IT is in the center stage as the forefront of the customer experience, enabling new business models and supporting business digital transformation. Today end users have a world of services at their fingertips with the Internet. They expect an Amazon.com-like shopping experience to get what they want, when they want it.
From our team's customer visits, the key challenges of the traditional centralized IT is to improve user satisfaction, improve speed, responsiveness and time to value, and still reduce the costs to stay competitive with external service providers. We believe IT shouldn't necessarily look into that as a threat. Instead of thinking IT has to bring up every single service on their own, IT can transform from centralized IT perspective into a services broker.
HPE Propel is here to help transition IT into a services broker. IT can partner with other service providers to be able to bring value-added services very quickly and deliver them for the business. End users interact with IT services through the Systems of Engagement, from their mobile devices or desktops, which offers them single consumer experience, and all within a fully integrated open framework that complements your current systems.
Here are the quick overview of the core features of HPE Propel:
Provides a single, self-service IT experience and one-stop shop for all IT services, including IT and its customers.
Aggregates services from all underlying IT Service Manager and cloud catalogs into a single IT service catalog.
Provides smart feed capability and standalone engaging apps which can be integrated with traditional IT applications in the backend.
Orchestrates service delivery and enables easy onboarding and integration of external suppliers and their services in plug-and-play fashion, regardless of whether services are traditional or cloud-based.
Generates web apps which can run in the portal and integrate with traditional backend systems. SDK helps create the custom third-party integrations with Service Exchange.
I am currently the User Experience Designer of the Alpha Team for HPE Propel. The Alpha Team is a cross-program and highly technical team comprised of Functional Architects, Front-end/Back-end Technical Architects, and one UX Designer within HPE Propel team. Alpha Team works closely with Propel's internal and external customers worldwide to develop Propel solution including self-service portal, catalog management, and hybrid-cloud management for addressing customers' business needs.
Here just gives a brief overview of topics currently in my plates for my day-to-day work. For detailed design process for Propel's features, I'll introduce them separately as multiple standalone projects.
As the only designer, I lead the User Experience/Interaction Design for Propel and work closely with different stakeholders across the program. The design typically starts from PMs and Functional Architects, together we discuss customers' feedback and needs, and then narrow out the functional requirements. We create user stories for different types of users/persona accordingly, and based on that we work with different scrum teams to scope and craft proposals. I design and iterate the interactions through design deliverables in different levels of fidelity, explaining the design decision behind and get buy-in from different stakeholders and engineers. And lastly, together we turn the design into delightful experience and make users more productive.
I also work closely with developers for Propel's front-end foundation theme. During the process of HP splitting into HPE and HP Inc, I supported the teams and contributed to the first version/iteration of the rebranding HPE design/theme changes. Although just focusing on the basic styling elements, this opportunity helped me quickly familiarize with Propel's front-end/styling capability and equip me the ability to speak in design and engineering languages.
Currently, I am also participating in modularizing our UI into various kinds of UI components. I design the interactions/look-n-feel at UI component level, and also share my knowledge in web accessibility guidelines (e.g. VPAT and WCAG) to developers for implementation. The UI Component task force will help drive UI consistency as well as bring up a collection of UI assets to Jumpstart front-end SDK to speed up UI development cycles and shorten time-to-value.
I hold an hour long meeting with front-end developers from all scrum teams to sync up on all UX related activities once every week. The call serves as a forum to:
I enjoy having this opportunity to interact with developers in addition to day-to-day works, and it facilitates collaborations and, with time, builds up excellent rapport and camaraderie. I consider working with Propel colleagues a privilege, and I am grateful for their influence and feedback on my work.
I also work on accessibility topic to make sure Propel are accessible to all users. Within HPE software, the HPE Accessibility office requires all products go through VPAT access as it's a US checklist. However, since HPE Propel's customer base is global and more customers start using WCAG to evaluate the software product, we are also in the process of following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
I work with HPE Accessibility office, third party testing vendor, and Propel customers to evaluate the accessibility issues. Since a few countries even treat WCAG as legal obligation, address the accessibility issues in a strategic way is important. So before introducing developers to step in, I categorize the issues and gather the potential engineering solutions. And then I present the issues and solution candidates to developers during our weekly UX call to discuss the technical feasibility and the execution plan. This way, we make sure the issues are addressed in priority order, in a systematic manner, and also mitigate the impacts to the project timeline.