Persona research guides a product redesign

The Citrix EdgeSight engineering team sought consultation that would help them improve the information architecture and navigation strategy for the next release of their product. They hired Kay to help them gain an objective and detailed understanding of how companies use EdgeSight to monitor, troubleshoot, and manage their IT. The development team wished to use these insights to simplify EdgeSight's navigation.

The Citrix Edgesite product management hired Kay to do persona research with key EdgeSight end users - level 2 Help Desk agents, Citrix Administrators, and IT executive/managers. The interviews were conducted remotely over the phone and Internet using Citrix's GoToMeeting application sharing product. During a portion of each usability feedback session respondents walked through the typical and critical tasks they perform with the EdgeSight product.

As they did their work Kay asked the respondent questions to learn how they feel about the product's value to their work and its ease of use. Because the sessions were remote, the development team was able to participate, and learned a great deal about their end users and the types of tasks they perform with the EdgeSight. Direct customer feedback helped them understand the product areas that needed refinement. They also heard many ideas for innovative and practical new features.

Once the interviews were complete, Kay ran an online card sort with a larger group of end users. The card sort exercise provided further objective input on how best to organize EdgeSight's features and reports. The output from the usability sessions and the card sort was a refined information architecture that more closely aligned with the way EdgeSight customers perform their duties. Seth Maislin of Focus Information Services assisted Kay in the development of a simplified product taxonomy.

Armed with reliable user insights and feedback, Kay then worked with the product management and development team to create an innovative and more intuitive user interface design. This new design incorporated Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies.