Rhiza is a very powerful data analytics and visualization tool, but due to its near-infinite flexibility, it comes with a significant learning curve. During the course of this project, I sought to design a way for new or inexperienced users to get access to the same interesting, valuable data-driven stories as experienced researchers.
Our users needed an easy starting point to the system with some pre-configured stories that are flexible enough to fulfill many common media analytics needs. The team and I specified some goals, to which anchor our work in a concrete set of requirements.
The user should be able to:
- Choose a few pre-baked, data-driven stories to explore,
- Fill in some easily-understood inputs to these stories, and
- Peruse the the resulting visualizations or presentation.
Rough Prototyping & Primary Research
We began with some low-fidelity, interactive prototypes I designed based on these notions. This was followed by a stakeholder demonstration and review.
Next, we worked on the information architecture and organization of the pre-baked stories. We expressly did not want to present users with a flat, scrolling list, so my team and I prototyped and tested a few options and reviewed the results. We learned that users preferred an unfiltered, browsable feed at first, but preferred some categorization when they were searching for a specific story.
Moving past our initial launch, we began chipping away at the features and nice-to-haves that didn’t make it in to the MVP. I designed the story “cards” to reflect various states of completeness of metadata, such that they worked together as a system.
I also designed an expand / collapse transition so the card can provide the inputs to the user in place, rather than opening a modal dialog.
Currently, the Explorer page is the entry point to the Rhiza system, providing our 400+ users easy access to over 60 visualization-rich media analytics stories. It is still a work in progress, with improvements planned throughout 2018.