Revamping the Experience of a Legacy Salesforce Application

Revamping legacy applications can be a challenge. A really exciting challenge.

Proposing the change to the Legacy System

Redesigning a Legacy system is a challenge. The need to redesign the experience so that it doesn’t affect the set processes is a difficult thing to do, but with a supportive team and product owner, it went off quite smoothly.

This is a project where I got first-hand experience working in an agile environment. Also along the course of the project, the team and I inculcated the design thinking approach to the internal teams.

I keep working on ad-hoc UI changes for this client and though those UI changes improved the visual experience of the system, I also felt the need to give a new User Experience direction to the system. I proposed this idea to the Design head at that time, and he was mighty interested in going ahead with the process.

The system has been in place for 8-10 years. Users have become modern and technology is evolving by the day. We (I, the design head and the internal team) proposed the idea of doing a complete audit of the system to fix the looks and experience of the system.

The system was built on Salesforce – something we had to keep in mind while designing the new system.

The client was quite enthusiastic about the idea of the revamp for a better experience. We were asked to start off with our audit and come up with how we would go about the process. We also asked for some information from the client on the experiences of the current users of the system – that’s something we could keep in mind when we would look into the process flows of the components.

Responsibilities

  • Research
  • System Audit & Review
  • Sitemap, Information Architecture, Stakeholder Discussions
  • Internal Development Team Discussions
  • Wireframes
  • Prototypes
  • UI Design
  • UI Development, UI Review

Internal Team Collaboration, Project Management and the Auditing Process

The internal development team gave me tremendous support. I got a walkthrough of the entire system and an understanding of the terminologies used in the system. They gave me access to the system to make it easier for me to do the audit.

I enjoy Audits. I went component by component, screen by screen, functionality by functionality. Extensive notes, screenshots were taken to support the audit and to be shared with the client. The audit revealed a messy information grouping in their system and elaborate process flows. With the information that I had in place, I reworked on the sitemap of the application, putting together a sitemap diagram that would make the application much more easier to navigate. 

With this project I was introduced to working in an agile environment.

The entire project was broken down into achievable portions with a sprint timeline of 2 weeks for each of them.

I worked with the Design head to formulate a document for each portion of the project along with timelines and types of deliverables for each stage. All these portions (or stories) were added to Jira, the project management tool that we use to keep track of all the work that we do what needs to be done and to log time for the efforts put in. The client was extremely appreciative of this documentation as it helped her keep track of the progress of the project.

Throughout the entire course of this 6-month project, we had the support of our internal development teams and the client teams as and when needed. Any clarification was met quickly and all feedback was given even more quickly.

With the sitemap in place, we proposed the main dashboard for the application (which wasn’t there in the current system) where the users would get an overview of everything happening. This would make their life easy – instead of navigating deep down into each component, they could find what they were looking for on the front dashboard. The dashboard also got a fresh left panelled navigation with all the components grouped to their respective purpose. 

Getting into the Visuals of the System – Collaboration with the Client’s Design Team

The dashboard concept was met with a great response. With the direction set in place, we started looking into the flows of each component in the system and made the experience smoother wherever it was necessary. Of course, this was done with assistance from the development team since any changes in the flows could affect the system’s backend. 

Once we started working on the visuals for the system, we touched base with the client’s UX designer as frequently as possible to ensure we were all in the same direction while working on the UI. The designer shared the brand guidelines and design system with us – a great asset since I needed to design about 80 consistent UI screens. When each component was complete, I would mock up the screens in Invision for an interactive prototype which acted as demos for the clients. 

On completing all the screens, we shared them with the designer for his sign off and feedback, if any. Throughout the entire design process, we ensured that the client was always aware of what was happening. All the deliverables and completion of the project was achieved via effective communication in emails and on our Jira Stories. 

Once the desktop design version was completed, we even set upon delivering the project’s mobile screens. Since the flows were pretty clear at the moment, it was all about the translation of those screens to mobile resolution. 

Technical Coordination, UI Reviews, and (a lot of) Appreciation

With all the flows and visuals in place, I worked with the Design head and UI developer to ensure all the screens were coded pixel perfect. We tested every flow, screen, and visual to ensure we delivered everything perfectly to the client. 

The entire client-side was extremely excited at the end of this 6-month project. With effective communication, timely delivery of prototypes, screens and decks and thorough demonstrations of the system, the entire legacy system had transformed into a fresh, modern and user-friendly application. The design thinking approach was thoroughly implemented in this project – with a deep understanding of the system and its users, we defined the problem, ideated and iterated on multiple solutions, shared quick prototypes with the clients which would then be validated and tested by them. 

The appreciation that came with the completion of this project was unprecedented. The clients commended the entire team on a great job with the documentation put together, the collaboration with their team to work on the visuals and finally delivering everything wrapped in a bow. 

Key Takeaways

This project was filled with learning for me. From learning to communicate with clients, working with cross-functional teams in an agile environment, adopting the design thinking approach, tackling escalations and working on the deliverables, it had them all. Challenging projects like these are exciting to work on.

Project Status

The application is done and delivered to the client. We are still waiting on the deployment of the solution since the team is busy with other urgent requirements. 

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