I am Alesha Arp, Senior User Experience Researcher: leader of programs, initiatives, teams and people. I am an agent of insight-driven impact to roadmaps, product design, process development, service delivery and revenue streams. Insights I draw from qualitative discovery, backed by quantitative analysis, elevate the design of digital and physical products, processes, and services.
I inspire cross-functional teammates to architect human-centered solutions to complex problems so we can turn challenges into opportunities.
Photo credit Luke Chesser on Unsplash
Each gallery below offers work samples and a brief description of the project. Click the center of the image to view larger.
List of opportunities that arose from the study insights
What are the most important factors in choosing a service provider?
Bar graph showing communication, reliability & trust, and service progress tracking as the top three factors
Foundational Discovery to Drive Revenue
Project: Discover what drives clients to select a service provider for a new service vertical
Problem: Newly acquired company was unaccustomed to serving the luxury market. Clients were entrenched with their preferred service providers
Solution: Identified service "attach" drivers, collaborated with product, sales, and service delivery teams to determine how best to execute. Redesigned feedback instruments to drive actionable data into these teams.
Methods: In-depth interviews, multi-variate workflow mapping, service gap analysis, design and content collaboration, data analysis and survey instrumentation
Impact: Increased revenue in the short-term with acquired provider, eventually resulted in a shift away from M&A to deliver via a digital service partner exchange, enabling luxury providers to opt-in to platform.
A list of opportunities that resulted from this study
How might we save time, effort and expense?
A list of learnings
How Might We Save Time, Effort, and Expense?
Project: Foundational discovery into saving time, effort and expense in service delivery through digital platform development.
Problem: Integrate existing technological process into an existing digital platform to incorporate a multi-variate service, engaging many parties, into a complex workflow. Digital product team needed to understand how to create platform efficiencies to drive improved service delivery and increased revenue.
Solution: Identified breakdowns in time, effort, and expense. Collaborated on potential solutions to each. Discovery also exposed potential risk to company and its clients. Insights revealed challenges in integration efficiency, information architecture, and usage maturity. Proposed solutions for information transfer across multi-variate workflow. Identified disjointedness in integrated digital ecosystem.
Methods: Roundtable discussions, contextual observation & inquiry, workflow and information mapping
Impact: Created digital service tracking functionality, integrated into existing platform. Identified possible expansion of fledgling revenue stream - now in high growth mode. Built awareness around risk potential.
Jobs, tasks, and data model (diagram is absent any actual data - it is for illustrative purposes only)
Build a Better Roadmap
Project: Rapid growth, and accelerated timelines resulted in product divisions vying for resources, and project prioritization
Problem: In the "all-hands-on-deck" rush to deliver an end-to-end digital platform with supporting service-side functions, leadership needs to prioritize clients' most pressing needs first - but every need is pressing for the client
Solution: With a cross-functional team, map the client's journey, based on a Jobs to be Done framework. Build out that journey map, and then create a data model to inform product and service roadmap prioritization and planning
Methods: Audit existing organizational knowledge. Iterate on journey map and JTBD list. Conduct validation studies with internal experts and clients between iterations. Conduct research and work with cross-functional SMEs to build out data model.
Impact: (Research and collaboration underway to build out data model. Early indicators are pointing to sections of the client workflow that could warrant priority attention.)
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Bridge gaps across divisions through UXR and product design
Project: Design a platform that equally serves users in all segments of customer hierarchy and bring cross-functional teams to the design effort. Included product specific goals and organizational goals.
Problem: Flash-based product facing expiration. Serves only one segment of user population well. Some segments of user population not-at-all. Organization in a state of siloed-mistrust following restructuring.
Solution: In conjunction with product UX research, conducted internal discovery. By bridging gaps and bringing cross-functional teams into the discovery and design efforts, "Changed the way the company works" according to executive leaders. Designed a platform that serves all users well, and that teammates throughout organization can see their hand in creating and are excited to deliver and support.
Methods: Contextual interviews and observations, CX gap analysis, leadership workshops, surveys, quantitative analysis, qualitative discovery, insights analysis, experience design, process mapping, information architecture studies and design, product ecosystem discovery, stakeholder interviews
Align Program Information Architecture to Data Structure and User Segment Hierarchy
Project: Determine Information Architecture (IA) that aligns to data structure so that data is actionable across entire user segment hierarchy.
Problem: Through UX research discovery we learned that legacy metrics were not actionable in the users' hierarchical model. When action was taken based on those metrics, it was often counterproductive for program efficacy. Additionally the IA needed to work across the structured hierarchy of user roles, but these did not roll up in a straight line.
Solution: Using qualitative and quantitative insights we structured the IA to progressively disclose data to users in accordance to their relational hierarchy and according to their usage maturity. We thought we were on the right path when users started to speak about prototype data in their own individual context. We then tested that against the data structure and it broke. We had just two weeks to pivot, test, and submit the IA. Went back to paper-prototyping and through 5 iterations in 10 days in 2 cities we revised and met our deadline.
Methods: Information Architecture sorts (moderated and un-), prototype usability and data studies (paper and digital), collaboration with data science team, contextual usability studies across the country
The final weeks focused on illustrations of the game characters.
Began by comparing several new concepts to the existing design
In the second week artists adjusted according to student feedback.
Gaming Environment with Wide Appeal
Project: Design a gaming environment to appeal to pre-kindergarten through middle-school students without deviating from rigorous educational focus and program efficacy.
Problem: Content across grade levels must have consistent environment to allow for learning differentiation. (Differentiation example: sixth grade student might play third grade game to fill a learning gap.)
Solution: Working in rapid design iterations with artists and animators we tested 56 environment designs and 21 character designs inside of a few weeks. Field test Wednesday, insights Thursday, iterate by Tuesday morning, design the test, repeat.
Methods: User interviews, surveys, quantitative scoring, insights analysis, design charrettes, stakeholder interviews, constructive critique
Publication: How User Feedback Helps Shape ST Math Updates
Customizing the landing dashboard to the different role in the customers' organizations
Redesigning a Platform: employing UX research to influence & inform design
Aligning the IA to the way users work
Redesign of Digital Platform
Project: Redesign platform for automotive technology leader. Begin with flagship product and create user-centered foundation for entire platform.
Problem: Current system was functionally very rich, but the out-of-date style met with push back as users’ expectations of user interfaces kept pace with responsive technologies.
Solution: Conducted extensive UX Research to discover users’ needs, expectations and preferences. Aligned these to development timelines and business goals.
Methods: User observation, information architecture (IA) evaluation and redesign, user interviews, workflow and process mapping and streamlining, empathic persona development, prototype usability testing, rapid design validation testing
Publication: UXmatters.com article July 2016
(Architectural renderings done by teammates)
User Journey Study
Project: Research to open opportunities into a new specialty area for the firm.
Problem: The firm was presented with an RFP for a new project in a closely related discipline, but one they had not yet serviced. The goals were to answer the RFP, to be invited to interview and to win the project.
Solution: Reviewed prior related project work, drew parallels with relevant detail and made it to the next round. Demonstrated significant knowledge of this specialty discipline, common user needs and concerns, and how the firm’s prior project work could be applied to win the project. Project stakeholders connected to our user-centered focus and we won the project.
Methods: Competitive analysis, secondary user-research, process mapping, on-site observation, design charrettes, presentation to project stakeholders