The publishing team at Bayer HealthCare Diagnostics used a home-grown application to facilitate online collaboration with their worldwide clients.
When I first met ”BayerTracker,” it had many functional breakdowns and usability shortcomings. Its original coder had fallen off the planet, leaving no documentation behind him. No one was even certain which server the application lived on.
”BayerTracker” also lacked at least one essential feature: a tool to control ”Routing”obtaining mandated permissions before releasing work into public view.
Working on ”BayerTracker” was huge fun, partly* because it was a textbook exercise in IA and user-centered design. It required:
Gathering user characteristics through interviews and focus groups
Managing workgroup politics, internal stakeholder expectations, and communications with external vendors
Creating schematics, flowcharts and wireframes
Creating a scripted, cross-browser-compatible, ”super-high-resolution” prototype that mimicked user interaction without database interaction
Working with vendor project management and coders to ensure accurate implementation and timely deployment.
* The most fun of all was attending the kickoff meeting from a hospital bed; I fractured my right humerus the night before. The teleconference worked out fine until my elderly roommate began shouting about his gall bladder. :)