Empowering users to grow their business
At Jet and Walmart eCommerce, we have a team of Category Managers (CM) and Specialists (CS) who are dedicated to perfecting their category performance and creating a better shopping experience for our customers. The Flight Deck team is committed to building a platform for our CMs and CS’s to leverage digestible information, diagnose problems, prioritize tasks and take actions proactively. Designing Flight Deck, my goal is to make our users’ lives easier while holding them accountable to create business impact and achieve personal values.
Together with the design team, engineers and product managers, I’ve been designing various dashboard features and data visualizations in Financial Performance, Pricing, Assortment, Inventory, Marketing and Customers.
I’m also working on a few workflows that help users take actions to solve issues and improve their way of managing business using Flight Deck. In addition, I’ve been collaborating with the design lead on the overall experience (onboarding; notifications; loading, error and empty states etc.), and contributing to the design system.
We don’t have a dedicated user researcher on the team, so I’ve also been pairing with the product team and the design lead to conduct user studies and leveraging user insights to inform designs.
I work with the multi-functional team in understanding our users and shaping the product to make useful information easily accessible, create intuitive workflows, reduce anxiety, ensure flexibility, provide just-enough guidance, and eventually - build trust and help our users feel more accomplished at work.
Some features I had a chance to work on.
Shout out to team members and users who collaborated with me or shared feedback
What problems are we solving? Who are we solving for?
CMs and CS’s act as the business manager of their categories, and are responsible for financial performance, assortment, inventory, pricing, marketing and customer satisfaction. They strive to understand customers and markets, work with various brands and vendors to deliver the right products at lower prices, and improve our customers’ shopping experience.
However, they have to fight with a lot of problems that are making it extremely difficult to manage their categories. Based on a survey across the Retail Organization, CS’s spend the most time troubleshooting issues on tooling, systems and vendors (24%); satisfaction scores for tool & data access, data trust and tool functionality are all negative.
“A lot of times I won’t know there’s an issue until a vendor tells me something looks off. And I have to investigate in different tools to find out what has caused the issue.”
“I’m so jaded that I have to question everything. There are so many data sets but no single source of truth.”
“How would I know what impact I’m making? I promoted some items on site but I don’t know what outcome it’s driving.”
“What is discoverability score? How is that calculated? Was there an update to the CP calculation recently? My CP is much lower for the same timeframe than I remember it being last week...”
There are many tools with specific functionalities across different marts. Data is scattered and inconsistent. CS’s have to spend extra time collecting and validating data, troubleshooting, and manually building out their own reports.
With many moving pieces, it’s hard for CS’s to connect the dots between outcomes and how they have manipulated their products. Oftentimes, they have to dig into multiple tools or time periods to investigate on the correlations.
Current way of managing business is reactive instead of proactive. There’s no easy way to prioritize tasks, stay on top of important events and be alerted about potential issues or opportunities ahead of time.
In many workflows, CS’s need to download Excel templates and upload them in bulk. However, the actual process requires them to go through individual items and fill out multiple attributes one by one.
It takes a new CS lots of trainings to learn the tools; they also need guidance to develop the strategic knowledge and practices. But for expert users, they need more autonomy and flexibility.
Flight Deck’s mission is to empower our category teams to efficiently access and move between data, knowledge and tools, and take actions proactively to improve category health and customers’ shopping experience. At an emotional level, we want to ease the stress and help them feel confident to create greater impact and meaningful values.
How do we get there?
How might we ensure that the charts and reports are effective and not just high-level analytics? How might we make it efficient for the user to find out the root causes and fix issues? More importantly, how to enable our users to think ahead and take actions proactively? Some patterns we’ve figured out based on user studies and feedback we’ve gotten along the way:
The process varies depending on the specific problems we are trying to solve, but I always try and engage with users, product stakeholders and engineers along the way.
Collecting feedback from users
Thoughts on whiteboards, stickies, notepads and paper towels
Case Study & Learnings
In the following case study, I will be sharing my design process to solving specific problems and learnings so far.
4 Product Managers, front-end and back-end engineers,
Design lead & me
Interaction design, user research,
visual design, illustration
Sketch, Figma, Principle,
Adobe Illustrator, After Effects, Photoshop
2018.1 - Present