Opportunities from challenge
I am Alesha Arp, senior user experience researcher and strategist.
Insights I draw from quantitative and qualitative discovery elevate the design of digital and physical products, processes, and places.
I inspire cross-functional teammates to architect human-centered solutions to complex problems.
Photo credit Luke Chesser on Unsplash
I am inspired to design human-centered, ethical, scalable, marketable, impactful solutions to sticky problems.
I have inspired teams and organizations to become stronger and more focused. I've developed processes and tools that elevate the contributions design and product teams make to the overall customer experience. I've inspired siloed divisions to join together to achieve common goals.
I share my experience and expertise widely through articles and blog posts, workshops and presentations, interviews and podcasts, mentoring and volunteering.
Each gallery below offers work samples and a brief description of the project. Click the center of the image to view larger.
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
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
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
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