Sean Lee, Denyse Russell, and Vasavi Reddy
UX Research, UX Design, Usability Testing, Prototyping
I joined HP’s Workwise team in 2016 as one of its 3 designers. I worked alongside the other 2 designers to create an app with our user needs as the main priority. I helped HP create a foundation to scale its PC management tools.
Starting off as a PC management idea, HP Workwise has grown into a much longer-term plan for PC productivity.
Workwise’s mission is to make PC management easier and to give users additional security for their PC. Workwise uses bluetooth connection to pair your PC and smartphone together. Through this connection, Workwise is able to lock and unlock your PC based off of your proximity to your PC, alert users when their PC has been tampered with (charger unplugged, lid opened or closed, movement of PC, etc.), give users timely PC information such as battery status, battery health, hot PC and allow them to take action within the smartphone app, and make the printer driver installation process easier.
Before designing the product, we wanted to do some research and better understand the needs of our users and what their current pain points were with HP and its products.
We used two different methods to gain some insights into users’ frustrations: ten quick conversations with random people and a survey. Before every project, our Design Director suggested that we go and talk to ten random people (potential users and non-potential users) and get their quick feedback on HP and how it can approve. Through this method, we were able to start the project off on from an unbiased angle and understand some high-level concerns of users.
For the second method, we conducted a survey to get more detailed answers and frustrations from our users. While ideally this would have been an external survey, we were limited to an internal survey because of budgetary and time constraints.
Using both of these methods, we were able to classify our user needs into a few categories:
1. Security: Let users be in control by giving them additional security features
2. Timely Information: Give users all pertinent information about their PC such as: battery health, battery life, PC specs, hot PC remediation, and
3. Increased Productivity: Create an easier method to install printer drivers on users’ PC’s
Using this information, I created a customer journey map describing in detail what our users needs, goals, and feelings were at different stages of the process and what opportunities were there to design a better experience.
Before continuing further with the design process, we wanted to make sure that both the business goals and user goals were aligned and to make the two as integrated as possible. Talking to our project managers, we examined common issues and found a direction to move forward with.
Because this was an android and iOS app that connected to your PC’s hardware, there were a lot of scenarios to map out. In the initial stages, HP Workwise was to be a suite of applications instead of one single cohesive application. So, we performed task analysis and created many different flows such as:
1. PC pairing flow
2. PC configuration flow
3. iOS flows for HP Performance, HP Security, and HP Print applications
4. Android flows for HP Performance, HP Security, and HP Print applications, and
5. Push notifcation flow
Using these flows, we created wireframes with more content to help us understand what details needed to be included in the final design.
As we dwelled deeper into the wireframe details, and did some usability testing, we found that having three different applications didn’t make sense as all three applications were:
1. Connected to each other in fuctionality
2. Had very little infromation to be a standalone app, and
3. Overwhelming for a user as they didn't want to download many different applications on their phone
As we condensed the flow, and did more usability testing, we found the app to be more intuitive.
After conducting many usability studies, we were pretty confident with our designs and were close to handing off assets to our developers.
One of the issues we had was with the printer installation portion of the application. While conducting usability studies, we found that users didn’t care about this feature because while the process is difficult to install a printer driver to your PC, they only needed to do this once and most internal users have already connected a printer to their PC. Users also mentioned that QR codes were extremely outdated and HP should create a better way to install printers.
Though users disagreed with this direction, the business was adamant on launching this product with the printer feature. We gave the team detailed interview videos and notes showing that users didn’t care for this feature, but the team had conducted their own research and firmly believed this feature was necessary.
Since this was a hard requirement, we tried to make the experience as intuitive as possible for our users, even though the designers disagreed with this direction.
The iOS and Android application had a lot of potential for helping users with PC management and increased security. While the concept was good, it needed a bit more refinement. One of out biggest issues was the use of bluetooth during the pairing process. A lot of users mentioned that the bluetooth connection was finicky and that we needed to find a new way to pair devices.
Moving forward, our goal should be in working to make some of the technical constraints more feasible. From a design perspective, the bluetooth issues should have been addressed through more usability testing. While the design team and I voiced our opinions on this issue, we could have conducted more testing and provided more research on why bluetooth would not be the best route to take. If we are able to fix the connectivity problems, we will have a more successful product.