Query screen enhancements for a flagship NA oil & gas application
Interaction & Visual Design
IHS Enerdeq Browser is a flagship web application used to access North American well, production, land, and activity data. Clients use the data (subscription-based or proprietary client-side data) and features of the application to make key exploration & production decisions, conduct analysis, work with maps, as well as viewing and downloading reports.
I was lead designer on this effort, responsible for all the interaction and visual designs involved. My work was peer reviewed with the rest of my senior UX team, as part of our normal process, and some A/B testing was done by our user researcher.
This project was actually pretty straight forward. We received clear requirements from the product owner and the decision to combine the query and browse list features into a single screen seemed like a logical one by all parties. This was further backed up by user sentiments when recent customer support logs were reviewed.
The initial requirements were very simple... merge the two screens and ensure no loss of function. I spent a bit of time thinking about what else we could do to make a new design better and more functional for the end user and discussed some ideas with the rest of the UX team. The team agreed that a top/bottom split screen layout would work great and had some nice parity with other desktop products our company provided that many of these same users worked with. I wanted to provide the users with some additional control over their view and suggested that we allow users to adjust where the split was placed as well as some standard panel min/max/restore controls. Since it's common for Enerdeq users to have very large monitors or multiple monitors, another idea was to allow users to pop-out the whole browselist section into a new browser window to further customize their workspace. Lastly, since we knew that Enerdeq users tended to be more resistant to big changes than some of our other products, we wanted to provide a way to ease users into a new layout. We came up with an idea to allow continued use of the old layout or switch to the new one. Users would have the ability to toggle between the two layouts and also provide feedback.
We held some follow up discussions with the product owner to discuss our ideas and check technical feasibility with the dev team. I presented a rough sketch and walked everyone through what we wanted to do, which was all really well
received. The only catch was that the dev team wasn't sure about the added pop-out functionality for the browse list, though similar functionality was planned for the near future for another panel on Enerdeq's map screen. For the
initial release of the design, it was agreed that I would deliver the full design as planned but the pop-out functionality would be added in at a later date along with the aforementioned map panel.
Since the layout was fairly straightforward and knowing that we wanted to at least do some A/B testing with the design, I decided to go ahead and produce the concepts in high fidelity. Several split-screen and panel control styles were tried and iterated on until we had a satisfactory solution. The majority of the design phase was actually spent mapping out the interactions for switching between old and new layouts and the related toggle controls for that as well as the various states for the browse list + query views (ie. how is the query screen accessed when the browse list is maximized).
Periodic A/B testing was performed on individual screens to help refine minor details such as element placement and visual cues. In addition, we also tested a sample workflow of performing a typical query search to viewing and exporting of browse list results that compared the old layout against the new. It was quickly revealed that the new layout was a clear winner, garnering overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Final designs and test results were presented to a very pleased product owner and dev team. I collaborated closely with the dev team to ensure accurate implementation and the first release of the new feature went off without a hitch.
After a few months of overhwelmingly positive user feedback, the old layout was retired and the layout switch toggle was removed. We heard a lot of feedback about how much more streamlined users felt their workflows were and how
they loved seeing query results on the same screen right away.
- D.B., Geologist