Enabling Global Properties for Manufacturing Processes

Product Design

MasterControl

2024

Product Strategy, User Flows, Usability Testing, Prototyping, Research, Mockups, Handoff & QA

Intro

Master Control is a leading provider of cloud-based quality and compliance software for the life sciences industry. They specialize in Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solutions that streamline manufacturing processes, improve product quality, and accelerate time to market. Serving a global clientele, their platform supports regulatory adherence and enhances operational efficiency across multiple sectors, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices.

Problem

The process of updating and setting default properties in master templates for health science clients is inefficient, requiring a repetitive, multi-step approach that is time-consuming and error-prone. This inefficiency leads to significant delays—up to several days—to add new correction reasons, negatively impacting customer satisfaction and operational productivity.

Hypothesis

If we streamline the interface to enable global setting of properties and automatic default settings in Master Templates, then configuration time will be reduced by 50% because it simplifies the process and minimizes repetitive, manual steps.

Leveraging Data to Identify Most Commonly Used Properties

By analyzing usage data, I identified the most frequently used properties in template steps, guiding targeted improvements in the Master Template Builder. This data-driven foundation ensured that updates were impactful, significantly enhancing user experience and operational efficiency.

We used Pendo and Datadog to find and confirm insights to ensure a rapid discovery phase

→ Mapping the data types and properties within them into a matrix, we found thirteen of the most commonly used properties within all data types

→ Datadog confirmed data from dev and test environments, which showed 26,377 Correction Reasons feature clicks, confirming one of our user's original requests for this new feature

→ Pendo confirmed production-level data, providing a list of the most commonly clicked features and reducing our list of the most common global properties to seven.

Feature Placement in the Journey was Critical Due to the Product's Complexity

Before diving into flows, we developed a persona and scenario statement to ensure that we understood who will be using this feature, when, and how they expect to interact with this feature.

Optimal Feature Placement Found at the Beginning of the Journey

Before configuring phases or any steps, the user can enter the template's settings. It puts this feature earlier in the journey and allows total control over the template.

Key observations we found when testing user flows

→ Controlling individual templates is crucial for clients with heavily regulated products, as they have many templates. Placing the feature at the beginning of the user flow allows for this control.

→ Adding this at the end of the flow required too much engineering effort and introduced unnecessary interactions, which was not ideal for users of our deprecating product.

With the Goal of Prototyping we Moved Straight Into Design

With our confirmed global properties list and ideal user flow, we took to solutioning so we could later prototype and run moderated usability tests directly with our clients.

Collaborating with our UX Researcher Ensured a Thorough Research Plan

A research plan and scenario were created for our prototype, with critical points and questions listed to effortlessly guide users through our moderated test.

Key points to answer

→ Was the placement of this feature in the flow ideal for our users?

Are the interactions and copywriting clear to the user?

→ Is the confirmation dialog clear to users that their changes will revise the entire template?

80% of tested users preferred template-level controls over a global-level control for all their templates

"It would be super cool to see this on our global settings so we could influence all of our templates. Most of our products are very similar with little variance, and having that capability would speed up our processes. This still works in the meantime!"

All tested users found the instructions for the global properties feature confusing

"There is a lot going on here, and we are a little confused."

90% of users were found to have clearly understood the confirmation dialogs that were created

"I was worried when going into this test that our builders working on these templates wouldn't understand that changing these properties across all data types would revise the entire template and you guys made it very clear!"

Outcomes

Instructional copy needed revised to reduce information overload and confusion

After receiving feedback from users that the feature instructions were confusing, we worked with our UX writer to revise the instructional copy and ensure that the design directions were clear.

Upon revising a template, we discovered that a confirmation dialog and notification would add value

We've had template revisions in other parts of our product that went unnoticed by users. With this designed solution, we validated it and obtained data to incorporate the functions in our new advanced platform.

During the creation of this solution, we identified new validated additions to our product roadmap

During direct feedback, we obtained valuable insights for future sprints that would benefit smaller clients. Below are some of the ideas that have been added to the roadmap.

→ Adding the ability to enable default properties on all templates simultaneously, offering more global control over all their templates simultaneously.

→ Give users increased granular control when adding these properties and keep everything in one place. For example, users could choose which phase they wanted the properties enabled instead of the entire template.

→ Updating confirmation dialogs and notifications for all template revisions to reduce mistakes during manufacturing.

Let's talk, and collab on something!