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User Experience & Service Design for Hall & Partners - Designing a data and insights platform

User Experience design & Service design for a real-time data analytics and storytelling platform for award winning insights agency Hall & Partners.

HALL & PARTNERS - THE HUB

Digitally transform The Hub, an award-winning data and insights platform and service.


Project: Product  & Service Envisioning Rollout for Data Platform

Client: Hall & Partners

Category: Innovation & Technology, Business to Business

Responsibilities: Concept & Identity development, User Experience Design, Service Design, User Testing, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Service Design, Workshop Facilitation.


The Challenge

Hall & Partners’ award-winning Insights platform, The Hub was in need of transformation to meet the needs of modern businesses. Without a solid customer experience strategy in place for its future, we were brought in to envision the product and service pipeline, solidify its strategy and revolutionise its features.

    The Process

    To kick-off, we embarked on a discovery phase to establish a three year strategy for the Hub Insights platform. We started the project with a programme of service design workshops supported by fortnightly idea validation through user research. From speaking to internal team members, the senior management and leadership team as well as current and potential clients. Extensive envisioning workshops were undertaken, which included mapping out a service blueprint, examining the needs of users at each stage of their journey through a series of customer journey framework workshops, collaborative sketching with clients to come up with new ideas to solve their issues. Design hypotheses were formed to help frame this research, distill findings and form design hypotheses. Feature ideas were refined through user interviews and focus groups.

    Through our initial user research, we discovered:

    • The Hub’s proposition was not clear for first run users
    • When users first see the data pages, it is not obvious how they should use the page, in particular compare, filter and share data.
    • The insight stories containing modern cultural references made the content more relatable and fun.
    • Information that is grouped into numbered clear chunks were easier and more pleasurable to read.
    • Users were confused around the navigation terms and mechanic
    • UI was not intuitive, often inconsistent and left users confused

    It was important that we only developed features that would either solve genuine user needs or help the business achieve their wider goals. 

    Accumulating this together with the rest of the data, we recommended an overarching concept and direction for the The Hub; create a multi-functional platform that enables, real-time storytelling, powered by the latest data and real people. By facilitating two-way conversations and delivering tailored and actionable insights in easily digestible and impactful ways and utilising modern collaborative methods so that businesses can do smart things, faster.

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    Design sprints saw us create rapid prototypes and carry out further research. Each interactive prototype represented one of the core themes of our concept - Data analysis, Story creation and Workboards. These prototypes were then used for research with internal teams and clients of Hall and Partners. Using qualitative methods we aimed to get a sense of how people currently used the platform and consider how the proposed solution would meet their needs. We discovered how people use existing tools, their current work flow and we started to get a sense of the user’s desire for the new ideas we were proposing.

    Faced with this increasing tidal wave of data, and less time than ever before, your job, to impact decisions with insights, is becoming harder and harder.
    — Oli Hayward, The Hub Product Director

    Off the back of the refined concept prototype and design hypotheses we produced a detailed roadmap of feature ideas and worked with the internal product team to prioritise the features.

    The high priority features were as follows:

    • Improve the reading experience
    • Improved data visualisation 
    • Create a way for users to create content and analyse data together
    • Allow for data to be consumed in human readable ways
    • Tools to aide with data analysis

    We are currently working on all the detailed design and user experience for the brand new platform. We are working side-by-side with the technology and product owners to incrementally test and roll out ways to transform how data can be gathered, interpreted and shared across networks, brands and business units.

    You can find more in depth process of the finished sections below:

    Establishing a new look and feel

    Find out how we transformed a cluttered and confusing interface to a more modular, practical, dynamic and adaptable one. Read more >

    Search

    Read more about our search implementation that allowed for easy filtering and improved accessibility. Read more >

     

    Creating and publishing a story

    The creation of a story allows authors to add their own infographics, images, videos as well as pull in statistics and graphs to highlight key data movements. Read more >

    Explore and compare data

    Read more about how we allowed users to deep dive into complex data for comparison and investigation. Read more >


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