nature of the project.