MOZU ADMIN REDESIGN
Enterprise Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly
Anyone who has used enterprise software can agree on one thing—it’s usually pretty ugly. And this is fine. Users of enterprise software are more focused on the usability of the software, and whether it allows them to do their work quick and efficiently. That said, there’s no reason that enterprise software has to look like 1999. It can provide excellent usability and look beautiful too.
Where We Started
Mozu, a modern enterprise cloud commerce platform needed a redesign. While its interface looked good compared to many other enterprise solutions, the company wanted to take its design to the next level.
A Fresh Start
In November 2015 our UI team was tasked with beginning exploratory design ideas for the new Mozu platform.At the time, this was open-ended with no restrictions and no set timeline. Below are mockups of my first explorations in the redesign
After about two weeks – the focus changed. A contract designer was brought (without my knowledge) to finish the design I started. Then there was a deadline – six weeks. The company’s CEO wanted the whole product to be redesigned and coded for display at a tradeshow in mid-January 2016. I quickly pivoted from exploratory mode to production mode. I cranked out high-res mockups based on the style guide created by the contract designer, and our development team worked like crazy to a get a working model done in six weeks. And we did it.
Was this a great process? No, not at all. From having my project hijacked to “re-skinning” a product without improving its features, this was a complete mess. But, I learned a lot from this process. Mostly not what to do.
The verdict is still out. While the new software looks better than the old, without offering the multitude of new features existing Mozu customers were begging for, I can’t say it was a success. Simply making a product “prettier” isn’t a solution. Often times, user experience is worsened. No matter how “ugly” the old product was, users were used to it. And simply slapping a facelift on existing software can make usability worse.
Fortunately, through user testing and feedback, we have learned that Mozu users responded positively for the most part. There is a lot still to improve upon, but even through this winding road of product design, things are looking good.