The most-used pages of Neon’s constituent relationship management database are those where contacts and transactions are created and reviewed. Our userbase of nonprofit administrators complained that they were losing time because our forms had too many fields and too many steps during data entry. Meanwhile, new users had little confidence in these pages due to their outdated look. We set a goal to make these system-defining pages as streamlined and approachable as possible to attract and keep users.
I interviewed users and learned that they had difficulty locating the fields they needed to quickly enter information. They would overlook which fields were required and typically forget to check whether they were creating duplicate accounts. I diagrammed the current workflow and saw that it had very little feedback for our users during the data-entry process. I designed new workflows to include real-time validation of required fields, and type-ahead checks for duplication.
For nonprofits that did not need to collect every available field, I designed the entry points and the mechanics to customize forms to include only information each group needed and reduce “noise” of rarely used data. I grouped the remaining fields into skimmable categories based on a card sort. For consistency of user experience, I designed parallel form, settings, and summary pages to share a common layout, always displaying editable data in panels with the same field order to increase familiarity.
To test these designs, I created HTML prototypes within the Bootstrap framework, which I iterated for user experience tests on a variety of new and experienced internal employees. These tests pages proved easy to navigate for both new and expert users. The tests exposed some flaws with field order, which influenced the rearrangement of categories within the page to make data entry feel more natural.
I sent the HTML of my final mockups to our developers for implementation. I was the point person during the build and used Jira to communicate with our remote developers through all questions and concerns that arose. I also coordinated quality assurance tests around each use case to make sure it worked as expected.
After implementation, many clients wrote in to thank us for making their lives easier:
"Just wanted to follow up and say kudos to your development team for the recent update. It looks like the issues I was dealing with when we last spoke have been taken care of with the new account interface. I'm thrilled and can't wait to see what they improve next!"
Screenshots of these redesigned pages are now featured on NeonCRM's website.