Information Architecture

The system I inherited had a major information architecture flaw that limited the use of the system to just a few power users per company. Although it was a difficult pill to swallow, we needed to update the information architecture to allow for more features to be built.

The original system had silos. Each object type was segregated from the other types which made normal work challenging at best. A simple use case of using a saved query in a workflow to affect a database would require 10x more clicking around than otherwise needed. (“Simple” for data engineering anyway)

It made the system complicated and fragile. Any mistake would cause major data errors.

Original UI: List view of Queries

Notice how a list view of Queries is set up to use. This works for 3-4 people, but 300? No chance. Each user would need to name and tag everything very specifically or accidentally open the wrong files. The system was designed for a small group, but the corporate strategy required a larger set of people with lower technical skills.

In the new design, dubbed Crystal, I introduced a tree structure on the left where the customer could structure their assets any way they pleased. It was flexible and powerful.

New Crystal Design

Notice the tabs and side panels which gave room to add all manner of features to the system. The previous UI could not accommodate more functionality.

For Segmentation, a folder based filtering system was introduced to allow a customer to not only secure the folder for access, but also limit the total records one could access there.

The front end team took the opportunity of the new information architecture to modernize the React framework along with other best practice techniques. The end result is a faster UI, both to use and to build with. New features are now added faster. Win/Win.

As of this posting, the new interface is still being rolled out so usage stats are unavailable. As anecdata (anecdotal data), prospects and customers alike all wanted to use the new system and thought it will change the way they rolled it out to their enterprise.