Partnership Delivers Best Possible User Experiences Across Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain
When the world’s largest Supply Chain Operating Network needed to deliver an enhanced and more cohesive user experience, it turned to the experts at projekt202.
E2open provides the one place in the cloud for global enterprises to manage their supply chains. More than 41,000 companies – from raw material suppliers to retailers and consumers – rely on E2open’s network and broad suite of solutions to support mission-critical supply chain activities.
By providing greater end-to-end visibility, more accurate data and insights, and real-time business process orchestration across multi-tier trading partner networks, E2open enables global 1000 companies to run the most complex and responsive multi-enterprise supply chains in the world.
Since its founding in 2000, E2open has grown both organically and as a result of several successful acquisitions to become one of the leaders in the supply chain management software industry. With this growth came the need and desire to develop a consistent and seamless user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) as part of E2open’s next-generation platform technology.
The company announced its projekt202 partnership in October 2016, noting, “E2open revealed a strategic investment to enhance its User Interface and User Experience. In partnership with industry leader projekt202, the result will provide a unified and modern experience for greater visibility and more powerful insights into the multi-enterprise supply chain.”
Working directly with E2open’s executives and management team, projekt202 outlined clear goals for this initiative: to provide a design foundation for current and future applications, as well as to update high-value user experience interactions.
To better understand how E2open’s users were experiencing the current software, projekt202’s Experience Strategy and Insight (ESI) team began by conducting research through stakeholder interviews, worldwide contextual inquiries, a provisional persona workshop, heuristic analysis and development of user personas.
“You can only get the real context of user needs by interacting with them and their teams on a one-to-one basis in person,” said projekt202 Principal Experience Researcher Kelly Moran. “This is why it’s so important to gather qualitative data on top of quantitative data. You need the ‘what,’ along with the ‘why.’ ”
The team agreed that the design foundation would be provided through an Enterprise Design Library (EDL) that would enable E2open to achieve, enforce and maintain a consistent look and feel across its software landscape. It would also provide a forward-looking blueprint for managing future applications inherited through corporate acquisitions.
projekt202 UX Creative Director Josh Christopher said, “The whole process for those users is searching for issues with the supply, and trying to diagnose and fix those issues without creating 40 more down the line.”
Christopher said that the team strategically opted to define system components in tandem with getting full background on the first product scheduled for an update.
“This allowed us to also do the research to really get into the context of the software use, alongside defining the UI that is meant to help that process,” he said.
Design activities included building a feature roadmap, complete design system creation and documentation, prototyping using InVision, and more than 300 screen designs for the developers.
The design updates to the form and function of E2open’s software greatly enhanced the overall UX, leading to increased user adoption, ease of use and satisfaction, and a reduction in application support costs.
In the prototyping and validation phases, major improvements to workflows were recommended as future targets for E2open’s in-house development team. The immediate needs for a major upcoming software release were handled with more sprint-focused user experience enhancements. These emphasized heuristic improvements that would reduce onscreen complexity without an entire design overhaul of the existing system, allowing quicker and more efficient implementation.
On the project development side, work revolved around creation of design library components with compatibility considerations for six applications; REACT framework support for future software updates; complete implementation of the design system into major portions of existing E2open software; CSS updates to remaining application pages; and the significant re-architecture of applications to support adoption of the design system.
The development team continued to expand throughout the project to better support the demands in time and effort for system deployment and delivery. As a result of the development team’s re-architecture efforts, applications became much easier for E2open’s team to maintain and, as necessary, update in the near future.
Throughout the process, projekt202 and E2open worked in perfect partnership to understand and create the solution.
“There were times in the project where working remotely with the developers and product owners became a challenge, so E2open helped by flying in team members to let them work on-site at projekt202 during extended, key times throughout the engagement,” said Christopher. “Also, there were points where interacting with the sales teams at E2open really helped us get context on how to improve the solutions. It generally helped us to get summaries of the product’s features and functions, because it became easier to latch onto and seemed closer to how we would expect the users to talk about the product and its purpose.”
Said Santosh Nanda, Senior Vice President of Product Development at E2open, “As we moved through the project, we both learned to stay open to the expertise of the other side. projekt202 worked to understand our objectives, learn about the complexities of our business, and tweaked their process to accommodate our needs and goals. It became a true partnership.”
The team delivered a robust, complex design system to support the applications initially targeted for implementation and several more in E2open’s software landscape.
In addition, projekt202’s design team stayed ahead of development efforts and provided screen designs that will fuel E2open’s own development teams for months to come, fully supporting software targets in future acquisitions.
Now, with E2open’s recent launch of its new interface, the public gets to see all improvements to the design, usability and user experience firsthand.
“projekt202 is proud to work with E2open in helping their team deliver the best possible user experiences to its crucial global audience,” said Russ Bair, projekt202’s General Manager in Dallas. “By leveraging the full scope of projekt202’s expertise and proven methodology for software services, E2open continues to demonstrate why it is the innovative leader in the supply chain industry.”
“Customer and industry response has been positive across the board,” said Shawn Lane, E2open's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “They’re excited to see us moving toward a unified interface and truly delivering on our promise to provide one place, in the cloud, to run their supply chains.”
projekt202 is the leader in experience-driven software design and development. We are passionate about improving the experiences that people have with enterprise and consumer digital touchpoints.