In 2014 we purchased a hospital business management and reporting system developed by an hospital association. In the time since we've added major enhancements, including improved data entry, real-time dashboards and financial forecasting modules.
While it contained excellent reports the user interface was outdated, and data entry was extremely painful. The only way to get data into the system was by uploading a CSV file and user satisfaction on this point was very low.
The association we purchased the product from had completed a survey and interviews of its users, and so we had a good understanding of what the issues were. I lead a series of internal brainstorming sessions with our product manager and technical lead, and together we developed a roadmap of enhancements, which we then presented to each current customer. This turned out to be a critical step in terms of customer retention as we took ownership of the product.
We started by pulling together a user group from each client hospital, and reviewing the product roadmap with them in-depth. This group would be instrumental in reviewing subsequent design deliverables.
For this initiative I decided to create simple wireframes using Powerpoint. Our users were already familiar with the process, and this would allow us to iterate through lots of different approaches in a short amount of time. I used the annotated wireframes to walk user group members through the proposed changes, and elicit their feedback.
I also created functional flows to illustrate enhancements to the file upload process.
Finally, I created a visual design and set of comps covering key screens to guide the final development.
The redesign was a success and feedback from users was very good, but it required a great deal of up-front thinking as well as lots of communication with our user group.