How we hacked our UX design process
At symplr, we encounter a variety of challenging problems that demand innovative and effective solutions for the nine in ten U.S. hospitals that use our solutions. What follows is the story of how our user experience (UX) team harnessed the power of cross-team collaboration to solve a particularly complex problem.
By sharing it, we hope you’ll gain valuable insights into the benefits of leveraging the collective knowledge of individuals outside your team. Armed with these insights, you can more effectively overcome difficult challenges in your daily work.
Even seemingly small details can cause roadblocks
Within our symplr Compliance solution, we provide a product called Survey Manager, which enables customers to document evidence of compliance across their healthcare organization for risk assessment purposes. Often users need to apply multiple filters to refine their survey data, but our application constraints made it difficult to present these filters in an understandable and concise manner. This presented a challenge to our UX team. Despite our best efforts over the course of a couple days, the team felt stuck after several failed attempts at testing our solutions, unsure how to create an intuitive user experience that met the needs of our users.
It takes a village: why we needed more than our team
Initially, we attempted to solve the problem internally, iterating on the design individually. However, we realized that we needed a fresh perspective to gain new insights and spark new ideas. While feedback from the Survey Manager team’s internal stakeholders was helpful, we knew we needed to involve others outside of the team to make significant progress.
A small sample of various iterations tried by designers to apply custom filters to further refine the survey results.
Stuck? Try with a little help from friends
Like Joe Cocker and the Beatles, we needed a little help from our friends. Therefore, we decided to leverage the power of collaboration by sharing our challenge, then inviting feedback and ideas from our extended team of researchers and designers through our UX Teams Channel "Black Lab." Within a few hours, we received over 25 comments and suggestions that immediately sparked new ideas and helped us achieve the final solution.
“Within a few hours, we received over 25 comments and suggestions that immediately sparked new ideas and helped us achieve the final solution.”
The Microsoft Team’s post and feedback from our UX Channel “Black Lab,” including the feedback that inspired the solution.
Collaborative brainpower yields simple filtering solution
Through collaborative efforts, we designed a solution that effectively addresses our users' needs by simplifying the filtering process and reducing the time required to obtain accurate results. Importantly, we had confidence that our customers could intuitively filter survey questions through numerous and various parameters, including answers, respondents, locations, tags, decision, corrective action, sub-surveys, comments, and attachments — all without error.
The team’s final solution of applying custom filters to further refine the survey results.
The strength of humility and the power in numbers
At symplr, we pride ourselves on being continuous learners, and this experience taught us the value of collaboration and feedback. Our extended team brought fresh perspectives and unique insights that helped us quickly overcome roadblocks and consider aspects of the problem that we had not considered before. We learned to embrace the collaborative power that comes from involving and innovating across teams and departments, recognizing that asking for help when we are stuck is a strength, not a weakness.
This attitude is borne out in our company’s Core Values, and for this challenge we tapped into the “Teamwork Is Our True North” and “Rooted in Actions and Outcomes” values, which state that we can collectively achieve any milestone together and we inspire one another each day to do more, respectively.
“The experience taught us the value of collaboration and feedback.”
Collaborate, don't isolate: Your new team mantra
We encourage all teams to embrace the power of collaborative problem-solving. By opening the doors to feedback and inviting fresh perspectives, we can all create more effective solutions that meet the needs of our users. Our experience highlights the benefits of leveraging the collective knowledge of individuals outside your team to tackle tough problems and successfully achieve desired outcomes.
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