Create an online tool to manage design resources across categories in the Nike organization.
Nike design and category managers need a way to see designer workloads and utilization to help balance resources quickly. This was being done in a shared spreadsheet on an internal server. The data was difficult to sift through, and editing the document created multiple versions and collision issues. On-the-fly leadership share-outs were cumbersome and filled with stress and inaccuracies. A custom tool was needed to provide easy-to-read visualization, instant reporting capabilities, and real-time editing. The tool needed to be inside the firewall and piggyback off Nike’s SSO and VPN environments.
With no real-time data visualization or editing capabilities, issues with version control, file collision, and overwrite issues, plus a lack of instant reporting capability, using a single spreadsheet with many users accessing it was not working. Using a spreadsheet also made it difficult to find data quickly, e.g., when leadership asked for a category metric, the manager would need to pull up the spreadsheet and hunt for the info in columns and rows of numbers, names, and dates clumsily provide information. All these issues expose inefficiencies, cause job stress and frustration, and create fear and uncertainty around the data itself. None of this is helpful, and what seemed like a simple process was causing a complex matrix of problems.
I set out to solve these problems in alliance with the Nike Digital Innovation team and decided to collaborate with Riley Powell on the UI. We began to break down the task by looking at how to visualize resourcing and asking at what point is a designer overloaded? What is the Nike metric for a well-balanced team? What data are leadership and stakeholders asking for? What is the scenario when a manager presents this data? How does a manager identity and balance the team, so everyone is happy and getting great work done? Once we had this information, we began to design screens immediately. We used on-brand elements for Nike, making it easy to skip wireframing and turn click-through prototypes around quickly. Using Nike’s internal project scoring matrix, we started from the top down, showing capacity by season, category, designer, and project score. This allows a manager to easily see the workloads through the pipeline and quickly and easily shift projects and assignments. When a category is overloaded, it’s easy to see, when they are under-utilized, it’s plain and simple. The managers can quickly shift designers to help on projects in other categories in real-time and collaboratively. We also made reporting a breeze by showing print tools on almost any page.
We solved the problem at hand and delivered a simple, easy-to-use tool in a rapid timeframe that addressed all the needs of Nike as well as making life better for the employees. Well done.
- Date: July 30, 2020
- Company Nike
- Role Product Designer
- Platform Web app