Redesigning a massive database to speed up research
Internal + client-facing product
Coleman's internal knowledge management tool had evolved over the years into a sprawling system comprising many different and often hidden interfaces. This was slowing down Coleman's researchers as they performed highly time-sensitive projects to meet client requests.
As an expert network, Coleman collects very detailed profiles on industry experts worldwide, but this information was scattered and disorganized.
Working with the data
I extracted a full set of sample data from the system and began organizing it manually, looking for common patterns and duplication.
At the same time, I worked with researchers to begin sketching out possible ways to present this information. I sought to understand what was most important so I could create a scannable hierarchy.
The new interface
Since the researchers' process was a rapid combination of searching, scanning and refining, I combined the search and results views into a single screen, enabling them to work faster.
Despite the data-intensive application, I insisted on a responsive framework which would help make the front end more resilient and versatile.
I developed common design patterns which could be used to design the many different information modules in the system.
The result was a much smaller set of screens, which were far easier to scan and navigate using anchor links.
Coleman's dev team implemented the new design and rolled it out to researchers, who reported an average of 20% time savings on time-sensitive jobs. With the improved UI, Coleman also made this application available to their clients for the first time.