atlas mapping project

Project Overview

Tyler Atlas is a “citizen facing integrated data visualization platform.” Atlas utilizes data such as permit applications, crime reports and other neighborhood civic interests from other Tyler products into a single map interface.

I was embedded as the primary UX designer on the Atlas team. The team subscribed to an Agile methodology, conducting biweekly user testing sessions to validate incremental feature changes to the UI.

Objectives

  1. Does removing the summary pop up from the map point and placing it in a collapsed state on the details panel impact customer experience in a negative way?
  2. Do participants understand how to operate the “Details Panel and the “Map Filters.” Do they understand how to retrieve the “Map Filters” once it is dismissed?
  3. Do participants understand the the relationship with changing the filters and changing selections on the map?
  4. How do participants clear selections on the map?

comparison graphic
1. (L) We eliminated the pop up which required a click. (R) The collapsed data posts to the "Details Panel"
Map filters view
2. Prototype A had directional arrow to dismiss Map Filters. Prototype B implements a handle.
atlas mapping
3. View of Details Panel after selecting a pin on the map. Prototype A had an "X" to dismiss panel. Prototype B used an icon with label.

Challenges

  • High fidelity mapping prototypes cannot be as robust as real mapping applications and can serve only as a baseline. The prototype contained conditional stacking and switching so generally, tasks had to be done in a sequential order.
  • Last minute changes and continued feature requests pushed prototype design very close to study.

Process

1. For this study, I worked closely with the product owner to agree on testing goals, prototype functionality and write the script. In order to move fast, we used an internal participant database to select six Tyler employees. Some of the participants were local, but for most we used Go To Meeting.

2. I designed two interactive mapping prototypes and participated in feedback cycles with the product owner.

3. We the finalized script.

4. The test consisted of 5 tasks and a qualitative survey at the end. The questions required navigation, comprehension and we asked the participants to think aloud. Three of the participants started with Prototype A, and the remaining three started with Prototype B.

5. We recorded the studies and typed our findings into Confluence

Atlas quotes
 Atlas Study
survey sample

Outcome

  • Our findings were quickly synthesized in one day with detailed user satisfaction and pain points. The report presented general user feedback, study observations, survey results and recommendations.
  • The impact of this quick study helped inform our choices about important UI elements such as the navigation symbol (“X” or handle”) for the Details Panel and unmet user expectations on how the Details Panel should update.