We worked together with Artexis, a leading business event organizer, to overhaul the online event management application used by their 26,500 exhibitors.
Artexis had started to modernize the codebase and technologies of their My Easyfairs online application. They took advantage of this opportunity to also rethink the user experience and the look and feel of their app.
Start with goals and work from there
Artexis wanted to decrease support calls and make the various functionalities of their app more discoverable and easier to use. Some clients didn’t understand everything they could do online with the My Easyfairs application and needed a lot of hand-holding. The product team also wanted a more modular application architecture to be able to easily add features over time, activate certain features depending on the plan clients paid for, etc.
For exhibitors, attending an event is a stressful and time-consuming process. Some clients we spoke to were intimidated by the apparent complexity of an online application they only used once a year or less. Others, however, were power-users who made the most of all the app’s features.
Finding solutions requires knowledge of the context
We started off with research and talked to several exhibitors to see what their needs were and what kind of problems they encountered in their day-to-day work.
We invited product managers from all over Europe for a week-long discovery sprint during which we created personas, did a jobs to be done analysis, clearly mapped user journeys, sketched possible solutions, critiqued them and came up with a full storyboard of the solution we wanted to prototype.
A testable prototype worth 100 pages of specifications
During the following weeks, we created detailed wireframes of the future application and stitched them together to create a clickable prototype. Testing the prototype with real My Easyfairs users allowed us to challenge our assumptions and to quickly gather feedback.
Together with the My Easyfairs product team, we iterated on the prototype and tweaked it until we were sure that users could accomplish key tasks with minimum friction.
Lengthy guidelines and specifications can be tough to read. People respond a lot better to concrete and tangible deliverables. After a design review of existing applications, we started exploring possible visual design directions using simple UI elements like colors, typography, buttons and icons.
Once a design direction was chosen, we created a library of patterns and components in Sketch and added general and component-specific implementation guidelines. We worked closely with the lead front-end developer at Artexis to make sure the team could use the library as a guide to implement our design in code.
Iterate over time
The Artexis teams are now busy implementing an alpha version of the new application. They plan to test it with a wider set of their customers over a couple of months, make changes based on the feedback they get, and finally launch the new application to their whole user base. We’ll be there to work with them throughout that entire process.
Design and UX are never done; they evolve with the product. That’s why, at Central, we firmly believe in partnerships. Our clients know their products and challenges, and we know design. Put the 2 together and you get fantastic results.
5 sprints over 2 months
- Release year