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Behind the scenes: the AppID design story

This post is written by Ananth Uggirala, Intermedia’s Principal User Experience Designer, as a behind-the-scenes look at how our design team works here at Intermedia.

It’s often said that good design disappears and allows user to achieve their goals with the task at hand.

This principle was our pillar as we embarked on designing our newest addition to the Intermedia family, Intermedia AppID, our single sign-on solution.

In this post, I will go into detail about the design process involved in building AppID.

STAGE 1: Defining goals

Our research has shown that Intermedia’s customers are very interested in control, security, and assistance in remembering strong passwords. But we also learned that our customers are generally busy professionals who have limited time to try new technology products. These became our design goals as we crafted an experience that would enable users to immediately adopt the service—and just as quickly see value in it.

STAGE 2: Designing the vision

We started by creating an overall vision for the product and then mapping out end-to-end customer journeys. A cross-functional team (including folks from engineering, design, product management, and marketing) came together to figure out a feasible experience that also has a viable business model. This helped us prioritize different use cases that we were trying to solve: admin vs. end-user control, multi-device usage scenarios, and  others.

UX flow used for brainstorming

We tested our hypotheses by converting our wireframes into prototypes and showing them to Intermedia customers.  During our user testing sessions, users clicked through the prototype and would think aloud as they explored the product. This gave us valuable information on which use cases resonated with users and which parts of the experience needed improvement.

STAGE 3: Iterating on those designs

Based on customer research, our team determined the key features and functionality that AppID would support for version one. We then crafted the visual design, which emphasized simplicity, control and security.

Different versions of HTML prototypes were created for web, tablet and mobile, each depicting the end-to-end experience on each platform. This key step allowed us to design, test and iterate on each platform independently and provide a seamless experience.  Our amazing engineering team rewrote some of the original code to accommodate the final HTML/CSS, as design was of the utmost importance.

STAGE 4: Gathering user feedback

After our first development release was ready, we provided 50 customers with access to test out the AppID product.  We conducted 1-on-1 interviews and observed how they adopted AppID into their business over the course of a few weeks.  We identified several bugs and UI issues, along with understanding the market fit for the product.

In addition, 600 Intermedia employees who were also testing the product provided valuable input on the experience on different browsers and devices. This allowed the AppID team to polish the user experience several times before the final release, which is pasted below.

appid-interface-design-process

Enjoying success!

It is really fun looking back and thinking of all the hard work the AppID team put to create a great product. It is also extremely rewarding to hear comments like these from our customers:

AppID makes it so easy to work with all my web apps. What incredible time savings!” Mike Maendler, Technology and Beyond

Great user interface, very simple and easy to use.” Zach Boewer, ScaleVP

“AppID is so helpful and easy to use. It is very intuitive to set up and add apps and users. It couldn’t be much easier. You don’t even need instructions.” Su Schafer, Key Events

Want a demo of AppID? Call us at (800) 379-7729. Or read 6 reasons why single sign-on promotes strong passwords.

About Ananth Uggirala

Ananth Uggirala is Intermedia's Principal UX Designer.