Prior to 2015, staff at Woodside Energy were using the SAP CAT2 system to complete their weekly timewriting. If you’ve had any experience with SAP, you’ll know that the user interface can be a bit confusing and not the most intuitive or appealing to use:
In 2014, I joined the project team as the UX consultant and front-end developer. A complete redevelopment of the tool took place, with the system becoming web-based instead of desktop-based. Using an agile approach, the project began with an inception phase which involved intense workshops and user research sessions to develop a strong understanding of the different stakeholders and their requirements. This information formed the basis for the initial paper prototype designs which were tested with end-users from different parts of the organization.
These prototypes were then rigorously tested and results were used to form high-fidelity prototypes built in PowerPoint such as the below:
Again, taking an iterative approach, further testing took place with these prototypes, leading to the final design.
Development of the front-end design involved a combination of CSS and SAPUI5, a UI technology developed by SAP to enable custom developmenet of web-based enterprise applications.
The new system was rolled out in mid-2015 with a very positive reception amongst staff and significant improvements in timewriting compliance.
Skills developed from this project:
- Front-end design: Not only was I able to further develop existing capabilities in front-end technologies such as CSS, but I also had the opportunity to learn new technologies such as SAPUI5. I also gained a much stronger understanding of laying out elements on a page and using the right colours and fonts to achieve a certain “look”.
- Prototyping: I learnt to quickly mock-up ideas on paper as well as producing high-fidelity prototypes on the computer, using PowerPoint as the tool of choice.
- User testing: Constant user-testing took place using “think-aloud” protocol where we’d give users tasks and get them to speak out loud everything they were thinking and doing while performing the task. This provided valuable feedback to ensure we were developing a tool that was truly user-friendly.
- Business analysis and research: Further developed my capabilities in business analysis and conducting user research through interviews, focus groups, user testing and searching through corporate documents and the intranet to gain a strong understanding of end-users and their business needs when it came to timewriting.
- Working in an agile fashion: Applying agile methodologies to this project taught me the value of continuous improvement, iterating quickly, releasing early and getting constant feedback instead of just doing one huge release at the end of the project.