Pretsl Dasboard Prototype
The Pretsl dashboard was built to allow business owners and managers the ability to manage their online storefront as well as get details about their online operations. My goal was to assess the usability of the current Pretsl dashboard and offer suggestions for improvement based off of user research.
To better understand the small-brick-and-mortar business environment and the needs of the Pretsl users I put myself in their shoes and completed a cognitive walkthrough of the Pretsl dashboard. I first compiled a list of standard tasks that users should be able to accomplish within the dashboard. I then deliberately completed all of the tasks while evaluating the usability against 4 primary heuristics.
- Mental Model - Will the user try to achieve the right outcome?
- Visibility/Hierarchy - Is the correct action visible?
- Mapping/Consistency - Is there a clear connection between the control and the resulting action?
- Feedback - Is there sufficient and/or appropriate feedback?
To further my understanding of Pretsl’s users I observed 3 remote contextual inquiry interviews of store managers with experience using tools similar to Pretsl. Users were asked a series of questions to gauge the extent of their experience and expectations as well as interact with the Pretsl dashboard to help identify pain points and areas for improvement.
Research Findings & Prototype Plan
Once the cognitive walkthrough and contextual inquiries were complete I compiled and synthesized my research findings. The 3 main takeaways i discovered were:
- Inventory - Doing inventory is a very important, yet arduous task for managers who often have a lot on their plate and prefer to get it over with quickly so they may move on to their next task. Multiple participants during the contextual inquiries noted difficulty locating the amount of inventory available which would make an already arduous task more painful.
- Product/Category Organization - The ability to quickly locate and update specific products within Pretsl is difficult with the expectation that most small businesses will have hundreds if not thousands of products and there is currently no ability to search or filter within the dashboard.
- Dashboard Home Page - In my cognitive walkthrough I noticed the home page of the dashboard provides little to no information that can provide value to business owners or managers. Additionally, all 3 contextual interviewees pointed out the importance and lack of ability within the Pretsl dashboard to see high level data such as sales quotes, open orders, inventory information or current sale items.
With these findings in place I created a prototype plan that included user stories, a user scenario, my ideas for improvements to address the 3 main areas of concern and some sketches to help visualize the plan.
Interactive Prototype with Tour
Once I had my plan I set to work on creating the interactive prototype and added guided tour points for the cliet to walk through and interact with the updates.
- Re-organized the navigation to declutter and make key tasks easier to locate.
- Added high level information to the dashboard home page to give managers important and pertinent information such as sales, low inventory items and open orders.
- Created an Inventory page to make managing inventory easier
- Added the ability for users to set notifications based on individual products inventory
- Added a search bar and filterable table to the Products and Categories pages making it quicker and easier to locate specific products.