Problem-solving | Leadership

Race against the clock

When a leading Portuguese company told us they wanted to create an event for their 12,000 collaborators we were excited by the prospect of helping them. When they told us they expected results in their intranet on the following days we knew it would be a real challenge.

Please note that due to a non-disclosure agreement, I am not legally allowed to reveal which company I'm refering to in this case study. Even so, I deemed it a very interesting project that showcased my skills and strengths as a UX designer, which is why I still chose to include it in my portfolio with some information redacted. Thank you for your understanding.

Context

A senior UX designer and I had been working with this client for several months, developing and maintaining their intranet. This job included developing the intranet before its launch and, afterwards, improving it iteratively as well as implementing new features according to the client's needs. We used an agile development method with 3-week sprints.


We were told about a 2-day event that they wanted to organise for their 12,000 collaborators and would happen in less than 2 months. They wanted to advertise it in the intranet in a way that hadn't been implemented thus far, and if possible also wanted to incorporate that event in the intranet. This meant that the unique entry QR code for each collaborator would be available in the intranet, as well as day-to-day information, personalised instructions, a news compillation, FAQs, and other information. The event also had to present different information according to the time period (before, during, and after the event), which was different for each collaborator.


At the time of this briefing and for most of this development I was working by myself, without the help of the senior UX designer that was also in the project, which made me take the proactive approach of leading this implementation.

A tight-proof plan and exceptional time management were crucial.

As time was very limited, I made it my priority to immediately elicit all the requirements from the stakeholders. As soon as that was done, I started listing priorities and planning a multiprongued approach that could answer them as quickly as possible.

Abstract representation of building blocks through a black-and-white pattern.
Step 1

Interpreting requirements

I had to quickly understand the event and the client's needs and motivations. For example, they wanted to promote the event ASAP with a countdown timer, which had to be developed. Since their main goal was promoting it, I proposed 2 phases in order to publish it ASAP while we created the timer.

Abstract representation of interconectivity through a black-and-white pattern.
Step 2

Planning staggered phases

Our biggest limitation was time, since our sprints lasted for 3 weeks and the event was in 2 months. Other restraints included development needs, reliance on external entities, and changing requirements. It was imperative to have a solid plan with several intertwined and complex phases.

Abstract representation of flexibility through a curvy black-and-white pattern.
Step 3

Remaining flexible and vigilant

Validating and delivering the UX solutions was of the utmost importance, but I also took full ownership of this project, coordinating with all disciplines and even doing tasks beyond my scope. It was important to change the plan as hardships arised to make sure we delivered an exceptional result.

Conclusion

The client was ecstatic with the quality and scope of our delivery, and we were very proud of it ourselves. It was only possible thanks to the commitment of the whole team, as well as a very tight time management and coordinated efforts during each of the multiple phases.


This project helped me better understand the impact of a strong plan and how intepreting the client's brief is more valuable than just doing what they ask of us. It also highlighted the benefits of an agile development methodology and constant communication across all teams.

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