delacruz DYNAMICS
Kristian Dela Cruz • UX Designer
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IRS Auctions Rapid Prototype

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TL;DR

I was the Lead UX Designer on a small team of 5 consultants to research, analyze, design and rapid prototype IRS Auctions. We dramatically simplified the user experience, focusing on core interactions of purchasing, simplified navigation and search. 

Oh, we have to research and create the prototype in 11 days and IRS Deputy Executives really adored the process and designs.

 
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"This is going to be an aggressive timeline are you up for the challenge?

 

- IRS Auctions Product Manager

 

A bit of context

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Current website and experience

The team began analyzing captured data from internal IRS point of contacts and conducted a simple heuristic review of the current website. The team received a competitive analysis report from the Booz Allen IRS Team and found out that top-tier features: Bidding & Buying, Payment and Support are the top features we will work on. In addition, we wanted to enhance the user experience with responsive design, conduct usability testing processes and creating a design principle on making the user feel important on the life cycle of the prototype. 

 
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Our primary goals of the design

1. Create an experience that is consistent with IRS brand standards
2. Utilize 18F's U.S. Web Standards Design system to reuse UI components for quicker design iterations
3. Prioritize features and create a prototype focusing on Bidding & Buying, Payment and Support
4. Focus on responsive design for users on all devices
5. Initiate human-centered processes to keep our focused user groups in mind along the process
6. Provide a design and prototype for IRS Executive's to foster for future design efforts

 

 

Proto-Personas
The team started with creating proto-personas to grasp an understanding of our user group. Our data was provided from a IRS Subject Matter Expert that knew the information from the current IRS Auction website. 

 

 

Process Flow Hypothesis
The dug deeper and focused on one persona to experiment on a specific flow. This exercise gave the team an holistic view on a hypothesis flow for one of our personas.  

 

Wireframes

The team iterated on three rounds of wireframes which included usability testing with 3-4 users. This provided some insights for the team which gave us the opportunity to iterate from user feedback and further flesh out the wireframes to high-fidelity mockups.

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Usability Testing Findings

First Reaction
75% of reviewers were able to immediately identify this is a place to buy things
• Match the site's function to the user's mental model (expectations) to improve their experience

Advanced Search
• Discover how users would navigate the site with a specific item in mind.
• Users were able to correctly choose the navigational element
• Some elements of the advanced search function were unclear
• Discovered certain pain-points in the current design
• Since testing was done early in the design process, iterations will be a simple task

 

Home and Search
• All participants demonstrated varying methods of exploration:

  1. browsing homepage content and carousel
  2. filtering by popularity
  3. filtering by price
  4. filtering by category

• It is critical to make sure the site helps the users find what they need

Registration and Bidding
• This scenario revealed users' bidding behavior preferences and privacy concerns•Users were able to registered and bid
• The usability testing provided insight on how users reacted to the various features of the site

  1. Flagging items
  2. The function of a deposit
  3. Whether anyone actually read the descriptions on the site

High-Fidelity Mockups

With limited resources I was able to compile our usability testing findings and incorporated them to mockups. With the tight-deadline I was able to create the responsive design and create a prototype on InVision to showcase the work to the IRS Executive Deputy. Internal Leadership was happy on the teams output and as a result IRS was pleased following came with following work that involved a IRS.gov redesign and other product development. 

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