Solving UX problems with IT Observations
I work in IT and am tired of receiving tens of the same Helpdesk ticket. So I decided to do something about it and change the User Experience. (ツ)_/¯
View full slideshow, here.
As previously mentioned, I work at an art school, which means I am surrounded by creative, visual people. With that in mind, it is no wonder that sending them wordy, technical documents just leads them right back into my office after failed attempts to install a simple driver.
It is not so much that I don't like doing receptive work, it's just that allowing an easily-solvable, broken system to continue IRKS me. In addition, I then have to spend twice the time (aka $) doing something an inexperienced person is able to do on their own—with pictures. That's time I could have spent solving larger, more complex issues.
Research, Insights, & a Hypothesis
Working directly with my target users, I've become accustomed to searching for two things when trying to solve a tech-related issue; one, the information they give you and two, the information you know you'll need to fix it. Obviously, much more goes into it but that's the gist. People usually assume the problem is much more complex than it is.
No matter staff, student or faculty, it was always the same questions, "I need to connect my laptop to a tablet in the computer lab and my pen isn't working" or they would say, "the instructions you send me didn't work." No shade, but most times, it's user error but I don't blame them. The boilerplates we are trained to use are lengthy, difficult to read, and somehow always out-of-date. The system wasn't working.
After volunteering some of my student workers to try to install the driver using the boilerplate, I quickly noticed that they A. skimmed through it so they missed steps and B. they couldn't find where "X button," "Y dropdown" or "Z menu" was. My fellow artists were in need of some visual guidance.
Everyone at CCA is familiar with Google Apps for one reason or the other. Students and Faculty use it to share and collaborate in-class work and staff use Google Sheets almost daily. So, I created a step-by-step slideshow with all of the information you'll need. From OS to driver type and installation, it's visually represented in the simplest of terms for the everyday user.
I posted the live doc at every touchpoint I could think of, on our website, lab portal pages, and even created lab posters with a short link to the presentation. It's distilled, visual, and easily updated. This isn't the most flashy design solution, but it serves its purpose at a low cost/ high impact. I now only receive outlier tickets regarding the issue.
As a User Support Specialist, my work is centered around helping people "fix" something that is "broken." Most times nothing is actually broken, but I digress.
In this profession, I have the unique opportunity to observe behavioral patterns amongst the students, staff, and faculty at California College of the Arts. Over time, I get tired of having to copy/paste boilerplates into Helpdesk tickets and can't help but use my design chops to create better UX systems. Why not nip it in the butt before it becomes a problem, right?