Michelle Sue Agee
howdy@msueagee.com
Hi, I'm Michelle Sue Agee

I'm a user experience and visual designer with 3+ years of end-to-end experience creating digital products and facilitating  community building events.

Working with an integrated team is where I thrive. I enjoy the strategic aspect of design where I work to elevate the overall customer or community experience.

Currently, I'm a product designer at 2U.

Usability Improvements to Agency Locator Map

Houston Food Bank (HFB) is the largest food bank in the country. The Agency Locator Map pinpoints all of HFB's partners so Houstonians, HFB Hotline Operators, and other users can discover partner locations that is near a point of interest.

I have worked on this map on two different occasions. We followed an agile method, workin in brief sprints to quickly stage and launch changes to the map. The design changes were made within 18 months of each other. My responsibilities on this project:
  • Gauge the usability of new and existing features and make suggestions for change
  • Create production-ready design deliverables that use existing or new patterns as needed
  • Collaborate with engineers to assure the visual quality of our output.
Project Timeline
2018, 2020
Client
Houston Food Bank
Team
Poetic Digital
Solutions Architect: John
Engineer: Jimmy
Project Manager: Andrew
UX/UI Designer: Me
Role
UX Design
Ui Design
Visual QA
Tools
Sketch / Figma
Trello
Slack

Understand

The 2018 map UI was confusing and required special instructions to tailor its results.  There were two search bars and search results did not display upon landing. Our goal was to improve the usability of the map. HFB’s clients could not find agencies that were opened on days they were available.

  1. To find a location near a point of interest, use the first input bar
  2. To find a location by name, type, or availability utilize the second bar
  3. To begin browsing, or sort Partners by site-type
Discovery

First I reviewed the map's existing functionality with the developer, we discussed possible solutions to improve the UX in relation to the map's limitation.

Over a brief call with the Director of IT and their internal project managers, I asked for user-insights to help guide the design recommendations. The developer and I floated the idea introducing a search filter that enabled users to sort locations by day-of-the-week, similar to GoogleMaps at the time.

Feature Needs
User Considerations
Clients want to find a partner that operates on their days off from work
Partners want to communicate their operating hours
Clients want to locate a partner within a close radius to home or work
Many Clients rely on mobile phones for internet access
Hotline Operators utilize the map when assisting Callers
Operators download search results and share directly with callers.
Design & Outcomes

By adding a clear Day of the week filter, the design eliminated the need for two search inputs. Our direct contact was hesitant to approve the design. After the developer proposed implementations plans, we secured approval for the redesign within a three weeks.

I was kept in the loop as the update when into production so the team could solve edge cases and QA the update.

I turn to a felt-pen and blank notebook to quickly ideate design solutions before drawing rectangles on the computer.

Iteration 2, 2020

Responding to the impacts of the pandemic, HFB asked us to work alongside another vendor to implement a new feed and update map UI to show more information about Partner locations to communicate how each site was responding to COVID-19 (e.g., car-side pickup, etc ).

Process

Over a virtual meeting with the client and the new vendor, we discussed the new feed structure and reviewed the working list of new attributes.  I worked in two 1-week sprints to create high-fidelity interactive prototypes at desktop and mobile breakpoints.